I admire those families that have holiday plans pinned down for next year by the time they box up this year’s Christmas decorations.
Somehow we’ve never perfected the art of predictable patterns and unchanging life circumstances that make such a thing even possible.
So while we try to observe some of the same traditions from year to year, they tend to be expressed a little differently each time.
Of course, the year Dominic left us EVERYTHING changed.
“Changed” isn’t even really the right word. It was more like everything just stopped. Holidays were out of place in a world where all the color had faded to gray. What heart can make merry when all it feels is sorrow and despair?
Even still, the calendar beckoned and we muddled through the first Thanksgiving and Christmas as best we could.
This will be the eighth (!) holiday season since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
My children are all adults with established careers living away from home. We’ve added to the family circle through marriage and childbirth and we’ve had to say “see you later” to my mama who joined Dom with Jesus in 2019. Of course, like so many others, Covid interrupted last year’s celebration.
The past two years have been filled with travel (some planned, some unexpected) including a trip this week out to Texas to spend time with my son’s family.
So I find myself only days away from Thanksgiving without a concrete plan for when we will actually get together around the table and what, exactly, might be on it when we do.
(Please don’t ask me about Christmas yet!)
It’s more than a little uncomfortable for this gal who loves lists and planning and decorating to choose flexibility and flying by the seat of my pants. And it’s very uncomfortable to be the point of contact for various family members who are used to me having answers instead of more questions when they call to find out when they should show up and what they should bring.
But if there’s one thing I’m learning in this life after loss it’s this: Control is an illusion. All the planning in the world can’t account for random and unexpected.
I’m going to make some phone calls today to try to figure it out.
I’m pretty sure we will have plenty to eat, plenty to say and plenty of room for whoever shows up.
Hugs all around!
And pie for dessert. ❤