I've walked this road before I know but this time it's so final. I've lived in this world without my Mom (Isabel Sanders) for many years (since 1998) but this will be my first Christmas without my Dad (Don Sanders) as part of my earthly family circle.
This afternoon I read Bonnie Stewart's blog post about a Christmas card that had gone astray. Each year for the four years they have lived in their home, a card has arrived for the previous family.
Bonnie's thoughts triggered this post.
Every year my parents sent out their annual Christmas letter. In turn they received cards and letters from friends around the world. The cards and letters were piled up in a special Christmas basket. Once I left home, I was welcome to read through the Christmas cards and letters when I returned.
I would usually sit in the living room with my parents or with only my Dad in recent years. As I went through all the cards and letters, we would chat about the sender. I connected with those people through my parents. Now, my parents are both gone. What will happen to those connections?
Like Bonnie, I stopped sending Christmas cards a few years back. I became a full-time working mother and something had to give. Christmas cards fell by the wayside. Now that we are almost empty nesters, maybe it is time for me to begin this annual connection tradition again.
My Dad was quite modern for an 86 year old. He still wrote letters but he also used email to keep in touch with his friends. After Dad died, one of my tasks was to send an email notice to all of those on his email address list. We gave Dad's computer to a friend of his. That was one very difficult thing after Dad died on May 8th. We had to clear out his apartment by the end of the month. I felt that I was dismantling my Dad's life and then there was nothing physical left. It was different with my Mom because my Dad continued to live in the home they had shared.
Last year Dad came to Saskatoon for Christmas. He spent most of Christmas lying on the couch because of pain in his leg. (cancer) I'm so thankful for the trips we took together and for all the visits we made to his home in Regina. I know that I was a good daughter to him and have no regrets about our time together here on earth.
However, at the moment, I just feel sad. My first Christmas without my Dad.
The Loser's Club
4 months ago