At Christmas there were so many moments of sadness, missing my mother, who died last April.
When I brought boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic, there were the two shopping bags labelled "Grandma's Christmas things." I wouldn't be taking them to her apartment to create Christmas cheer this year, as I had since 2003.
She loved Christmas and had not wanted me to take these decorations down in mid-January last year, probably knowing she would never see them again. All the cozy cheer of Christmas to be put away forever--that's hard.
Stunned by these thoughts, I had to sit down in a chair and shed a few tears.
There were other moments--finding the Christmas apron I had made for her, putting up the elegant holiday wreath she had bought us.
But the hardest came on Christmas Eve when I hung up the stockings: Dad, Mom, Roz, Ellen, Marie... and found the stocking labeled "Grandma."
There will be no stocking for her this Christmas.
I mourn as if I have lost a child, not a person 89 years old who was actually ready to die.
She was so child-like in her last years and sometimes asked, "Are you my daughter or my mother?"
I cry because one of my children is missing this Christmas.