(This was originally posted on the Bold Strokes UK blog, where lots of great authors are telling readers about their holiday memories. You should have a looksee.)
Loss is inevitable. At some point, we’ll be celebrating our holidays without our loved ones (and they’ll be doing so without us). It is, sadly, the one thing in life we can be certain of.
But they remain with us.
On our Christmas tree, we have a ton of ornaments. Not the shiny, matching ones. Rather, all different types of characters and shapes. We tend to get one from new countries (and states) we visit and we often get one with the year on it.
But we also have the family ones, the ones that bring old memories and keep the ghosts of the departed with us. My aunt, for instance, loved Christmas so much. Her tree was always enormous, and she took the utmost care in wrapping each gift. I’ve got a large number of her ornaments on the tree, and they always make me smile. There are a bunch of pretty carousel animals, along with old Hallmark ones like the worm reading a book in an apple and the mouse in a Crayola box sled. They’re physical reminders of someone who was very special to me, and I’m so glad to have the chance every year to remember her as I place them on tree.
I’m feeling incredibly grateful for all life has given me this year, and I’m especially thankful to all the women in my family who taught me never to give up. When I open my stocking on Christmas morning, they’ll all be right there with me.