Merry Christmas! It’s the second Christmas since you’ve left us. Christmas will always be one of those bittersweet times for me each year because I know how much you’ve always loved it – everything from the Christmas trees and ornaments, to the giving of presents, to even Santa Claus and Christmas movies on television. You were always so generous every year, giving far more than you ever received. I’m sure a lot of us took you for granted. We all just expected to get high quality pillows and bed sheets and blankets from you. I honestly wish you weren’t so generous because maybe then, you wouldn’t have been so disappointed about other people and their lack of thought when giving you gifts.
It’s also Chris’s 33rd birthday this Christmas, Ed. He’s now the same age as you were when you left us in July 2013. Thirty-three years on this earth. It’s a number that will always be ingrained in my mind because once you reached that age, you never got any older, and you never will now. Even when you were that age, you barely had any white hairs or even a hint of a wrinkle on your face. It just added to your childlike innocence and naiveté in this world.
I stood around Chris’s family today, observing and listening and participating in all the loudness and insanity that has been there the last three Christmases I have been in Melbourne with them. Sometimes throughout the day, it’s as though I don’t hear all the calamity around me, and I drift off into my own thoughts which almost always include you. You probably would have been a bit awkward to be around them, but I know for a fact you would have enjoyed yourself. You would have enjoyed and loved being a part of an extended family that not only embraced Christmas, but tried to extend it for as many days as possible.
Every day, I’m learning to accept life without you as one of us. Some days, it’s easier than others, but around Christmas time, your birth date, and your death date, it’s always the worst. The void you have left becomes more pronounced, but then I am reminded of all the things in life that you were deprived of that made me angry for you.
It would have been amazing to take you to be a part of these Christmas gatherings and to involve you in our wedding planning. Can you believe that your little sister is going to get married and is actually planning her wedding? I can’t even believe it myself. It’s like the reality I hoped for but never really thought about realistically. I am thinking about ways to incorporate you into the wedding and reception. Some ideas are cheesy, some are a bit morbid, but all are filled with how much I love and miss you. Happy Christmas from Chris and me. We haven’t forgotten about you. And we never will.