Christmas without Mum

Today I celebrated my 52nd Christmas. It was the first Christmas I have celebrated without either of my parents. So it’s now up to Mum and Dad’s three surviving children to keep up the tradition by ourselves.
It’s happy sad. On the one hand it is really sad that our parents aren’t there for the annual event they enjoyed more than any other. It’s sad that we can’t ask them questions about Christmases past. It’s sad we can’t squeeze their hand and give them a kiss and say “Merry Christmas” any more. It’s sad we can’t see their smiling faces as they give out presents. These last three years Mum has been less and less able to participate. But she knew she was there and she knew that she had provided something towards a gift for each of us. We could still say “Thanks Mum” and know that it warmed her heart. Giving to her children and grandchildren was more important to her than anything else she did.
In a way though it is also happy. It’s nice to know that we are still here to carry on the tradition and it is now our responsibility alone. It is like we are now being trusted to fly solo with Mum and Dad watching from somewhere else in the Universe. It’s like being a child growing up again – doing something for the first time. Being trusted to do something new. It’s a long time since I felt that feeling.
In that way, it’s nice to be a child again at Christmas – a grown up child.

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