Daddy always looked forward to Christmas Eve. I think it was his most favorite night of the year. He was always ready to celebrate the birth of Christ with lots of good food, laughter, and making memories that will truly last a lifetime. I think he started looking forward to the next Christmas Eve on Christmas morning.
This year we celebrated without him. Although celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior is what it is all about, I couldn't help but think of my daddy all evening.
I've been sick with a terrible head cold and really just wanted to stay in bed but pushed myself to get the house together and get ready for my side of the family's get together. I was deeply thankful for my children and husband that pitched in and did more than their share to help get things ready.
I had cried off and on all day Christmas Eve. I just kept thinking of little things daddy did to make Christmas Eve special. How his face would light up when he walked into the house over here, or when we all walked into the house over there. He always wore this funny little Santa hat that was battery powered. The top would go from side to side and he thought that was hilarious. He came up with games that had us all on pins and needles, hoping to win some really good prizes. And there was always something special under the tree for me that he would pick out himself because "....daddy knows what his Bunny likes." My nickname was Bunny Rabbit. Sometimes it was B Rabbit or just Bunny, or just Rabbit. Whatever came to mind first. I have no idea when he came up with that, only that he called me that for as long as I can remember.
Anyway, the mood in the air was just different. It was good being with mom and my brother and his family. But it was just different. I suppose it will never be the same. Which makes me want to work harder next year to make it as special as he would have wanted to make it for all of us.
I've missed him terribly the last week or so. Today we drove by the graveyard where he is buried and looking over his way sent a pain through my chest like I had been hit with something. I had no control over my emotion and just had to let it out. My sweet husband is so understanding and tender of my feelings. I'm thankful for him and glad he was the one driving!
It was certainly a different Christmas for us, but it was a different Christmas for him too. While we were celebrating the birth of the Savior without daddy here, daddy was there celebrating and worshiping at the Savior's feet. Although I miss him so very much and wish everyday that I could hear his voice or see his smile, I can't imagine him wanting to be anywhere than where he is right now. I take comfort in knowing that I will join him one day. One fine day. And we will all enjoy another and very different family Christmas.