Lost Someone Special This Year?

file0001139247422It was Pepper’s turn to blog, and I’m sure she would have told you about her Thanksgiving with her family, and offered a photo or two of her table decorated for the occasion. Knowing her, she would have included a recipe for something delicious. I’m hoping her daughter or daughter-in-law stepped up and took over the family meal, but I know their hearts are heavy.

After my husband died, that first Thanksgiving I tried to ignore, and I guess I succeeded for I have no memories of that day. But Christmas put our family together. I had a long standing rule that my girls could go with their hubbys’ families for Thanksgiving, but I had them for Christmas Eve! And as that day grew closer, I dreaded it. The thought of cleaning everything, putting up a tree, and cooking that big meal… I didn’t think I had the strength to smile and get through it.

Then one afternoon my daughter called and announced that she was doing Christmas Eve at her house. It was already settled and all I had to do was show up. She was usurping my matriarch position? Go right ahead! I think I called her twenty times to be certain she had not forgotten to get the ingredients for… All I heard was Mom-I-got-it-covered. It was as though she had developed that mantra for me every time I called.

When that fateful day came, I went to her house at the proper time. (Actually, I was late. She called as I was leaving my house and asked me to bring a pie plate. Um, she had borrowed all of mine! I stopped at Walmart and grabbed a few.) The meal was delicious and somehow we all got through it. We laughed and we cried a little, but mostly we laughed. Most of the conversations started with do you remember when? We realized we could enjoy being together, and although we missed hubby/Dad/Grandpa we still had each other. We were still here and filled with life. We had fun. From that point onward, we realized we missed him, but that we could face the holidays without him.

I hope Pepper’s family finds that same peace. I hope they found laughter to overcome the tears. And that they will be able to face Christmas with joy in their hearts.

We don’t forget the ones we love, we just have to learn that we can keep going without them. To all of you who have lost someone special this year… I hope you find some joy in the upcoming holidays. Don’t be afraid to share your memories, to laugh, and to enjoy your family and friends. Because that little firelight inside of us will never go out. We will always miss the ones we loved, but we do learn that we can face the holidays without them. (Just keep plenty of tissues handy.)

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17 Responses to Lost Someone Special This Year?

  1. lynncahoon says:

    I thought of Pepper yesterday when I updated the sales spreadsheet she shared with me. I was very thankful for having her in my virtual life.

    We had a small Thanksgiving this year. My father-in-law, my mother and my stepfather all passed this last year. We invited a friend and his daughter to join us and the table was full of food and laughter. Along with some memories.

    Glad your daughter took care of you.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. susanrhughes says:

    Very touching post, E. I am thankful to have all my loved ones with me again this year.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. stanalei15 says:

    My heartfelt condolences for Pepper and I’m sure she’s so very grateful for your post for her. Anytime is hard, but holidays are especially a tough time. I hope you both continue to find peace through the days to come.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. How nice that your family could celebrate along with sharing memories. We lost my m-i-l last December. It was a quiet Christmas for us…no tree, cards, and just a few decorations since all services would be out of town for us. It was nice to have grandkids around to keep us focused on seasonal thoughts…loving, sharing, giving. And, lots of memories to talk about.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Melissa Keir says:

    I’m glad that you are all coming together as friends to support each other. My mother died two days before Christmas and it was a rough year. We got through it and each year has been a little easier.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. stephaniequeen says:

    Thank you for the lovely post, E. You’re right–Pepper would have shared her family holiday. I loved her recipes too! I feel for her family and hope they’re as strong as she was.

    Liked by 4 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Somehow I can’t imagine Pepper raising her children not to be strong and independent. But how they managed Thanksgiving… I have no idea.

      I wish you peace as you and your mom face Christmas without your dad.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Mona Risk says:

    E. thank you for expressing so well our feelings. I miss Pepper and her strong positive attitude. I wished I’ve told her how much she encouraged me without even knowing it.

    My father died two weeks before Thanksgiving and Mom refused to celebrate that holiday. Even Christmas was a very sad time as she couldn’t stand to see us exchanging gifts. In spite of my efforts to be with her daily, it took her a whole year to start living a normal life.

    Liked by 4 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      I know exactly what your mom went through, but I tried to put one foot in front of the other. It was as though I didn’t know how to live without my husband. Yet someplace inside of me, I knew that if the tides had been different and my husband was the one coping with my death, he would have stood on his head to make certain his daughters and granddaughters didn’t miss out on Christmas.

      And as for that normal… It’s not really normal. I’ll call it the new normal. 🙂

      Everyone is different and the length of time it takes for them to grieve and put their life back together varies with everyone. But I’m with your mom in that one year thing. Not that a year later some great fog lifted from me, because it didn’t happen that way. But that first year… I had the biggest pity party ever thrown and no one was invited! I tucked that black cloud around me and held it tight until I could figure out how to live. And the hardest part about it is that no one can tell another person how to cope. It’s something they have to do on their own.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I had not heard of Pepper’s passing. My condolences to all of you. With a very recent death in our family and one earlier in the year, I was pulled back to the year we lost my Dad. He died in mid October. My mother only celebrated the holidays for us and sometimes I think we should have let her skip both Thanksgiving and Christmas. She made one more year before we lost her in January. No holiday has been as special since.

    Liked by 4 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Losing Pepper was a bit of a shock. She’d had some problems but never indicated that it was more than just the the normal stuff that hits all of us from time to time. We knew how wonderful she was here on Main Street but we had no idea of the impact that Pepper had made across the author/writing universe. She was loved by so many authors. She generously gave of her time, mentored quite a few budding novelists who went on to be very successful. She was one-of-a-kind.

      I keep waiting for her show up and say the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. Besides we didn’t want an end to her Boggy Bayou stories. We’re going to miss all the little fun things she did such as send pictures of the year’s alligator catch, the newest baby in the family, or the newest mailbox decoration. She was one of those vibrant people that everyone loved.

      Jeanie, hold tight to those wonderful memories with your parents as you plan this upcoming one. What can you do to make it special this year? And maybe what is mundane for you, is special to a grandchild.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Joan Reeves says:

    Thank you, E., for expressing so eloquently what we all feel.


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