T’is the season of joy, happiness & love, or at least that is how it used to be.
Last year, what would’ve been our first Christmas without Mari, we got to escape and go to Hawaii. I didn’t have to deal with the glaring reality of her not being here.
Now this year has come. It’s technically our second Christmas season. But the reality is so different. This is like it’s our first one without her instead.
It feels like ever since Thanksgiving Day I’ve been just getting by. Almost like a shell of a person who keeps pushing me through each day. Then yesterday came and now Mari is officially gone for eighteen months. Eighteen months, it just doesn’t seem real sometimes.
And now everyone is in the throes of Christmas. Holiday parties, cookie parties, get togethers, decorations, and what not. This used to be my most favorite time of the year. I couldn’t wait to pull out the Christmas tree and decorate it the day after Thanksgiving. I’d decorate both the inside and outside of the house. It felt so festive.
With Mari, she was one of the most bought for children with presents under the tree. I’d spend way more than I should on just one child, but she was our only child. Some might say I spoiled her. But I say you really can’t spoil a child with autism as they don’t understand what being spoiled is anyway?
Christmas morning was always so magical. I can remember that last Christmas not even being able to put the presents under the tree because she had finally learned that opening them brought her things she knew she wanted.
We would go from one present to the next. Sometimes we would have to take away what she opened as she wanted to play with whatever she had. It was just so much fun to watch the little twinkle in her eye and the excitement on her face.
Now to think about decorating brings me utter sadness. To think about Mari opening her presents is now nothing but memories. Memories that are bitter-sweet but still just memories. We will never be able to add to our memories. She’s gone.
So now I sit here thinking of her and trying to get by and through each day. Today I needed to find an empty notebook to write in. I found one and quickly skimmed through it to see if I could use it and I found something so completely unexpected. It was a notebook Mari had gotten into and I had gotten so mad at her at the time for doing it. She had drawn several pictures throughout it’s pages. These are the types of things I have left of her. Just her drawings. The reality is I miss her so much and that makes me miss her all the more.
I know that one day the missing won’t be as strong but for now it’s quite acute.
I love you, Baby Girl, and Mommy misses you very much.