This is the photo that was going to be our Christmas card this year. And those cards, well, they didn’t happen. We didn’t forget, we didn’t run out of time, we made a conscious decision this year to not go forward with the printing and sending of this particular card. Instead, we will send a different card. A card wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
It’s the right decision for Dale and I at this time. And it’s not because we don’t wish everyone a Merry Christmas because of course we wish that for all of our family and friends. It’s because this photo and those smiles are from . . . before. Before we lost Randy. Before we began a walk down a road we never wanted to take. Before we saw grief ravage our lives and the lives of those we love most in the world in such an all encompassing way.
Right now we are being held together by the love and support of our family, friends, and community. Everywhere Dale and I have gone this week . . . the grocery store, the liquor store, Town Hall . . . we have seen people who have stopped us, given us a hug and a sad smile, shared our tears, and told us how sorry they are about Randy. Our friends have flooded our house with cards, flowers, and food. They have dropped off thoughtful gifts and taken over tasks that are generally no big deal but right now feel overwhelming. They have supported us and prayed for us and held us in their thoughts and it has been incredibly comforting.
Randy was a firm believer in the show must go on and so, we are having our annual Christmas Eve party tonight. We will eat Swedish meatballs and other delicious Christmas foods, we will drink wine and toast the holiday and be together. We will sing and laugh and do all the things we’ve always done. There will be a layer of sadness to all of this and I know there will be tears and hard moments. But I also know this: we will be able to handle our sadness because we will be with people who share it with us.
Merry Christmas to all of you. Wrap your arms around the people you love. Hold them close and appreciate every moment you have with them. Find the hope, feel the love, and celebrate with joy.