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.
Mary K. in Rockport says
My very best to your family at this time. I hope the holiday brings some peace ??
Mary K. in Rockport says
(That was supposed to be a heart, not two question marks…)
Bob Olson says
God bless and watch over you and the family. Life will get easier with time and my Freind will never be forgotten. this is a Christmas of reflection and fond memories
Your time together honors Randy by recognizing that how he left this world was not who he was. Again and again I thank you for sharing this story in all its raw truth and sadness. Peace to you and yours.
I know this. Love and peace to you all. I’m so happy that you’re surrounded by so many people who care, and mostly that you all have each other. Merry Christmas.
Lori (Gavin) Shaw says
Such a precious picture Carole. I’ve always loved seeing your photos!
Wishing you, Dale & the entire Julius family peace & healing this season! You’ll all be in my thoughts.
Please give Mary, Jack & everyone big hugs for me!
Merry Christmas Carole. Wishing you and yours peace and comfort these next few days. Take in the joy and know you are loved.
Wishing you and Dale the best that this season can bring along with comfort, peace, healing, hope, and love in 2020. I’m glad you are surrounded by family and a whole community that cares, and finding that grief can be lightened by sharing it. However altered, the show (and life) must go on. XO
So much love going out to you and Dale and the entire family.
Not sure why it posted question marks instead of heart and broken heart emoji but ah well. Know you are loved.
Robby H. says
May this evening be marked with moments of joy in remembering the love that was shared. May 2020 be a time when that love and good memories work their way to the fore, without losing sight of the meaning of this hard time. Best to you and yours.
May you, Dale and all your family find peace in each other’s company this Christmas and into the new year.
Merry Christmas, Carole! I pray that your gathering tonight will be exactly what you all need as you move through the shock of Randy’s death.
Remembering Randy on this first Christmas without him may be one of contrast, sorrow and joy, tears and laughter, but being with family and friends will give you strength and added love and support. Peace and joy to you and yours, Carole.
Linda Craig says
Wishing you Peace and the Joy of sharing your holiday with those you love. Merry Christmas
I will keep your words in my heart and hope you find peace in the coming months.
It’s sad that it takes this loss to appreciate the full magnitude of how much you are loved, but I hope it has helped to lift you all out of the sorrow a bit. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Carole.
Jenny Stringer says
Jenny Stringer says
(My comment was supposed to be a “heart” emoji but it didn’t come out that way. When it printed my comment, it came out as question marks)
Sending love and hugs to you my friend….
Beautiful photo. Beautiful words. ?? Peace and love.
Y’all are so much in my thoughts, especially this week. Sending love. (and also, I like sending New Year’s cards … everyone enjoys getting GOOD mail in January 😉
May the holidays bring you comfort, peace, & love.
kim in oregon says
May this Christmas be gentle to you and may the hope of a brighter New Year sustain you through the next few days.
Great picture! I have a shirt just like that, Carole. Both of us have exceptionally good taste. 😉
Yes, the show _will_ go on, even when you want to stop the world and get off. I hope you enjoy moments of joy, and tell some funny Randy stories so that you can remember him the way you want to remember him. A great brother, a lovely man, and a treasure that you will miss. Give Dale a hug for me, then ask Dale to give you a hug from me. It’s the best I can do from so far away, but remember I am thinking of you both.
I love this picture of you two! I respect and understand your feelings though. 17 years ago we lost my little grand baby Avery just before Christmas and as hard as it was we celebrated our annual Christmas Eve Party to support, love each other and to give the little ones the Christmas they always knew to be true.
Our hearts and love are with you all. <3
God bless you with peace.
Carolyn S Thomas says
what a beautiful message of hope.
It is so very difficult to do what seems normal while trying to honor and remember the one you are grieving. Wishing peace for you and your family and continued strength for each day.