It probably seems a bit odd that a Christmas website was not updated one single time during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I guess that’s true, but this has been a truly unusual year.
Last December, my wife, Cindy, had open heart surgery. The doctors said she was at high risk for a heart attack without it. Over the next several months, Cindy struggled to recover, but never quite did.
This past July, she developed an abscess where the veins were removed from her leg for the coronary bypass. This required another surgery and another hospital stay. Although it appeared she was getting better, my beloved wife of 28 years passed away suddenly at 8:14 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2015.
In the blink of an eye, the love of my life was gone. For the first time in my adult life, I was no longer part of a couple. Needless to say, my world was shaken to its very foundation.
Thankfully, our son, Kevin, is here with me and he is helping me to hold things together.
As the holiday season approached, we had many well-meaning people warn us that it was going to be very hard, especially since this was the first season without Cindy.
Halloween proved unexpectedly hard as I had tears in my eyes while giving candy to youngsters.
When Thanksgiving came around, we invited a friend over for dinner and I kept myself busy in the kitchen. That helped. Still, there was a moment when emotion got the best of me and I had to retire to the couch in Cindy’s library to just be by myself for a little while.
As Christmas came on us, I was concerned. This was always a big family event in our house, full of traditions. How would we ever get through it without Cindy?
Kevin and I decided to spend the Christmas season concentrating on others. Cindy always liked to do the the Christmas Angel shopping at the mall and we decided we would do that in her honor. We also donated to the local food bank, one of Cindy’s favorite charities. In addition we “adopted” three families to help them have a better Christmas and we set out to bless as many people as we possibly could. By keeping busy and focusing on others, Kevin and I were able to mitigate the pain and sense of loss. It was still glaringly obvious that Cindy was no here with us, but we could feel her spirit all around us. We were doing things she would have dearly loved.
So, Christmas day is behind us and we set our sights on a new year – our first new year without Cindy. How will we get through it? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that we’ll do our best to take it as it comes, one day at a time.