And December arrived. This is our first Christmas apart. For me there is the problem of managing the emotions of the holiday alone. For John, I don’t know, I guess the angels sing? No, I hope and pray the angels sing. I hope and pray that God’s heaven is a fun and happy place, and that John is in God’s loving embrace.
When John died — 9 months ago — I didn’t know how I would be able to manage living with the grief. I am learning how, but it does not go away. It changes. It does not “get better”, it gets different. Living with it is a constant, like a lost limb. Always there, always gone.
December is busy, with church and music commitments, and that is a good thing. There was a concert on December 13, 90 minutes, a lot of work. The bell choir I direct was marvelous. The children’s chime choir was really good. The choirs sang really well, too. I organized the reception afterwards, and that was also a success. After the concert, more rehearsals for Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass. I did a lot of ringing and a lot of singing at Christmas. I wrote the very-difficult Christmas letter and mailed it. I organized the neighborhood caroling party.
If you are a widow and live near family, you can immerse yourself in family traditions. If you don’t live near family, you have to make choices. You have a range of possibilities. You may be invited to join another family’s celebrations. You may be inclined to pull the quilt over your head and stay in bed. You may decide to go to the Bahamas.
I baked. I made chocolate dipped dried fruit candy. I made peppermint bark. I barely decorated. I made platters of roasted vegetables, cheese, breads and meats. And I invited people to an open house on Christmas Day for panini sandwiches and sweets. That is my next tradition.
So far I’ve made 5 pairs of fingerless gloves in the pattern called Fetching from Knitty.com. I also made 2 pair of Maine Morning Mitts. Here are 4 pair — the other three have already been gifted away.
I’m going to work next on a pattern for a men’s size, since the patterns I have are all for ladies hands. (The colors are not quite true. It’s the flash and the flourescent lighting, I suppose.)
I am taking Amtrak to New Haven to visit my brother and his family. This is from the “old” tradition — John and I tried always to go to Connecticut for New Year’s Eve. My sister-in-law and I will shop a bit and we’ll have some outings to museums perhaps. I have to be home for a caucus meeting on January 4. John’s 71st birthday would have been on January 8. We’ll get through it.