Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

What can one say about Christmas 2009-----aside for being grateful it's now over. Cynical, huh? In all honesty, the day was nice but was definitely different. Unlike last year, being the first year without my mom, which seemed rather surreal and numbing to say the least, it seemed emptier. We (dad, brother, and I) muttered through the holidays as if they were just another day----days we wanted to pass as quickly as possible for we didn't want to be reminded that she wasn't with us. Certainly with the passing of time the onslaught of uncontrollable tears has subsided slightly but the loss still remains the same.

On Christmas Eve the entire family went to a church service then over to my dad's for a lovely dinner. He's quite the gourmet. :-) The evening and time spent together was very nice.

Christmas day my dad came over to our house to watch Amira open her presents, have breakfast, as well as taking a nice long walk around the neighborhood. Then later we went to my brother's for dinner.

So, what made this holiday season seem any different?

Normally, the first person awake on Christmas day would call out "Christmas gift" which would then cause everyone else to wake up and gather around the tree. The caller of “Christmas gift” was also entitled to open the first gift. Even over the years when my brother and I had our own homes it would be a race to see who called whom first on the phone and shout "Christmas gift". Also, Christmas was always spent at my parents’ house. My mom loved the holiday so much that her excitement became infectious to all of us. She'd decorate her house with such care and enthusiasm. She’d also bake endless mounds of cookies and fudge to hand out to everyone she knew as well as have available for anyone that happened to stop by.

My dad and I are somewhat perceived as the bah-hum-bugs in the family because we don't get all into the hype of Christmas. However, this does not mean we do not have an appreciation for such excitement. Me and his idea of Christmas is getting together as a family, having a nice day and spending time together without all the commercialism. But, if left to our way of thinking it would feel rather lacking in festivity. Thank goodness my brother and his wife continue the celebratory fashion.

Anyway, unlike last year---feeling numb and surreal----this year felt different. It was as if a light bulb went off in my head and the realization of "nothing will ever feel the same as before" forged through my head.

It was certainly fun to see Amira's jubilation and feel her energetic gusto towards seeing everything and opening everything, but it just didn't feel the same.

I realize I'm still in the throws of processing these emotions. I realize I have the power to make the celebration happen anyway I wish, but for the moment I'm just mourning the loss of what "always had been". I miss my mom so much, and don't talk about it much because I don't wish to put that on Amira, and since she's with me nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I don't get an opportunity to express these feelings much. I would be fooling myself as well if I thought the loss didn't haunt her at times as well, for as we were going to bed Christmas night she said to me in a saddened low tone, "when can we see Grandma---I miss her". I asked her if that's where she wanted to go in her dreams was to see Grandma, she said that she'd like for both us too. Thank goodness the lights were out because I didn't want her to see my tears.

Thanks for allowing me to process in writing what I can’t at times verbalize.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Catch Up

Wow, the last part of this year seems to be going real quick. Either that or I'm really slacking.

Halloween weekend (see how fast time goes----it's already my dad, Amira and I took a rode trip to Los Angeles to see my grandmother. My grandmother (my mom's mom) turned 87 years old this year and is incredibly young for her age. She had just recently had eye surgery so we were going down to check on her as well as visit with my aunt who was visiting from Kansas.

For us adults it was a great visit because we were able to spend time together talking, laughing and catching up. For Amira, I'm sure, it was boring. However, being the trooper she is she never complained the whole time. Even though she didn't verbally complain, you can tell from her photos she took of herself sitting on Grandma's couch that she was "thrilled". lol

Our family is funny---during road trips part of our voyage is to stop at places we've deemed "famous"----places that have great food and even fonder memories. On this journey we discovered that a restaurant that went out of business years ago recently reopened in our old neighborhood in Los Angeles. It's called Bob's Big Boy. Although Bob's has great burgers what makes it so special is it's a place my mom and dad use to hang out with their friends when they were younger, and a place they introduced my brother and I too. And since then, my brother and I have been able to pass on the tradition to our kids. It was Amira's first visit and although it was just a burger to her, it was a "cool" place to go with mom and grandpa.