As I see the leaves changing color, and with all of the changes that come along with the season, I'm reminded of the changes that's occurred in my life over this past year. With the stores changing the displays on their shelves from all things summer to all things holiday, I am overwhelmed by the reminder of another time I must face this change this holiday season.
The change I realize I'll be faced with in this season of holiday seasons of my life, is where I not only will look across the room and see an empty seat where I would like for Dad to be sitting, but Mom's space will also be empty. I'll miss their laughs, adding their names to our gift list, and sharing a holiday meal with them. Instead of making more memories with their faces in pictures from this year's holiday gatherings, we will be sharing memories of my parents from the years before, and appreciate the pictures from past holidays that we have of them.
While I'm usually one who is very excited for the holidays, I'm finding myself not to be so anxious for them this year. To be honest, I will appreciate and enjoy the time I share with family and friends, but I already know this holiday season in this season of my life will be one of the hardest. I'm the type of person who looks at Christmas decorations nearly as soon as they go on the shelves, but I find my husband asking me if I want to browse the Christmas section this year, instead of me being eager to look at the display of the holiday items. I realize that perhaps he realized the same thing the other day, it wasn't me asking to browse the Christmas aisles, it was him asking me if I wanted to instead. I'm thankful for that...his reminding me that the holidays are upon us, and while this may not be my best Thanksgiving or Christmas ever, I must still live, get through this, and find my new ordinary, one day and one holiday at a time. While it's true that I won't share this or any other holidays with my parents again, I must find my new ordinary, because I'm still blessed, and life does go on. God has blessed me with a husband who I love so very much and two great kids that I'm blessed to just be their Mom. They are all three (my husband and our two kids) great reasons (and some of my main reasons) for finding my new ordinary.
You know what though, that's what counts, my husband continues to try to help me see my new ordinary. When I don't feel like the day should be an ordinary day, since Mom and Dad aren't on this Earth anymore, my husband and our kids remind me that life has to go on. Some days are very, very hard, especially when I miss Dad's wisdom in his advice and Mom's daily phone calls, but I'm trying to see through my pain of what was my ordinary, and I'm trying be joyful in my new ordinary. Life is anything but ordinary for me right now...it isn't my usual day-to-day life that I've always had. After all, I'm a woman who had my parents until I was in my 30's, and now I must adjust to something unusual to me...something not ordinary to me, them not being around here anymore, and whether I like it or not, the truth stares me in the face each day (holiday or not), this is my new ordinary.
I realize my new ordinary, no matter how cruel it may seem, means no more advice from Dad, and no more phone calls from Mom, and no more holidays to celebrate with them on this Earth either. I also realize though that my new ordinary still includes other family members and friends that I hold so dear to my heart. My new ordinary also still includes my husband and our kids, and for that I'm blessed.
So, while I'm faced with the realization of my parents seats being empty this (and all other) holiday season(s), I may shed a tear or two, but I'll smile as well. I may not be feeling like being all festive, but I'm going to be festive anyhow, because life hasn't stopped and there are memories still to create. I'll smile while I remember past Christmases at my childhood home, and I'll smile because of those people I get to share this Thanksgiving and Christmas with. I'm going to laugh and make memories with my husband and our kids, and we're going to create even more memories with our family and friends, and I'm going to keep walking toward my new ordinary.