I wake up to a warm Christmas. It’s almost 50 degrees. It’s been a warm late fall/early winter. Some people are bummed about the weather. I’m happy about it. First, I hate cold. Second, I haven’t had to think much about it being nearly Christmas. Christmas? Bah humbug!
The days of getting up early and going downstairs to see what Santa brought have been long over. Christmas lost some of its excitement several years ago, but Shayna kept much of it alive. Today, we have to make some decisions. Traditions have fallen by the wayside. Everything changes, even traditions. Once they no longer serve us, it’s time to let them go. For the last several years Ty has gotten the girls pajamas for Christmas. They would open them on Christmas Eve and wear them to bed that night to have them on for the pictures on Christmas morning. In keeping with tradition, Ty gets pajamas for Kayla this year. We typically have Cornish game hens for Christmas dinner. I still remember the first year we had them. Shayna must have been around five. She called it “bird” and she loved having her own whole bird to devour. She ate nothing but “bird”. No sides at all. At the end of the meal she sat there uncomfortably stuffed once dinner was over . Ty has suggested we have lamb this year. The problem is though Ty’s mother doesn’t like lamb and Kayla wont’ eat it. Having Cornish hens is going to be a big trigger, but we decide to have them anyway. I’m thinking if I’m still here next year maybe we’ll have Chinese.
We’ve decided we can’t spend the whole day in the house, so we decide to go see a movie. It’s always a challenge finding a movie the four of us, now the three of us, all want to watch. We finally talk Ty into Star Wars- The Force Awakens. This forces Kayla to get up at a decent hour so we get to see her in the morning. We don’t have time for our traditional Christmas breakfast. I go for a run to clear my head. It’s warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. I pass several people on the road out walking and running on Christmas morning. I get back, wake up Kayla and we’re off to Star Wars.
After Star Wars, Kayla opens her presents. Ty and I have decided to not exchange presents. It’s impossible to buy for each other after this one together. I get her something small. She gets a gift for me from Shayna and she and Kayla give me a gift. It’s good to watch Kayla opening her presents, but this is when I mis Shayna most. The excitement she brought to the gift opening is missed by all of us.
Dinner time rolls around. I grill the Cornish hens, Ty makes the rest. We have a pleasant meal, the four of us. Again, I think we’re all thinking of Shayna as we devious our “bird”.
After dinner Ty returns her mother to the retirement community and we decide to watch “The Green Mile”. Kayla has never seen it. While Ty is cleaning up the kitchen Kayla and I have one of our philosophical talks about the meaning of life, non-linear time, the oversoul, light topics like that. After The Green Mile is over, we all talk about the curse Paul Edgecombe is given, the fact that he is going to live a VERY long life, perhaps hundreds of years and will have to watch not only his wife, son and everyone he knew in his early life die, even people he meets later in life he knows he will outlive. In the film, the character John Coffey makes a comment about how one of the executed prisoners is actually the lucky one. I think we can all relate.
My friend asked me about tears. I actually didn’t have many tears. That is not a good or a bad thing. It just is. I don’t analyze the number of tears anymore. They come when they come. Tears are my body’s way of expressing itself when I’m just full and there’s no other way to get it out. The lack of tears don’t indicate a lack of the emotion, it’s just not overflowing at that particular moment.
It’s after midnight. The day is over. We have survived Christmas One without Shayna. One day closer, one Christmas closer.