It’s finally over. This first Christmas without Vance. This holiday that has always been my favorite.
We’ve been to all the family gatherings. We made pizzas and Oreo balls and lasagna soup. We held candles and sang carols on Christmas Eve. We went to the park and had a Nerf War. We wrapped and unwrapped presents that honored Vance’s legacy and ones that were simply fun. Every single one of those things was wonderful and every single one of them was excruciatingly hard.
All of my siblings, parents, aunts and uncles and even some of my nieces and nephews, are married or in long-term relationships. This year I really noticed that everyone was half of a couple; everyone except me. No one made that weird or left me out or anything like that. But I noticed.
I was the only one who packed up the car alone. Who wrangled the kids without the option of, “Go ask your dad.” Who bought every single gift herself. No, wait, that’s pretty much every woman I have ever met. But I was the only one who came home to sleep alone. Who cried herself to sleep.
I don’t begrudge my family their relationships. I’m really happy that the people I care about have someone to love unconditionally. It’s not easy to find and we’ve been truly blessed to have so many in our lives who love each other so well.
But it’s lonely, this suddenly being single. This no longer being a couple. I don’t like it.
I miss him.
I miss us.
Moving forward is necessary but seems almost impossible. One step at a time. One foot in front of the other. One day, one hour, one minute, one breath at a time.
I took down the big tree a few days ago, something I don’t normally do until the new year. But this year I just was over it. I wanted Christmas to be over because I just need to find “normal.” It eludes me, no matter how hard I search for it.
So, yes, Christmas was hard. But not any harder than any other day. They’re just all hard.