In a previous post I wrote that any time something happens to me that is good, I always thank Lil. If she is around up there, she has got to be the one behind any good fortune that comes my way. I thank her for the people in my life, both near and far. I thank her for all of YOU; the ones that give me a platform to write, the ones that take in my words and the ones that share them in hopes of helping others (because, if I’m not making a difference why would I be doing it at all?). I thank her financially, for my job and for winning $20 bucks on that scratch-and-win. I thank her for the big things, things I sometimes have a hard time believing are happening or are going to happen. But its the little things, the day-to-day, that I thank her for the most. Like when the sky is radiant pink on my morning drive after waking up late, spilling coffee, smashing my knee on the tub, burning my forehead with my straightener and forgetting to put mascara on one eye. I thank her for little things like finding the perfect outfit for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and for Elf being on TV right when I needed a little Christmas pick-me-up. I thank her for things falling into place when the potential for chaos was great and for even the smallest adventures that seem to go off without a hitch. Sometimes I can’t “feel” her. sometimes I don’t think she is there. Sometimes I might close my self off so tight that even the cool breeze out of no where that nips at my nose as I’m reading can’t get in. But even then, I say thank you. Because it has to be her. Because I need to be her.
There is a lot to be thankful for around Christmas. We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle, to be completely cliché, instead of taking a few deep breaths and remembering what we have, not thinking about what we want. There are single people all over the world wishing they had someone to sing Mariah Carey to and people who are coupled up, but wish they were snuggled warm by the fire with someone else. For some reason the beauty and joy and love of the season can also leave us feeling left out, sad, and lonely. I’ve been there. Before Lilee (a fleeting memory) I was always so rushed to be with someone during the holidays. Someone to ice skate with, have hot chocolate and snuggle with. Someone to bake with and go to Christmas fairs and romantic sleigh rides with. Someone that was mine, that would love me a little extra, kiss me a little longer and proclaim his love a little louder. Once I had my girl, the disappointment of the never-good-enough was gone. It was all good, My heart lived outside of my body and took form in this adorable little peanut of a human and I was complete. For the 4 Christmases I had with her, one of them she was only 20 days old, and another was a little early and a lot hotter, I got to watch the Christmas spirit come alive; both within myself again and within her. I watched the excitement as she saw the tree and the presents. I watched the pure joy when I let her have chocolate before breakfast and dance to her favourite Christmas songs for as long as she liked. I watched as her family gathered around her with love, and joy and THANKFULNESS. I watched Christmas magic in its purest form, through the eyes of a child. and it. Was. GLORIOUS. We laughed, and ate, and opened presents and snuggled.. oh my, did we snuggle; Christmas snuggles are the best. And we enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t worry that I was single, that I was betrayed, hurt, stepped on. I didn’t worry that I had no one to call and say “All I want for christmas is you.” Because I had all I needed. and She was Standing in our little bachelorette living room, demanding cheesy eggs and playing with her new Cinderella doll while singing the cups song from Pitch Perfect.
My first Christmas without her was full of Lilee magic that came in the form of 12 mystery gifts and a smokin’ hot blonde bombshell Santa with her beautiful elves. I couldn’t breathe that year. physically, metaphorically. I just couldn’t breathe. But on each of those 12 days, they forced me to take a breath, just one, and I survived because of it. Even though I couldn’t get myself to go to my family’s annual Christmas eve dinner, because of the bump from that magic(and because Im lucky to have the parents I have) I spent a hilarious, entertaining and a little tipsy Christmas with just my mom and my step dad. And I thanked Lil for that too. I thanked her for all of it.
This Christmas I have so much to thank her for again. Last year I was in the winter wonderland that is Banff, surrounded by family and a lot of friends, both old and new, and this year for the first time in 2 years I am going to go to my big family Christmas. It may not seem like the biggest deal, I’ve seen them all together multiple times since Lilee has passed, but there is something so magical, so warm, so wonderful about Christmas Eve at my grandparents house that I didn’t have the courage to face without her, until this year. It wont be easy, nothing ever is anymore, i’ll probably cry when we sing silent night (its our “grace,”) and I will definitely be enjoying some of my grandma’s wine because its my most favourite, But most importantly, each time I hug or am hugged, every time I share a laugh with someone I love, and every time I see my nephew with the best family on the planet, I’ll thank Lil. Don’t get me wrong I give credit where credit is due. My Miracle on Sandringham was because of Jody and her family, Christmas eve is an insane amount of work and my grandparents spend hours and hours to make it all happen so beautifully, and the understanding and love of the people around me is the reason I’ve been able to have such unconditional time to heal (and will for a very long time). but I will still thank her because somehow I know, with a sneaking suspicion, that all that magic has a little something to do with her.
So this holiday season I URGE you to think about the things you are grateful for. I ask you to spread love recklessly to people you think need it most (because it could just be a little whisper in your ear from someone they love and miss). And please, if you are grieving, if you are hurting, take the time you need. Do what ever you need to do to make it through this season. Reach out, or stay in. Participate in traditions, or don’t. Put on some lipstick or a tie and go out on the town, or just dont put on pants and order pizza. No matter what you choose to do, it is the right thing. The absolute, without a doubt, 100% right thing. Be kind to your self. and if you can, find one thing, big or small, to be thankful for.
With all of my love,
With all of the magic.
Merry Christmas, my friends,
and a grateful, peaceful, exciting, adventurous, miraculous, healing, healthy, prosperous New Year.
6 thoughts on “Thanks, Lil.”
This is beautiful, and timely and resonates with me. Since I lost my Mum, in 2003 it has made Christmas, in particular, very difficult. She was at her best and most bubbly at Christmas and being away from ALL my family and not having her to talk to is devastating sometimes. It can make you unable to function. Her last words to me (seconds before she drew her last breath) was “be happy”, It was an INSTRUCTION. And today – reading this – you brought her words back to me. So no pants and pizza for me. Joyous celebrations, hugs and I will for sure be raising a glass to you and our sweet angels…Lilee Jean and Violet. xxx
I hope you had a wonderful no pants pizza party. Those are my absolute favourite ones. Im glad i could remind you of the wisdom your mother left you. I am so sorry your heart is missing a piece and so glad you took the time for you.
I wish you a very happy Christmas with your family love surrounding you.