This is going on the third year that my siblings and I are celebrating the holidays without our rock of a mom. At the holidays, she would pick at my older sister. She is always the one to host our holiday gatherings, and Mom would always find something to get under my sister's skin about. As I got older, I always picked up on the awkward tension, but it just became part of the tradition. Now that she is gone, my older sister has actually shed tears wishing she could just have Mom back to drive her crazy again.
Our mom was almost always smiling, though. She had such a warm and inviting smile. It had to be her sparkling brown eyes, perfectly fair skin, and dainty features. I don't remember much about the holidays besides laughing. Mom would tell jokes that would embarrass most kids and have us all in stitches. I remember she would laugh such deep hearty laughs, holding her belly and wiping the tears from her eyes. I will never be able to forget that laugh or that wonderful smile.
The biggest thing I have to be thankful for each holiday season is my family, though. Many families never mend the broken parts after they lose the rock of the family. Many families spend so much time fighting over what they want when a loved on dies. Many families are just never the same, but thankfully, my family didn't have any of that to deal with. Our mom died on September 19th, 2007. Our brother's birthday was a week later. Our youngest brother's birthday was two weeks later. We still celebrated. Thanksgiving and Christmas were terribly painful being just months apart from losing Mom, but we still celebrated...a little more quietly that year.
Now, as we approach our third Thanksgiving without our mom, we are still going to gather, eat together, joke together, and laugh together while Mom's spirit soars through the rooms with us. We may not be able to see her, but we can always feel her. We can always feel her keeping us going, always smiling at us, and always making life interesting.
We love and miss you, Mom!