The holidays didn't suck as much as we thought they would. But they were definitely NOT the same. Typically, I am a HUGE Christmas fan. Usually the tree goes up immediately after Thanksgiving, (if not before), and stays up until my birthday, which is January 13th. The whole house gets lit up and there is holiday cheer everywhere you look. This year, it took me forever to talk myself into making the effort. I could of cared less. Santa Schmanta. So Zen, realizing I was in a no-Christmas-having funk - made the effort to bring up all my Christmas boxes from the basement to help encourage me along. It was then that I decided to stuff my sadness in a sac and put the tree up for Ryder. He loooooves bright lights and shiny things, so he would for sure enjoy the tree. However, when the tree was finally up and beaming with lights, the only ornaments I managed to get on it were Hunter's Guardian Angel that hangs in our house all year long and our new Angel Hunter as a tree topper. That's about as far as I got and it looked just fine to me....in fact it was perfect in my eyes. But, after about a week of that.......Zen nicely said to me as he was looking the tree over, "That's just about the saddest Christmas tree I've ever seen". Even though his comment was pretty sad and very true, it made me chuckle. I then bucked up and decided to make our sad Christmas tree into a happy one. Or at least as happy as I could make it. So up went all the other ornaments and all the other lovely decorations in an effort to make new Christmas memories with our amazing Angel and our newest, sweet lil' love.....Ryder.
This was an amazing ornament that was made for Hunter that immediately went up on the tree when it arrived. Thank you so much Rick and Courtney......made my heart smile.
Christmas this year with Ryder.
So our efforts to have a happy Christmas worked to an extent, but not really. Now it seems as if we are feeling the loss like never before. We've reached another stage. Just as painful as the last one...if not more. I just COULD NOT for the life of me stop thinking about how amazing our holiday season would be if we had Hunter running around the house......cracking us up.....cracking himself up.....hanging out with Ryder, gobbling down holiday goodies........shaking presents, wondering what's inside.....smiling. Wow. We are missing out on so much.
One of my favorite Christmas videos from last year.
Decorating the tree. Hunter thoroughly enjoyed this part.....he was very, very helpful.
Opening up gifts on Christmas day. We had made it home in time for the holiday from the hospital. We felt very fortunate to be opening up presents in our home and not in a hospital room on the 10th floor at Doernbechers.
Hanging out during the holiday sitting in his favorite Lightning McQueen chair. We've saved it for Ryder....I'm sure he'll totally dig it.
Below is Hunter's second Christmas. He's 15 months old here and barely knew who Santa Claus was. We were spending Christmas at Children's Hospital Los Angeles because he had just been diagnosed in the beginning of December with his AML Leukemia. The next two Christmas' to come he would still be at battle with the beast that ends up taking his life.
Not counting random thoughts during the day, I seem to spend most of my time with Hunter now at nighttime, once Ryder is in bed. It usually starts with involuntary flashbacks and then moves on to deeper memories accompanied by a river full of tears. I cried so hard at midnight on my birthday I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. Wow how my life has changed within one year. COMPLETELY different. Last year on my birthday, Hunter was in remission. We were constantly in and out of the hospital, but still, Hunter's cancer was gone as far as we knew. We were pregnant expecting our second child and we were just as HAPPY AS CAN BE...........and we felt as if the whole world was smiling with us. That was my MOST FAVORITE birthday of my whole entire life. I sincerely thought as if all my wishes had come true. My hope had been restored. My heart had been saved. And Hunter's life was ours to enjoy. I never would have thought that night on my birthday that my son was going to be dead within 2 months. No way.
This was us last year blowing out my candles. We did it over and over and over and made tons and tons of wishes........all of which didn't come true.
I've posted this video several times before.....also one of my favorites.
So now this year, it seems as if we've been plopped down on this earth again with a whole different family. I'm somber Sally, (except when I've got Ryder in my arms). Zen is sad boy blue. Hunter is gone. Ryder is here. And we're still alive and breathing and can still function on a daily basis........soooo "take-two". Try this life and see if this one turns out any better. Just so....wow.....hard to wrap my head around.