I did pretty well this Christmas. No crying in the service when we attended my grandparent's church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service that she loved so much. I held back the tears when my mother opened the "Tree of memory" glass ornament I gave her. I wanted so much to give her what she really had wanted, but what can you do when you ask your mom what she wants for Christmas and all she can tell you in a quiet, shaky voice is "I want my mom back"? I held myself together at the big family gathering where her absence was as obvious as a big gaping wound despite everyone's eforts to press on with the festivities. Luckily I was alone in the car every time I heard this song on the radio, because I lose it every single time.
And it was just November past
She said goodbye, and breathed her last
And the great grandchildren miss her so
But if she could she would let them know …
This is my first Christmas
First time to hear the angels sing
Glory, hallelujah to the risen king
And a holy night is what this is
‘Cause this is my first Christmas
This is my first Christmas.
-excerpt from "My First Christmas" by Carolyn Arends.