Monday, December 8, 2008

Prompt 29.3: How do you feel during the holiday season?/On The Couch

Ever since I lost my family I've dreaded the approach of the holidays. I'd see the decorations and the displays starting to appear and all they would do was remind me of what I no longer had. How was I supposed to celebrate anything when my children and my wife were gone? Once I left Croatia I made sure that the few times I went back were never close to the holidays because of all the memories I had of my family, those were the most painful to remember.

Just about three years ago all that changed...first with the news that Abby was pregnant and then our marriage. It's funny how much things change when you have a child, a family to share the holidays with. I see everything through different eyes now, maybe because I'm not just seeing them through my own. I watch Joe's face light up as he sees the houses with their twinkling lights, I listen to his laugh as we look at the holiday displays in the store windows. Sometimes if I listen carefully enough I think I can hear two other voices laughing with him, and if I close my eyes, just for an instant I think I can see Jasna and Marko's faces as if they were seeing through his eyes.

I don't dread the holidays anymore, though I admit that there are moments of sadness in them for those who are no longer with me. I don't doubt that this year there might be more of those than with the last, if only because it'll be the first year without Tata. I'll get through it though and I know with each year that passes it'll get easier. I never want to reach the point though that I forget, for those that are gone are as much a part of me as those still here, and I never want to completely lose them.

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