This wasn't my first Christmas without Wingman, but it was the first Christmas without him back in the house. It may sound strange, but because I lost so many of our personalized things in "the storm", I didn't have to angst about hanging his stocking, wanting white lights on the tree or a star on top rather than the colored lights and angel he insisted on. They were all gone. Everything this year was shiny and new.
The upside down Christmas tree was a hit. The meal prepared by myself and son #3 was one of our best. Asking my brothers and sisters-in-law to bring all the appetizers and desserts made the fact that I worked the three days before Christmas a lot less stressful. The stockings hung on the new mantle were made by me and they look pretty damn good. There's even enough fabric left over that I could make another one if there's ever a forever someone in my future.
It wasn't all perfect. I found myself crying at times this season when I should have laughed and vice versa. I actually hit a Mercedes with my handbag when I was crossing the shopping center parking lot and the speeding car almost hit me. I burned cookies that were going to be the Christmas dinner place cards so seating was left to every man for himself. The stuffed artichokes never got made, nor did the meringue cookies. Red wine spilled on the white sofa.
But I learned through Facebook, it was once again a perfect Christmas for my brother's friend. He has three gorgeous, smart and talented children and a fabulous wife. He even got his Christmas wish when he learned that his favorite band, Kiss, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April. I need to mention here that he is paralyzed from an ATV accident.
He wrote this about when he was able to be home for Christmas, even though it was just for the day. These are his words entirely, although I removed the last names of his friends from his story below:
A Christmas Story: Seven (7) years ago today (12/25/06), I was at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange N.J. I was going to miss Christmas with my Family, BUT, at 5:30am, Johnny showed up with Butch and Rick, they loaded me up and drove me home. It was the first time I saw the sun rise in almost 3 months. I will NEVER, EVER, forget the faces AND energy Carl, Matt & Jenna showed in our front window when we pulled up around 7:00am. Gloria (my ROCK), knew I would be coming home and held them from opening their presents until I got there. To me, it was a Christmas Miracle, PRICELESS if you will. It was the greatest Christmas present, EVER, to be able to see my Family, AT HOME, on THAT Christmas Day! I was home until about 8:00pm. Johnny then showed up with Tom and Joe, they loaded me up and back to Kessler I went. We all have BFF's, "I", also, have LFF's (Lifelong Friends Forever). Johnny has stopped by to visit us now for the last 7 years, last 7 Christmases, on Christmas Day. \~/. Here's a picture of Johnny and I today, a few hours ago:
My brother John said that bringing him home and seeing those kids' faces in the window made it his best Christmas as well. So all in all, Christmas isn't about WHAT you've got. Christmas is about WHO you've got. I've got great kids, great family and friends. I'm glad that I have people in my life that are there for others as well.