Sunday, December 9, 2012

How I Put Up the Christmas Tree and Didn't Get on Television

Dear John,
 
The first of the Dreaded Christmas Tasks is finished - the tree is up and the house is decorated. I did the tree by myself for the first time. Before I got married, Mama and I always did it together. And you and I did it together for all of our 33 Christmases. Earlier today I was seriously considering not doing it this year, but I decided that would just make the whole season harder. And I'd keep having to explain why I hadn't done anything. So it was easier to just do it. And now that it's up, I'm glad.
 
I knew doing it alone would be hard, but doing it with anybody except you would be even worse. So I did it watching the NCIS Superfan Marathon on television. It kept me company, and it make it bearable. During the marathon they kept asking fans to comment on-line and tell why they were NCIS fans, so I threw them a curve. I got on and told them that my husband had died last spring and I was putting my first tree up without him, and that watching the marathon made a very difficult thing a little easier. Of course that one wasn't going to show up on television with the rest of them - they're running them as a crawler during the shows - but I wanted to say thank you. Maybe it will mean something to somebody.
 
So that's it for today. The tree is up, the things are out. The only presents to go under it are the ones for Jen and Elyssa. But the tree is pretty, all the ornaments have stories, the grandparental ornaments are on display, the tree skirt I made is under it, Mama's hand-made decorations are up, there are wreaths on the doors. And while I was moving things around, I got the second bookcase out of the living room and the furniture back where it was before I shifted things to make room for the girls.
 
But without you, it all feels very sad and heavy. I'm trying to feel like celebrating something but I just can't get there. All the home-and-family things this time of year just remind me that you're gone and there's nobody left that remembers my childhood Christmases. It emphasizes the simple fact that I am alone. And that's okay, but for widows and orphans, the next few weeks will rub salt in the wounds.
 
Well, enough whining for one night! It's up and it's pretty. And I miss you so much.
 
Loving you with all my heart, and hoping the Mayans were right,
Joan.

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