The Happy Holidays Will Have A Sad Side This Year
This will be our first Christmas without dad.
He passed away in June and I’m not sure what to expect on Christmas Day. Other than being sad, of course.
I mean, what’s Christmas Day without your father? He’s the one who picked you up out of bed as a kid and took you into a living room full of toys and joy, who drank the Coke and ate the chocolate-covered cherries you and your sister put out each Christmas Eve for Santa, who quietly sat back in the chair with a big smile on his face while you bounced around the tree going from gift to gift.
He’s the one who bought you your first football uniform, which you immediately put on and proudly posed in for photos in the living room. You just couldn’t wait to burst out the door and start throwing imaginary touchdown passes in the front yard.
Later in life, he gave you more practical things, like nice clothes for work (with a big helping hand from mom, to be sure!) and money for your first apartment.
And you and your sister still put out the Coke and chocolate-covered cherries, even tho you knew it was not really for Santa Claus.
Our dad then took it to the next level. Tired of the cold Decembers in Tennessee, he bought a condo in Destin, Florida, and that became our family holiday destination spot. Then, after one frigid Christmas in which the temperature dropped to 30 degrees with a howling and chilly wind blowing outside, he started renting houses further south in Siesta Key.
We all loved these places and it became a family tradition. Tho we are not there this year and it would not be the same without him, anyway.
I don’t know what to expect this Christmas Day, our first without dad. Except a lot of tears.
And a lot of memories. A lot of good memories.