I really don’t know where to begin here. My thoughts are in a swirl. I thought I had Christmas sorted. All those ghosts of Christmases past were consigned to their memory boxes or loaded into my memory banks, safely, only to be visited when needed, when sanity was reigning supreme and the monster of grief was sleeping soundly somewhere other than in my head or in my heart. But. And it’s a big old BUT. In the last week Christmas has felt like the ‘quickening’ and all my efforts of tree decorating and party hosting are merely superficial because the doomsday that is the 25th is before me and it’s looming like a big, old scary marker of a day. Another day without him, another day the girls should have had with their daddy. And it is so, so hard not to compare those Christmases past with where I am now. It’s not bad where I am. It’s good. Really good, in fact, if I would stop bloody crying and comparing backwards. Backwards to London. Back to being pregnant with Isla. Pacing the hospital with Col waiting for Isla. Her arrival on Christmas Eve. Our first Christmas in our home with Evie, all excited. Isla’s wearing the same clothes Evie was around this time. Squint my eyes a bit and Isla could be our Little Doctor Evil. Let my imagination run away with myself and I can conjure up his voice on the end of the line telling me what gift I should be getting her. Bah Humbug.
It’s getting to Evie too. She’s had a couple of set-to’s with friends about where her daddy is. She’s argued that Santa (after the Sunday School Christmas Party) would have gone back to the North Pole via her ‘Daddy in the Sky’ because Santa would know Daddy was lonely. She’s reassured adults around her that Daddy is indeed still in the sky and he captures lost balloons and still sends her white feathers on a daily basis. And I am not surprised she’s like this at all. She was just coming up to two that last Christmas we all had in 2011. One of my early memories is from around the age of two. I think a lot of adults do retain moments from approximately that age. So I am not surprised when she retells a little moment of those Christmassy weeks before Col died nor am I surprised when she conjures up a little tale that’s complete fabrication. She’s remembering what she can, making up the other bits that she can’t and she’s trying to piece together a happy little Christmas Past for herself that contained Daddy and all that he stands for in a world that he is no longer in. A world where most other people around her have daddies. She’s trying to work it all out.
Planning Christmases Present and Future are not beyond our little girl either. She remembered Col putting the star on the tree (false) and insisted that she watch Cameron do it. She’s told me that this time Santa is to come into the house a different way and where he is to put her presents from now on because he got it wrong last year. She’s telling Isla how it all works and how she has to be good for Santa to get presents. Then at bedtime tonight she looked out the window to the moon and the dark sky and told Daddy she was in her nursery nativity play tomorrow and he was to watch her even though she had Mummy and Cameron there too. She’s getting everything sorted out to make this Christmas and future ones as perfect in her head as the one she has kind of made up that she spent with Daddy last year, here in this house (FALSE< FALSE< FASLE).
So in the last 40 minutes or so, I’ve wept for the past, I’ve been hugged in the present, by big and little people, and I’ve been promised a tight squeezy cuddle from My Evie Bug tomorrow if I’m good. As I said, my head is in a swirl. Bah humbug and Merry Christmas to one and all.