I switched out the fall decorations on my Mom's grave and put some winter/Christmas ones in the vase. I really don't visit the cemetery very much because I've never felt my Mom is there ... I know her body may be there, but she's safely in heaven ... and her presence is with me all the time. And this is a good thing because I can't help but think about her all the time, anyhow ...and talk to her all the time ... as she was such a huge part of my life ... but right now, during this season of Christmas, I miss her SO much that it hurts.
Today is December 8 ... a Holy Day ... the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Every year, we would go to Mass and then go out Christmas shopping on this day. It was like the official start of the season. Well, at least the official start of our Christmas shopping! While I was at Mass this morning, it was all I could do to hold back my tears. I really hate crying in church, but that's one of the places I always feel like crying these days! I so wish my Mom could be here.
Last year, we went to Macy's for our Christmas shopping ... a few days after December 8, in fact! I remember there was a lot going on last December. Anyhow, we had a really good day, even though it was cold and drizzly and my Dad wasn't doing that well. Mom wanted to make sure she had presents for everyone. She gave my sister and me cozy, flannel pajamas ... a wallet for Kent (something he always wanted and it still looks pretty good a year later!), those super-soft warm blankets with sleeves for Colette and Amelia and a pair of warm-up pants with pockets for Randy ... she got boxes for every gift, too. She sped around Macy's with her walker, looking so cute in her white wool coat and little red gloves. Gosh, I had no idea last year, as we did such a simple thing as head to the mall, that that would be the last Christmas shopping I'd ever do with my Mom.
One day last week, I was out driving past my parents' old neighborhood, and "We Need A Little Christmas" played on the radio. That became my Mom's favorite Christmas song over the years. It seemed to sum everything up so perfectly, especially the line, "For I've grown a little leaner; grown a little colder; grown a little sadder; grown a little older ... And I need a little angel, sitting on my shoulder ..."