This time of year is always hard for our family. Both my husband and I lost a parent when they were still young and in the prime of their lives. My mom was 53 when she died, Steve’s dad was 63. They both died of cancer within two years of each other, so we have waded through our grief together.
My mom and Steve’s dad never got to meet our son. They didn’t get to witness his homecoming, his first steps, his laughter… and when we talk about Grandma and Grandpa, Jax does not think of them. He does not know them. We show him pictures and we try to explain, but his 4-year-old heart does not yet understand the concept of love without presence.
Over the years, we have had to find new ways of honoring family traditions. We do this to make sure that Jaxson knows his Angel Grandma Gwenn and his Angel Grandpa Mike. We do it to make our hearts feel less battered. We do it to keep their memory alive.
My debut essay on Her View From Home is about a tradition my mom started when we were kids. Luckily for me, the tradition continued, even after she died.
“I don’t know when she decided I needed a final ornament or how she slipped the guardian angel into the box without me knowing, but I do know that it was her way of telling me that the adventure hadn’t stopped. It was up to me to keep it alive.”
Read More: The Year Without Mom: Her Unexpected Christmas Gift