Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 19, 2011 ~ Looking Forward, Looking Back

Running around in the month of December it's easy to lose track of time. There's decorating, shopping for presents, planning get-togethers. And in my personal life there's been shoot after shoot, a sick little one, and prepping for Santa's first big visit to our house (2nd trip, but last year Billy didn't notice).

Having a little one around seems to be a contributing factor to time slipping away. It seems like yesterday that he couldn't crawl. I feel like projects I did months ago at work were only a week or two ago. And the same goes with seeing friends- having seen them months ago seems like it was very recent.

And so, rushing around with Billy today to prep for Christmas, I completely lost sight of what today is. Or rather, tomorrow.

For thirty years of my life, December 19 has been a planning day. A planning day for mourning. Most people see the December 21 as the darkest day of the year. In Grandma's family, it's December 20.

34 years ago, at a Baltimore Colts game, my grandmother looked over at my grandfather and said, "Bill, I feel funny." She collapsed and never woke up. Two days later, December 20, she died.

Every year since the family has gathered to mourn her premature passing. There were phone calls back and forth about the Mass, who was going, who needed rides. For our family it was a Holy Day of Obligation. And I realized, rushing around with my little one, that there has been none of that this year. Grandma hasn't even mentioned it to me. Maybe it's just me, consumed by all things baby, maybe the family is drifting away from the tradition.

It's a time-honored tradition, this moving on. We are moving on. There is another generation in the family. So many things to look forward to that we forget to look back. We don't forget the people, but we move away from the grief to celebrate the new lives around us.

As I'm writing this it's already December 20. So, with a gracious nod to an inspiring woman, I move on to prepping for the Big Guy's arrival and the joy it will bring to Billy.

Great Grandma (DMF) 1916-1977

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