by: Joelle Charbonneau
With the holidays upon us there is much joy in the air. Packages to be wrapped, holiday services to attend and lots of concerts, parties and laughter. It is a time to celebrate surrounded by family and friends.
Of course, the holidays have a more melancholy side. Because while we celebrate with the family we hold close, we cannot help but think about those whom we love that are no longer here with us. Two years ago today, we lost my father-in-law, Joe Blanco. To say he loved the holidays is an enormous understatement. He had huge faith and an even bigger heart. To him, the holidays were about family, goofy hats, fun, music and helping others. He worked at the homeless shelter, made sure older members of the community were healthy and safe and went to nursing homes with his vocal group to spread holiday joy.
I miss him.
There is a hole left in our lives that can never be filled by his loss. I also miss my father. This year is the fifth holiday season spent without him.
And yet, as sad as I am that they are no longer here to lend their strength and love, when I look at the brightly wrapped presents under the tree I think of them and the wondrous gift I had by having them in my life. And the gift that loving them continues to bring me every day. And while it is not as good as having them here to share everything life brings, I am comforted by the memories I have and thinking of the happy moments fills me with warmth.
So, for all of you out there celebrating the holidays with family and missing those who have left us behind--my heart is with you. May you find joy in the season. And if you see a light shining a little more brightly on your tree, think of it as those who are not there with you sending their love.
Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. And most of all my thanks for all of the support you have given me and my fellow DSD writers throughout the year. May the end of 2013 bring you many wonderful moments and I hope there will be great happiness for each one of you in 2014.