Happiest Season?🎁🎄🎅🏻

When Jordan comes to help💖

Last weekend was a rough one, to say the least. Mark and I put up the Christmas Tree, something that the boys and I normally did. This is the 3rd tree that I have put up without Connor. Jordan came to help one year and Kyle normally helps, but due to the fact that he is working in towns that are considered COVID RED ZONES. He is doing his best to limit his exposure to me, I am high risk due to my asthma and he is doing the right thing, but grr it sucks.

We have an artificial tree, a nice one, but still artificial. I am deathly allergic to real ones. The last time I had a real tree I was a freshman in College, my dad was sure I had “outgrown” the allergy, I spent 90% of the day in the Formal Living room. As far away as possible from the tree. That night my mom took me to the ER, on the way out the door she said to my dad “that tree needs to be gone when we get back”. When we got home, the tree was in the snow bank, with all its lights, tinsel and decorations on it, he listened in his own way, lol.

To make artificial trees look real each branch needs to be arranged and fluffed. It is a time consuming project, that normally ends in laughter and Christmas stories. This year it was Mark and i fluffing, with me telling him how to do it, and him telling me it was fine. Even though there were sections of the tree with huge holes because the branches were matted flat.

This is how we used to put the top on a 9ft tree

Then came the lights, even though this is a pre-lit tree (with white/clear lights). I also put 8 strands of multi colored LED lights on it as well. I have a system, we start at the bottom, running around the tree evenly. With each layer spread equidistant apart. None of this on an angle shit!! I spent a lot of time re-doing what Mark did.

After the lights came the beads, I gave up tinsel a long time ago. With pets in this house, that eat it..and what goes in must come out. You get the picture🤪🤪. Just like the lights, there is a system for the beads. The long ones get draped along the branches, much like the lights. The short ones get tossed onto the tree, think Mardi Gras and the tree is the people you are tossing the beads to. All of this needs to be artfully done, so it doesn’t look like a toddler did it.

Once that is done, then and only then can we add the ornaments. This year all the fancy breakable ones will stay in a box. Only the un breakable ones make the cut. Jezebel is already chewing on the branches, a good glass ornament..aah I think not.

Not this years tree.. ornaments aren’t up. A tree from previous years

Hold on Help is Coming

Have you ever done something that was terribly hard when you did it, but you knew in the depths of your soul that it was the right thing to do? I have done it twice, the first time 3 years ago when we made the decision to turn off Connor’s machines, and just now when I made the decision to stay home for this holiday season.

That is the way I feel about Thanksgiving this year, we normally spend it in Connecticut with my parents. The last time we didn’t join them for this holiday was the year that Connor died. 2017, as far as I was concerned that Holiday Season could have just disappeared. That year we spent Thanksgiving with Mark’s boss John in Southwick, MA. We had prime rib, and all sorts of great sides. I drank way too much wine, and John introduced me to the cheesiness of Hallmark Christmas Movies.

In the depths of my soul I know that going to CT to spend Thanksgiving with my parents during this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic isn’t smart or safe. My mom suffers from MS, and has for 38 years, my dad has recently been diagnosed with A-Fib, add my asthma to the mix and it isn’t safe for any of us.

Just because I know that this is the right decision doesn’t make it any easier. My parents and my brother are my rock. They have held me up, when my legs were too wobbly to stand on my own. They have given me the confidence that I will make it through this overwhelming loss. That no one walks through this valley of death by themselves.

I know this is the right decision, as hard as it is. It will be the same decision that we make for Christmas. These are holidays, holidays that we usually spend together. But I have learned the value of loss in the past 3 years, and I want the rest of my family to be here for these holidays next year.

So this year we will spend them here in Colrain, and when we get a vaccine and it is safe. We will have a hell of a bash, be it Easter or sometime in the summer.