Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black Celebrations

I don't come from a family with oodles and oodles of old traditions on holidays and special days.  Our house was rarely decorated for the holidays.  Maybe Christmas lights, but only if my dad was able to get them out  and up on a relatively mild day in the Fall.  Oh, of course, we had a Christmas tree.  Sorry I assumed that went without saying.  But really that was the extent of it.  Never was my house, growing up, decorated for Valentines Day or Halloween or the likes of those holidays.  So I suppose for that reason I don't find a deep desire to decorate my own house now that I'm an adult nor do I feel the need to create 'special' family traditions of my own.  Looking back, perhaps I've missed out on creating some fantastic memories with my children.  Or maybe they'll just look back on their childhood the same way I do.  I didn't need all that 'stuff' because holidays were just fun for me.  No pomp and circumstance necessary.  They were easy.  We spent the day together.  We laughed, we cried (if we didn't get the right presents), we smiled, we spent time with each other.  That seems to be all that was important to my parents.  And that in turn is all that is really important to me.  All the other 'stuff' is just bonus. 

This year on Father's Day I was compelled to come up with something, anything, to honour my father.  Because we didn't currently have an ongoing tradition on Father's Day we had to think of something new.  I don't know if what I came up with will stay with my mom, brother and sister, but I will carry on and continue to do it every year.  Regardless.  This year we each wrote our own letters to our dad, grandpa, husband and we got together as a family unit, we lit a fire and we each burned our letters.  We didn't read them, we didn't need to.  It wasn't about that.  We burned our letters and sent our words to him.  After, while the letters turned to ash, we had a toast in his memory with a glass of Coca Cola - his poison.  And then we all went home.   I think he would have been okay with that. 

In December we will be approaching what would have been his 62nd birthday.  Funny, and a little off topic, but when I first started in Funeral Services, 62 seemed like an old enough age for someone to die.  Now, not so much.  Anyway, in December we will be facing the anniversary of his birthday.  I hate that every date now regarding him has become an 'anniversary of'.  So I'm trying to think of something for myself and the boys (and my mom and siblings too if they wish) to do to honour him and celebrate him.  Something simple so we won't just casually drop it throughout the coming years because it's too much work.  I also want to come up with something to do the same thing for Christmas.  Something different than what we did for Father's Day.  He deserves at least three different 'traditions' right? 

I have an idea for what I would like to do for Christmas.  Something that all of us can participate in when we gather together on Christmas Day to exchange gifts and break bread.  It's already going to be an emotionally charged day and I'm so grateful for Gage, Roan, Sebastian, and Sawyer because they will keep the joy of Christmas in our hearts this year.  But now I'm struggling to come up with something to do for his birthday.  I don't know if we'll all get together (I doubt we will) on the 20th but I feel the need to do something symoblic so the day doesn't just pass us by.  So it's not just another Tuesday in December. 

It's interesting, all these years we shyed away from traditions, they didn't seem necessary.  But now it's all I can think about.  Like if I have these traditions they will keep him close to me/us.  It's silly but it's a small thing that gets me through the day.

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