So, this was Christmas...

Christmas this year... was different, to say the least.

The first Christmas without a mother. It brings a very real sense of her being gone. It's always easier to just react to things as if I didn't call her that day or I forgot to tell her something. But when its only three people exchanging gifts and you know there's supposed to be four... it can't be denied.

The saddest part was my father not having anything to open on Christmas day. I hate to admit that I hadn't even thought about it. I don't know that he got hardly anything that he truly wanted for Christmas (material-wise; I know that what he rally wanted was just the three of us to be together).

This is also the longest I've been without Ashley since she moved to Nashville. That's been tougher than I thought it might - especially being at my house and not seeing her there. She definately lights up the room and makes the house more cozy. I've enjoyed getting to play video games and get work done and personal reflection and all that happens when one's alone... but I do miss her and look forward to her return.

Its been quite the year of transition. The passing of my mother, the beginning of my relationship with Ashley and my dad informing me he'll be remarrying in January. My sister no long claims to believe in Christ (let alone follow him) and instead is expecting to be reincarnated. I went from planning to officiate my sister's wedding to telling her that dad won't be mad at her for ending her engagment. I seem to have lost someone I thought was one of my best friends because I expressed my thoughts on a topic that was dear and life-changing to me. My church has become like family to me and I've actually enjoyed being sociable. I have a pastor I can call a friend and express my doubts and concerns with without getting rhetorical sunday-school answers. I fluxuate with loving my job and seeking a new one. I have lots of debt.

So this was Christmas, and it's the first pause I've had in months. Before Ash came into my life this year, I felt like the majority of the time I was on pause; content to be a hermit in my room at home playing silly games and not venturing out. It's amazing how having a wonderul, incredible woman can make you desire to be a stronger, better man. It makes you realize that if you're going to waste away a day, it's much more meaningful and enjoyable to waste it away with someone else.

I can't be mad at my dad for wanting companionship. I can't be mad at him for deciding that life is better when you have someone to share it with than when you don't. It's just all so very soon.

My dad didn't wrap the gifts for Carmen until Christmas evening (she wasn't coming until the morning after). He saw Christmas as the ending of one season of life and the day after the beginning of a new one, with Carmen.

This remarriage... its so confusing to me on a romantic level. Yes, I understand his desire for companionship. But I've always seen my parents in a (as far as I know) healthy, loving relationship. I know my dad loved her. I guess its different for him... in so many ways (because I didn't see her every day) mom still doesn't quite seem to be gone. For him, he goes to bed alone every night after having a wife for so many years. Being alone is on the forefront of his mind.

It just is hard to imagine carrying on after the death of a wife. There's so many things I've yet to experience... being engaged... the marriage ceremony... honeymoon... children... moving together... vacations... and, inevitable death... that I can't wrap my mind around what it must be like for him to desire another woman. It still seems wrong somehow in my mind... but I imagine that it's because I'm not him. I'm not there and I'm ok with an empty bed because I've had one for 24 years.

So this was Christmas, the time of birth for my Saviour Jesus Christ and a time of birth for a new life for my dad. Christ bless him, Sister Wisdom guide him and God give him a good life. And help me deal with it.