Broken Holiday Cheer

As Thanksgiving has come and gone I have really spent the last week reflecting on my blessings.  As well as how far we have come, how much I have learned and how we have simply survived the last year.

As I have reflected upon what I wrote this time last year (click here to read) I am simply amazed at how I felt last year, at how I still feel much the same, yet how much more I have learned throughout the year facing the lose of Miles.

Oh how I miss that boy! I miss him just as much as the day he left yet more than ever before. Has it really been over a year now? Really??? How is that even possible? I still can't fathom it....yet I am living it daily. My mind and my heart are still trying to grasp this new life without Miles to kiss, hug, snuggle, tickle, and giggle with us each day. My little Buddy, I think of him daily, every hour of every day. I'm sure I will for the rest of my life. How can I not? He is part of me, thus we are one together and connected forever!

I'm not sure that this Thanksgiving was any easier than last year. In fact I think it may have been harder. The numbness of this new reality is wearing off some and man does it hurt!! For a year now I have been saying I just want to feel again. Feel love, feel happiness, feel joy, feel mad, feel upset.....just feel. Now that's I'm starting to feel a little I'm finding that it really hurts. It hurts BAD! I'm not sure that I do want to feel anymore. Maybe it's easier to just be numb to everything so that this reality isn't so painful. So that I don't feel that burning and aching deep within in soul and within every fiber of me.

Holidays are really hard without Miles.  They are very bittersweet and probably will be forever here on out. At least to some degree. I love getting together with family. I love seeing all the kids playing together. I love the excitement the holidays create within our children and our home. I am finding joy in the holidays again with Vivian this year as she is older and understands more. Yet deep inside my heart is breaking as I see all the kids playing as we gather with family. Breaking to see the kids getting older. How can they be that old? My mind and heart has frozen them all in time to a year ago. My thoughts turn to what Miles would be doing with all the kids. How excited he would be to see everyone and play with each of them. There always seems to be an empty chair, visible or invisible to others, that is in the room for me. There is another plate not being dished up by me or Mark for our son, encouraging him to eat before playing. To take just a few more bites. Even if it is just rolls with loads of butter just to get calories into that skinny boy. There is just an absence for me and my heart aches so deeply for that absence to be filled again.

Vivian has been telling me all week that Miles was coming this weekend. She would tell me with such surety in her voice and face that he was coming this weekend. I often replied to her "oh sweetheart I wish he was coming this weekend" which she would reply with smiling eyes "yeah, he is mom, he is coming this weekend, he is, yeah." So all weekend I focused on the little things. I prayed hard to feel Miles close. Oh how I wish he would have come for the weekend or even just the day, hour, or even a minute. What a Thanksgiving that would have been!

Even though he didn't come physically I know he was with us! We carry him everywhere we go. He lives, I know this. I have felt him, maybe not as much I want, but I have. I know he is on a special mission. One that he was called home for. Too bad I don't get weekly missionary emails, holiday phone calls and pictures in the mail. I would love those! Yet in the smallest of ways I feel him close. He sends me signs of his presence and love. I just have to be open and receptive to them. Most the time they are subtle, but I catch many of them. For that I am grateful. We truly are connected for forever.

So as we are knee deep into the holidays I am trying to focus again on bringing the magic and cheer of holidays to our home and even our hearts. Not only for Vivian but for myself too. It's emotionally hard work, but I'm up for the challenge and determined to feel the magic and happiness of the season, along with the sweet whisperings of Miles to carry us through.


  1. It IS truly amazing to think it has been over a year! I'm so sorry for the year you have had and the years to come without him!! You continue to amaze me! You express yourself so well as hard as it may be! Love you always XOXO

  2. I love this. Your words are so inspiring to me! I can just picture your Miles and my little Ethan up there working hard on their missions. I keep telling myself that one day all this heartache will be worth it. Sending lots of love to you and your family during this holiday season.

  3. I just happened to come across your blog yesterday as I was reading the Sullengers Blog. My heart aches with you. I too lost my son in a drowning accident. It happened this past September, 4 days shy of his 2nd birthday. So many of your thoughts are mine exactly. I'm so sorry for you loss, but from one angel mom to the next, I understand every word that you write. Thank you for sharing.