Our Christmas' have been anything but traditional since we lost Lauren. And honestly we haven't tried very hard. The way I see it, the tradition has already been broken by the very fact that she is not here. So, we do odd things like go to art shows and movies. We tried to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant, like they did in the movie, A Christmas Story, but hundreds of other families in the Austin area had the same idea. So, we had ham sandwiches on my daughters couch in front of the Mavericks game. But we were together, Eric, Sarah, Jonathon, Jon and I, so I was happy.
Last night, before going back to our motel room, Jon and I stopped at an IHop for coffee. The place was full of people, probably families, who seemed happy to be together. I thought of my brother in Oklahoma, snowed in and unable to be with family. I thought about the children of an old friend who died just days before Christmas. And I felt bad for the young man taking my order, and the rest of the staff having to work on Christmas. My life is really not all that bad.
I will miss Lauren for the rest of my life. Christmas will be hard and so will the Fourth Of July, but I'm not alone.
Next year I want to stay home. I want the kids to be here and for us to get snowed in. I want to cook a big meal, light a fire in the fireplace and drink too much eggnog. I want to meet my future daughter in-law and be looking forward to a grandchild. In fact, I think grandchildren would be a great new tradition.