which is as it should be. Yesterday was Sagittarius's birthday. It's hard to believe that just over thirty six years ago I was rushed to hospital as he decided to make an early and very risky entrance to the world. Now he's about to become a father himself. Next Christmas there'll be a new little person with us. It seems fitting somehow that we will soon be welcoming a new family member in the form of the next generation because this will be the first Christmas without my mother, who passed away in June. It's going to be a different kind of Christmas as a result.
When I think about it, it's as if life has been slowly preparing us for these changes because she wasn't able to join us for the last two Christmases. This was not what we wanted but the noise and crowd were too confusing for someone with severe dementia. It didn't stop us seeing her on Christmas Day though and trying to think of gifts that might give her some pleasure. She had developed a very sweet tooth in later life so every year I made her chocolate truffles and the shortbread biscuits she loved. That's a tradition that is not happening this year although I've always enjoyed giving them to others too. I wouldn't say it was gone, just that it is on hold given the ritual of preparing sweets and shortbread is deeply connected to her in my mind.
Slowly, in gentle steps, things have changed almost without us noticing. There's still a hollow place in our hearts and we miss her terribly. Often a thought comes and I think that I'd like to share it with her and I suspect that will be the case for the rest of my life. I'm saddened too by the fact that she won't have the joy of meeting my grandchild but, at the same time, her legacy continues. This child bears her genes and so the essence of my mother will continue on in this new generation. As her grandchildren grow we'll see an expression or mannerism that will remind us of their heritage and we will remember her with the joy of this new life tempering the sadness of the loss of the other.