It’s still difficult, seven years later.  Getting out the Christmas tree ornaments and decorations that were once Mike’s, knowing intimately how much he loved them, is a struggle each year.  However, it’s one small thing that brings him here with us.  I can gaze as the beautifully orchestrated tree, notice those few precious ornaments that Mike’s hands once held, and feel his smile upon my heart.  As I tell Eli to be especially careful with that one because it was his dad’s, I see how he shifts from excited to put as many ornaments on the tree as he can to slower and more deliberate with his movements.  He even asks me to double check to make sure it’s on there real good, so it doesn’t slip off and break.

The internal battle rages on between my love and excitement over my favorite holiday, and the sadness and longing, wishing he were here with us.  Some of my most treasured memories of Mike are of this time of year, and the ways we celebrated it.  I miss him.  God, oh God how I miss him.  It’s crazy really, he’s been gone longer than we were together, but forever my heart is his…

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