Posted Jan 21, 2010 (First Christmas season without my sweetheart)
Sarah told me she was glad I was not with her family, the day they went searching for their Christmas tree. They always go to a nearby tree farm to find the perfect live tree. Sarah said she was taken aback when she noticed the driver of the tractor that was following behind their hay wagon. The driver was a husky, broad shouldered man wearing a Carhart jacket, baseball cap and sporting a full, light gray moustache and beard. From a distance, this gentleman could have been my Bofren’s twin! Seeing him had a powerful effect on my 13-year-old grandson, Justin. Sarah said Justin’s eyes were tear filled and she, herself, had to look away, so she wouldn’t be overcome with emotion, because of this man's striking likeness to her beloved Papa Bear. I’m thankful that I wasn’t part of that family outing. Seeing a Buck look alike might be more than my heart could handle right now.
We all knew that this Christmas season would be very different and difficult and really didn’t know what to expect, so we decided that I would stay with Sarah’s family starting on Christmas Eve. Sarah and I had discussed the possibility of going to a church nearby for a candlelight service, but I knew I wasn’t up to it and there was still much to do to help prepare for Christmas Day.
My plan had been to spend five days with my family and head home after a doctor’s appointment on Monday. After three very full days of visiting with my family and extended family, I had nothing left in my energy bank and had to cancel my doctor’s visit and ended up staying another week in Sarah and Bob’s home. It hadn’t dawned on me how much I would need their love and support as the New Year rolled in, marking the first anniversary of the beginning of our new challenging journey. Just like all year long last year, they were there for me again when I needed them the most.
Spending nearly two weeks with Sarah and family was just what I needed. It was very painful at times and the absence of Buck's presence was felt very strongly by all of us, but in some ways it was one of the nicest Christmases I've ever had. In keeping everything so simple, though I often felt sad, it was the least stressful Christmas season I can remember. For the first time in my life, I was able to spend time focusing on the true reason for the season, and I think my Bofren would really like that!