2017 has nothing to apologize for. It’s not the year’s fault that we lost my father in it. That blame goes to Parkinson’s Disease which robbed us of him even before it took his life. This is our first Christmas without Dad. Every year that went by, he got a little bit slower at opening presents, getting up from the table and staying awake. (Although falling asleep after Christmas dinner is a North American tradition.) He has left an unfillable hole in our hearts.
But the last thing he would want is for us to be sad. This is a man who, without hesitation, offered to give me his liver – his entire liver – when it appeared I would need a life-saving transplant. I said, “Dad, I’d only need a piece of it. You can’t live without your liver.” He said, “I don’t care. Take it all.” And he meant it.
Even as we laugh and enjoy a festive feast, he won’t be far from our thoughts. His absence is still new. We’re trying to adjust to a world without him. But we will choose to be happy and have fun just as he would want us to.
I also want to share a plea from a young, single Mom to other parents with Santa-age children. When her kids go back to school, they’ll hear about how Santa brought iPads and other high-priced presents to more affluent classmates. Her children wonder why Santa only brings them socks and books. Don’t give away the credit for your presents. Let Santa bring them something, but not everything. Santa is supposed to treat everyone equally.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you celebrate. Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Enjoy Festivus for the rest of us. I’ll be back in this space on January 2, 2018.