One of the lovely things about being in a relationship is not just creating memories, but establishing traditions…those things you do that give you a sense of belonging and purpose. One of my favorite holiday traditions for Kevin and me was personalizing a Christmas ornament every year, trying to capture an entire year in a word or two. He was the one who usually came up with the winning words. Last year I forgot about the ornament, but Kevin made sure I still had one, which came from my former sister-in-law Dorothy (that’s how I know Kevin had a hand in it!). This year I got myself a very simple 2015 ornament to keep the tradition going.
And I started a new Thanksgiving tradition this year. My sister Theresa and her husband Donald came to visit from the very cold Land of Lakes (Minnesota). It was 70 here, so we packed that turkey in a Tupperware container, grabbed some bread, wine, cheese, and potato chips, licorice candy, and we headed to the beach. But not just any beach. We went to Cape Charles, on the Chesapeake Bay, where I had released Kevin’s ashes this spring. Not only did Kevin love the Chesapeake, but he loved Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful day for remembering my good life.
And we still had time for one more new tradition – for Theresa and Donald. They are thinking they want to come here every year for Thanksgiving since they enjoyed our next adventure just as much, if not more! We took in Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town, which was as lovely as last year (read: my other new tradition!).
I think traditions are important in helping me remember happy times, so I can evaluate if it is still important, still a part of me that is or just was part of me that was, and whether or not I want to keep or change or put away that part of me. This weekend was somewhat of a milestone for me – the one-year anniversary of Kevin’s passing, the second Thanksgiving without him, and his birthday. From here on out, they are all “seconds,” another reminder that time marches on. I am blessed to have so many happy memories from “before” and also being made now for this “next” time of my life. Soon I hope these pictures of me will have bigger smiles, but trust me, I was starting to feel it!
What are some of your favorite traditions?