Tonight St Killian's had a special mass for all family members who had lost a loved one from Nov 2009-Oct 2010.
I was not aware that they had a wooden cross hanging with my father's name and the date he passed on the wall. It is a lovely cross. A meaningful cross. A treasured cross. A cross that I know will now reside in my mother's living room. The hour long mass was filled with people who lost loved ones. They were all receiving their departed ones cross. It was a night full of emotions.
I am not sure if anyone else has lost a parent but it is hard to put into words exactly what it feels like. Everyone tells me that the first year is the hardest. So far they could not be more right. There is not a week that goes by that does not involve tears, memories, thoughts, prayers or the word cancer.
The upcoming holiday season will be totally different for us from here on out. Although it will still remain a happy time filled with family traditions, it will also change in a way that we cannot control. My Dad always picked out one present for each of us kids...on his own without help from anyone! Last year was the first year that he could not do it from being too sick. My favorite Dad gift was the white bear that he made for me from build a bear when I was pregnant with Dominic. He even laughed as he told us the story of him making it in front of all those other people. For those who know my Dad (manly, stern voice, hard working, flannel and jeans man)....can picture him now!
Especially as we come into the holiday season, be thankful and cherish the loved ones you have and never forget the ones that have passed on.