When you lose a loved one, such as a husband or wife, a mother or a father, brother, or a sister, you no longer have the chance to continue the memories or traditions that you may have had with them. So, what do you do? Do you continue those traditions alone or do you start new ones?
The thought of stopping the traditions that made you who you are can be devastating. Your ‘tradition’ may be something as simple as buying a Christmas decoration with the date on each year. That’s what my husband and I had done since the year we landed in Australia. However, through moving, through the boxing and unboxing of things, and just the sheer test of time, some were broken. Was that a sign to now rethink that tradition?
I opened the decoration box yesterday and put them all out on the table. I kept 2 of the ‘year’ decorations, the nicest two, and the rest were sidelined. I then looked at all the other decorations. I kept a few of hubby’s favourites. The double decker bus and an aeroplane one he loved. I kept the most recent ones we’d bought and there is the old faithful “Bah Humbug” one which was a present from my aunt way back when. I also have a couple of random decorations, but everyone has a meaning. The rest…have gone. That’s the first tradition I decided to break. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to wipe away memories. What I am doing, is taking steps forward with my life. Small steps one at a time.
So, what do I do now? My husband has passed and in a sad turn of events, my mum has too. After fourteen months of caring for my mum, I’m now living with my dad. I’m single again, aged (almost) fifty and sharing my parents house with dad while mine is being rented out. One thing this has allowed me to do is make new memories. Dad and I can go away on short breaks. We go out daily for a walk. We go out for lunch or dinner some days. We can cook together. Talk together. Watch movies together or just sit and listen to music together. I am blessed in that I have been gifted this time, even though it is through a sad situation. My new memories are a combination. A combination of Dad and I and memories of mum that he shares.
Old memories are priceless. New memories are invaluable. If you get the chance to be with your parents, take it. You can never get that time back. Make it count.