This was the first year in four years that we did not travel somewhere. It was difficult to be home, for me. I struggled Christmas Day, but there were circumstances that prevented us from doing our "new" traditional Christmas trip and I tried my best to make the best of it.
It helped that Tia & Trevor were here and I enjoyed the time we spent with them and I really enjoyed being able to do Trevor's laundry and buy him clothes and necessities (I know, I'm that weird person). In a way it made me feel like I could "play" mom and that felt good.
When we take our "new" traditional Christmas trips, we always take this "Proud Marine Parent" pin with us and take a picture so it feels like Chad is with us wherever we go. When we had the flag pole put in and Tebo made a concrete pad for it, we placed the pin in the concrete so it would permanently be remembered as our Chad spot. So on Christmas day I went out and took a picture of the pin in the concrete pad. I guess that was my way of feeling like we kept a little of our "new" tradition alive.
I'm not real sure why this has been difficult to be home for Christmas, but it has been. I know I wasn't the best company that day and in fact, I napped off and on that day (which is totally not like me). I felt bad for that, but Tebo, Tia, nor Trevor made me feel bad for that or guilty at all. I truly appreciate that more than they may never know.
I guess after four years there are still "firsts" to happen. I don't think I will ever get used to that or be ok with these "firsts", but sometimes we don't get to make those choices.
It's my hope and prayer that 2015 marks a significant turn in this country and no more lives will be lost in the wars or by suicide. This is a very hard and sometimes impossible journey to travel and I truly do not want to see another parent have to navigate this journey.
I miss you son and this world is not the same without you.