Last night, I attended our annual Christmas parade...it is one of my favorite holiday traditions and this year did not disappoint...lots of candy canes, colored lights and "what were they thinking" dance routines.
I could not help but remember the parade last year, it was held three weeks after Rip died. Now, I can't imagine why we went, but I guess it was because it was what we always did and at that point normalcy was all we wanted. It was my first "big" outing where I was going to be around kids. I made it through the night without crying. I remember calling my parents afterwards and being so proud of myself for that.
And then you fast forward 13 months. It is almost unbelievable how much can change in so little time. I sat there last night 9 months pregnant, after wondering last year if I would ever be able to get pregnant again. I waved and cooed at babies when last year I couldn't even look too closely at anyone under the age to six. I was able to talk about next year, what it would be like to come to that same parade with an almost one year old.
I know there is no need for a disclaimer here...Rip's loss and all that goes with it doesn't go away, ever. But the ability to feel joy again when it seems like just yesterday I wondered if I would ever make it though a day without crying...to me, that is almost miraculous.
No wonder they call it the most wonderful time of the year.