This was my Christmas tree in 2012. My last one with my family intact.
It was a monster of a bush. Took up nearly half the width of my living room.
One morning, I woke up to the fact that it fell during the night and several of my glass ornaments were crushed under the weight.
My husband was actually waiting for me to come down the stairs to find the mess…he rushed over to the stairs and stood next to me, placing his arm around my back and his hand on my hip to support me. It was a spontaneous act on his part and one that I continue to play in my head over and over and over.
I saw a glimpse of the man I married that day. I miss him. But that’s not new news to any of you.
Many of the broken ornaments were irreplaceable. Some from my Grandmother…they spent their life before coming to me on her tree. Some from when we were newly married and just starting our own traditions. Some from when my children were babies…marking the milestones of their births and first Christmases. Some were gifts of love from my husband and some were gifts of love from me to my husband.
Looking at the shards of glass all over my carpeting was breathtaking in its painfulness. These were mementos of a life that was quickly slipping away through my fingers. One of the only tangible items left that the life I spent half of my time on the planet building actually happened and meant something to someone other than me at some point in time. All gone. In the blink of an eye.
I had held onto these precious pieces of glass for years and lovingly stored them. They had made it through several moves and years of toddlers and dogs brushing up against them. They were gently placed at the top of the tree each year to keep them out of harms way.
All for nothing as it turns out. They no longer exist.
Much like my former life.
It doesn’t actually matter how much we prepare, or how much we insulate, or how careful we are with anything. Gravity happens and precious items become casualties of the fall. As much as I love those ornaments and the memories they represent, and as much as I miss them…I will put up a Christmas tree when the time comes this year. I will decorate my tree with the ornaments I have left. I will gather new ones and create memories so that I can cherish them. I will not forget the old ones, and I will feel sad at not having them any longer; however, I will not fear gravity. I will not become a slave to trying to protect myself from pain.
I will move forward.
This is how I will rebuild my life.
And I will continue to clean up the shards of glass every time gravity gets in my way.
Even without that arm to support me.