Posted by: mosblog | December 27, 2010

A Different Christmas

Mom died on November 14th this year. I’m totally happy for her that she’s able to be with Jesus, but at the same time I grieve her loss. This Christmas was changed because of her absence. And not because she wasn’t here to make things happen. It was because some things didn’t seem as fun without her, or I wasn’t motivated, didn’t have the words, couldn’t move forward, etc. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas was nice, just really different and, at times, sad. Here are the things I realized didn’t happen. Please know that I’m totally okay with them not happening….

1. I didn’t get to give Mom a gift. I saw SO many things that I wanted to get Mom (as I do every year). The weird thing is, for once in my life I was WAY ahead of schedule and I had bought Mom’s gift over the summer. It now sits in my storage area because I have no idea what to do with it.

2. I didn’t do the “Sister’s Open House” (where we make tons of cool stuff and sell it to our friends) this year with Emily. I had SO many things I wanted to make but I just couldn’t bring myself to doing anything creative. I can’t even remember the last time I used my sewing machine.

3. I didn’t send out a Christmas card or photo or letter. What do you write? “My Mom died. It sucked! Merry Christmas!” But, here’s the photo I would have included. The only reason I have it is because we took the photo long before Mom got really sick.

4. I didn’t make any Christmas presents for people. I really wanted to make up cute little bags of a flour mixture and attach them to bottles of beer and give them to my friends to make their own Beer Bread. And I wanted to make bags for the nieces and nephews that had their names sewn on them. And I wanted to crochet tons of eternity scarves to give to friends. And I wanted to make lots and lots of felt flowers for my friends to put in their hair.

5. I also didn’t surprise Eric by totally cleaning his office. I wanted to do that for him as part of his Christmas gift. I did a little bit, but not the amount I wanted to do.

6. We didn’t go to the Christmas Eve service and then come home and eat spaghetti together (a family tradition). None of us wanted to put out the effort to do it so we gave ourselves permission not to.

7. I didn’t put up most of my Christmas decorations. We did a tree and stockings and a few little things here and there. We didn’t even do lights on the outside of the house. I couldn’t even think of how to do these things so they didn’t happen.

And a couple things that DID happen that wouldn’t have if Mom had been here…

1. We did a tribute to Mom on Christmas Morning. It was nice, but I wanted to just go cry for an hour after we were done. Instead we opened presents.

2. We all (Ferrells too) stayed the night with Dad and Leighton on Christmas Eve.

3. I helped Emily fill a stocking for Dad.

4. I helped Dad find the gifts that Mom had bought months ago.

5. I watched as Dad and the grandkids opened their last Christmas gift they’ll get from Mom.

6. We gave Dad and Leighton giant family photos taken 1 week before Mom died.

7. It started sinking in that everything is different now and Mom won’t be back. Sad.



  1. reading your blog brought tears to my eyes for your family. I know how close you all are and how har dit must be to see your family without your mom. It must be tearing your heart apart because you know your mom is in a better place with no pain but you wished she was here with you.
    my thoughts are with your family and over years it will get easier but it will always be different then it was before.

  2. I feel your pain. My sister died on 9/22/10.
    I gave gifts to the family that she had purchased before she was too sick to shop.
    I read a tribute book her daughter-in-law make for my sister’s grand-daughter.
    I gave the gift I had for her, to my daughter.
    I wrote to her boyfriend and told him how sorry I was that she isn’t here for him to spend holiday time with.
    But she is at peace with Jesus, and with our parents.

  3. Monica, what you experienced is so normal. When Josh Passed I felt like nothing. I didn’t want to celebrate, socialize, nothing. Same when my Mom passed. Duane & I went to Reno the Christmas after Josh passed. Just to be away from it all if you know what I mean. However, let me tell you. It will pass. Next year will be better for all of you. Please give my love to the family. You all are always on my mind & in my prayers. The first of everything is always the hardest. Mothers day will be horrific.. Be prepared. Sending Love & Good Wishes to all of you. Hoping your Dad & Littest Bro are ok. Take care,
    Oh, Please tell Eric that Jer was asking about the Mens retreat awhile back because he was going to one in Indianapolis, Indiana. He goes to a Baptist Church here. yea!!!

  4. I’ve been thinking so much about your mom. As I unpacked my Christmas decorations there were so many that she had made…a quilted table runner, a huge jingle bell, an ornament with Lori’s baby picture on it….and I keep wondering what she’s doing now, you know? I wish I could just take a little peek into heaven and say hi….

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