Christmas Pictures

WP_20141212_003WP_20141212_006These pictures were taken the day of my mom’s visitation; the day before her funeral.  It was Christmas time (notice Frosty).  I was worn, sad, and a little anxious.

We started out the day about 4 in the morning, drove 90 minutes to the airport, and flew the 2 1/2 hours to Arizona.  We had some time before we needed to be ready, so we headed to the mall.  We wandered around, not really intending to buy anything, just wanting to pass the time.

As we passed Frosty, I remembered that we hadn’t taken our family photo for the Christmas letter.  We were going to take one over Thanksgiving break when my oldest daughter was home from college, but my mom’s health got worse and I flew to be with her before we were able to take the picture.  So Frosty seemed like a good place for an impromptu photo op.

And as usually, the kids had to follow the ‘regular photo’ with a crazy one.  I love that about my kids.  They know how to act in a socially acceptable and polite way when needed.  They even know how to properly pose for a picture.  But they also know that it’s okay to be goofy, silly, fun, and different.

For so many years, I was worried about always looking normal and acceptable.   My kids have taught me that normal and acceptable can be boring.  They’ve taught me to play and laugh.  They encourage me to try new things.  And they’ve taught me to laugh even when I fail.  They and my husband are my biggest cheerleaders.

So as I look at these pictures, my heart smiles.  They remind me that even in the midst of  grieving, I can laugh and have moments of joy.  And that joy brings hope.   Hope that life, even if different than before, will go on and have purpose and meaning.

And if you’re wondering where your pictures are from us, well…… I never got them sent.  Maybe next year I’ll be more organized.  But I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

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