|My son and I|
My husband and I started taking our son to see the Christmas tree when he was about five years old. We would sometimes stay with friends and see as many sights as we could with a toddler and it was always a fun holiday ritual take we included in our family plans for many years. Then when my husband died, we weren’t sure we wanted to go. We talked about it many times and then other family members decided to join us and lovingly support us that year and we all met in the city.
Looking back on that painful time, I am really glad we did not break the New York Christmas tree tradition. It has been bittersweet for me for so many years but the tradition is also something that my son just absolutely loves and looks forward to.
It took me a long time to figure this out but essentially when my life changed so much from the loss of a loved one, I needed to find a way to deal with the pain and try to also find some way to heal and move forward so I wasn’t stuck in an endless loop of grieving. I thought that by moving forward I would be leaving the memories of my husband/my son’s father behind me as I took steps to rebuild my life.
But I’m not leaving or saying good-bye to those memories and that special time. I think what I really am doing is healing from bringing those memories with me and then creating new memories as my son and I experience the same family traditions.
How could I ever really forget those memories? I can’t. Now I let them be with me but also try to make sure those memories don’t stop me or hold me back from what I want to do today.
My picture above may not be the best so here is a short YouTube video featuring this year’s lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center so you can experience the magic of the tree for yourself: