And for as much as the New Year's holiday was spent mourning Pappa's death and even the Christmas holiday was spent hospital-bedside--
|On Christmas morning, Pappa naps as Syd plays with her brand new Ponies.|
--I am requiring myself to remember that quite a lot of it was joyful, as well. We baked a truly astonishing number of Christmas cookies, and decorated some epic gingerbread houses:
We did our usual tour of the most elaborately decorated house in Arkansas, and the town park with a Christmas lights trail and a Christmas train that runs through it:
We have seen every single member of our family currently living in the state, I believe, and even a few other out-of-state family members. The kids' favorite member of our family, however?
This new puppy of my mother's.
We ate ice cream floats from an old-fashioned soda fountain and visited the national historic site again so that Syd could show off her 4th Grader National Parks Pass and earn their Junior Ranger badge for a second time:
|Such nice little lions...|
|...until they're not!|
And we did, of course, have a lovely Christmas day:
|Time for Daddy to wake up!|
|My sweet girl is always the most excited to see others open the gifts that she gives them.|
|And I love that I caught Will's excitement watching Syd open a gift of her own.|
|Will, herself, mostly received dragons.|
At some point, I know, the grief will fade from these memories of this holiday, and I'll remember again the happiness and contentment that I also felt. It will be easier to think of the last days that I spent with Pappa, without feeling sad that those were my last days with him. I know, intellectually, that this will happen.
For now, however, I'll just say that I will be very, very glad to see tomorrow.