First Christmas without Paul
It is 4 o'clock Boxing Day evening and I've had a few texts today asking how our Christmas Day went. I'm in awe of the love people have for us, for Paul and how we are still in everyone's thoughts. I love the honesty of friends who don't know what to say, of friends who confess they don't know how we must be feeling, of friends who keep us in their prayers and of friends who make us smile.
Well....we did it. And I hope we did Paul proud. Paul was never far from our thoughts and words as we celebrated a socially distanced Christmas Day with our support bubble - our dearest friends next door.
I'm hoping this doesn't become a boring factual record of our first Christmas without Paul.
My sole aim for 25th December 2020 was to see the boys happy. We continued with some old family traditions with many a new ones. The day started at 10 o'clock with bacon butties for breakfast and freshly made coffee; followed swiftly by the boys opening their stockings. I'm certain I didn't do a good job with this, as Paul was in charge of stocking fillers. He was able to fill these large sacks with mostly rubbish stuff!! I used to go spare just thinking of the clutter that came with buying these silly toys, gadgets etc. How I wish I could see his quirky sense of humour just one more time. I did manage to get one 'silly' toy and told the boys that that is something their dad would have bought.
We then opened a bottle of champagne and I played Santa giving out the wrapped presents from under the tree. This used to be Paul's role. When we celebrated Christmas at his parents' house until 14 years ago, it was my father-in-law's role.
Here are a couple of my presents which I will treasure.
The rest of the day involved phone calls, zoom calls, cooking, drinking, eating, playing games, more drinking and more eating. Best game played yesterday was Sussed - Emotional Intelligence. Who can guess who was the recipient of this?!!
I wasted a couple of bottles of Cava by leaving them in the freezer for too long. I know it is only Cava but when you are in isolation, every drop matters!
We ended the day with a fire outside, drinking mulled wine and baileys hot chocolate and eating cheese and crackers. The fire was to satisfy Harry's obsession with everything fire related. He has been desperate to light the fire in the living room this winter but, I know that I will be the one having to clear up all the soot marks off the walls and clearing the grate.
As we said good night and were ready to hit the sack, Andrew stood outside our bedroom door and said '“Mum, our lives are getting back on track and this Christmas is proof of that”. Every single day this child surprises me with his thoughtfulness, with his ability to read my every single muscle move and with his sunny disposition. I can't wait for our self isolation to end on Monday so that I can give hm the biggest hug.
Thank you for being with us this year. It means a lot that we have support from friends and family near and far. It makes me feel a little less alone as I travel up a path I never even knew existed. It feels like there really isn't a path right now....except I'm walking uphill and I'm having to carve a path for ourselves as I take each step.
This has just reminded me that it is about time I wrote about those special people in my life who are my crutches, as they help me take each step.