The Difference of a Year

If you had asked me last year, or even 6 months ago, what I thought this Christmas would look like you might think it was an alternate universe.

If you had asked me prior to the middle of July I would have told you about my plans to attend Christmas Eve mass, I would have told you about the amazing time I thought I would have with my future in-laws, I would tell you how amazing it is to wake up with the woman I loved in my arms, I would tell you about opening presents with them, I would tell you about the fun we had going back and forth as we opened presents and the easy banter. If you had asked me a year ago about this Christmas I would have told you of my excitement around celebrating the holiday, my last holiday as a federally defined single and all the emotions that came with that. If you had asked me, I would have told you how I would spend the day just trying to make her smile and laugh just because that was enough of a gift to me. I’d have told you about our lazy day before we had to split from everyone and be with my family. I’d have told you about our first official Christmas living together. I’d have told you a lot of things.

And if I had told you those things you would never believe me when I spoke of this year’s Christmas instead.

This year, this year for Christmas I no longer had her, I couldn’t hear her laugh, I couldn’t see her smile, and I didn’t wake up with her or spend it with her family while trying to avoid my own for as long as possible. No, instead I would tell you about being irritated, I would tell you that I was crushed by grief, so much so I spent most of the day reminding myself that I needed to breath and that I couldn’t break down crying, no matter how much I wanted to. No, I would tell you how I went to a Methodist Christmas Eve service and as nice as it was I just wanted to be at mass. I would tell you how I spent it with my own family, and while it’s nice, my heart longs for a different place, for different people. I’d tell you how I couldn’t even button my own shirt at first, I’d tell you about the pain that comes with wearing this vest and this watch. I’d tell you that I’m thankful my scars have healed well enough that I no longer look like the bride of Frankenstein. I’d tell you how much I miss the way things used to be, I’d tell you that my only wish for this Christmas was to have Kelsie back in any way that was possible.

I’d tell you how much difference a year makes.