The Holidays

I am sometimes asked if the holidays are a difficult time for me. I am able to make it through the holiday season without tears. I embrace the present moment and try to avoid getting lost in the past. That doesn’t mean I do not miss Crystle, for I surely do. But if I allowed my mind to focus on pasts memories, or pine away about what ‘could have been’ then I would miss creating new memories in the present moment with my family.

I see these ‘big’ days coming towards me months before they arrive. I do my reflecting privately and let any sadness come out. I feel content to let these emotions come out and cry when I am alone. I believe this is healthy, for even though grief does not hang over me, I will never stop mourning the loss of my beautiful wife. To say Crystle was my ‘wife’ seems somewhat sterile and pedestrian. She was so much more than I can ever put into words.

Today I went to lunch with my daughter and her hubby and of course, my grandson. She sent me a short video of Quinn, sitting in the backseat, legs crossed, swinging to the music. I love him dearly, but I could not help see him through Crystle’s eyes. 

I wept. For Quinn. 

He will always remember his grandmama, but he will not recall the intensity of her love. You could feel the love beaming from her eyes. He won’t see those eyes. And, speaking from personal experience, he won’t feel the unconditional love that caresses you when you have done something to disappoint. Not that my grandson could ever do any wrong.

I am fortunate. I have a loving family, including Crystle’s siblings who continue to love and support me still, and love me as if I were their own brother. I am blessed to have friends who fill my life with joy.

I am grateful for the gift of family and friends in my life. And gratitude feeds me.

H​appy holidays.

Crystle’s 60th Birthday

 

July 19, 2019 marked the 60th birthday for Crystle. She celebrated her 50th and 55th birthdays in Las Vegas with two close friends, Jo-anne Haire and Nora Clark. The three ladies always shared a room at the JW Marriott in Summerlin. We decided that the celebrations must not stop just because Crystle is no longer with us in this earthly realm. 

Both my son and daughter and their spouses joined us for the party. Both had reservations at the Flamingo which was a disaster. To quote a Seinfeld: “See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold the reservation and that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.” Both Val and Steve ended up at the Mirage where, ironically, they had clean rooms and welcomed the as guests. The interesting thing to note here is that Crystle really liked the Mirage and didn’t care at all for the Flamingo. I don’t believe in coincidences.

Determined not to make the unpleasant experiences with the Flamingo deter us, we began our celebrations with drinks at Parasol Down in the Wynn Hotel. This is an outdoor lounge overlooking a small manmade lake. Many years ago it was called SW Lounge and Crystle would never adopt the new name. So in our family, we too still refer to it as SW Lounge.

Some of us continued through the night stopping at places that brought memories of Crystle. On the morning of the 19th, I drove to Summerlin to meet Jo-anne and her husband. We sat on the swing where she had sat many times with Crystle in their previous trips together. As we sat there reminiscing, a lone hummingbird came and stayed for our visit on the swing. Eight of us gathered at Estiatorio Milos on Friday evening. This was one of Crystle’s favourite restaurants and a place we have dined together many times. We all shared a beautiful evening celebrating her birthday.

Our trip was brief but the important thing is that our memories were happy not sad. Yes, we certainly miss Crystle and tears did flow, at times. We celebrate her and all that she means for each one of us. It helps us continue healing.