This Thanksgiving has been a new type of torture. See it’s no longer the first. It’s not the new normal. It’s just the normal. Two girls on this Earth with me. And one that I would give anything to have back. We asked our girls about a month ago if they could do one thing at Christmas what would it be? Klara picked one of the Christmas activities that Melina was at, the last Christmas she was with us. Castle Noel.

We entered the building as I had done two years prior only this time dressed in a lot more Cheeto. This time was so different. I liked the tour the the last time we went. But this time I LOVED it. I don’t even know how that makes sense. Right at the beginning we walked into Santa telling us stories. As we walked passed Santa (last in the group) he told my girls he was so proud of them. Why he chose them I have no idea. And why he chose to say that he was so proud of them I will never know. I wanted to stop and say “oh Santa you have no idea.” But then he looked at me, and said “just remember it helps to look at life through a child’s eyes”. Now at this point I thought okay who called ahead? But I looked at my two girls and Klara grabbed my hand and never let go. This time I took Santa’s advice. I focused my attention on their every move. Differently than I had done before.

When Melina was with us I always paid attention. They were always my world. But I think now I don’t have the anxiety I used too. I don’t worry about getting the perfect picture. I don’t worry about whether or not they are having fun, I just know they are. I don’t worry about the things at home that need finished. I give them all of me. I stay in the moment. In return I get to see the world through a child’s eye, and they save me.

After we finished at Castle Noel, we went to a memory tree down the street to tie on a ribbon. A ribbon with a message to a loved one. Talk about a moment that takes your breath away. Two years ago Melina tied a ribbon to that tree and today I’m writing one to her. I watched Klara and Emilea and I saw the love they have for their sister. And I watched the Joy they found in honoring her. “Mommy she is going to see these.” “Yes baby girls she is.” I watched through their eyes. In return I hung an ornament on that tree. You are really not supposed to, but I didn’t care. I know someone will find it. And in that moment their heart will need saved too.

As we were walking back to the car I wanted to run back to Santa. I wanted to tell him our story. I wanted him to know how he helped me today. I want Santa to know it does helps to look at life through a child’s eye because that is where you find the Joy.

So today is my “normal”. I know I don’t like it. I know I can’t change it. I know bad things happen. I know horrible things happen. I know that I can do a whole lot right and it still ends up wrong. But I also know that sometimes you have to let it go. Sometimes you need to find the moment. Sometimes you need to just be present. And even in the darkness if you look real close life can still bring you Joy. But only if you Choose. Thank you always Melina. Thank you for my Joy. 💚🌈💚