We won Christmas.
Waking early to stack presents under the tree, then rush back to bed for a few more minutes of sleep, it is the first year Steve and I are awake before our kids. Mom is still here and celebrating with Dad low-key across town, as we open presents at home. Snow falls. Her final Christmas is white.
I open thoughtful, fun gifts from my kids. We do not eat our traditional Christmas breakfast until after 10:30. I guess that makes it brunch. Everyone is growing up.
The day is relaxing and slow. We give Mom and Dad space together to exchange their gifts and time to visit with other family members. Family begins to gather to spend the week between Christmas and New Years. It is a time that works for us all, and we seize it.
I pretend to be an out of town kid and pack a bag to stay at my parents’ house for the week. I have a grandbaby coming in mid-January and need to quarantine soon in preparation. I savor every moment with mom and family as we embrace the bittersweet, sacred space.
We won Christmastide with mom. The days led to weeks and to over five months and here we are on the fifth day of Christmas. Still together. Still living and laughing and loving until the end.