Oh the holiday season.
I guess for me, this season will always bring the good and the not-so-good emotions.
This time of year is a mix of emotions between enjoying time with the loved ones in your life but is also about remembering those who are no longer with you.
This weekend when I was home in Toronto I celebrated Channukah with both sides of my family. We went to my Bubbie’s house [My father’s mother] for our usual Friday night dinner. This time though, it was accompanied by latkas [the traditional jewish food during this holiday] and gifts. Saturday too, included latkas and gifts with my mother’s side of the family.
I hadn’t really been around my family for a few months since I had moved back to school, so it was a nice change. I missed everyone and enjoyed spending quality time with them.
Even though it has been a while since his passing, it has still been hard celebrating the holidays without my dad. I don’t really know how to put it into words, and I don’t know if I can, but it was hard.
To top it all off, yesterday, I received an email from a family with a picture attached. The mother of the family had emailed me explaining how she had met my father. Apparently, the family had met my dad at Princess Margaret Hospital when my he was in for weekly blood transfusions and their daughter was in for treatments. The mother had told me how much fun my dad had been and what a great person he was. Attached to the email, was a picture of an ornament they had made of my father to put on their special “angel” tree. This tree has 12 ornaments of people they had met and who had passed over the past two years who they consider heroes.
I guess I didn’t really realize how much I missed my dad during the holidays until I received the email, last night, during my sorority holiday potluck dinner. I read the email as it came to my blackberry while sitting at a table with a bunch of my sisters. The email was so touching that I actually cried at the table. Luckily, I was able to hide it. However, in an instant my tears were quickly turned to laughs when a sister made a joke. The laughs reminded me of the love within my circle of friends and reminded me to cherish the time I had with them.
Last night was definitely a great moment during this holiday season. Of course I had an amazing time with my family back at home, but last night was special as well. At 6pm yesterday evening, our house began to fill with girls and food as we all prepared to feast for our holiday potluck. There were almost 50 girls present, each with a separate dish in hand. There was tons of food and laughter, and I had a great time.
Though this is really only the beginning of the holiday season, I have already experienced an overwhelming amount of joy and love. I am so lucky to have such special people in my life and I couldn’t be happier.
This holiday season, please appreciate the loved ones around you.