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Holidays and Anne of Green Gables

December 4, 2012

Christmas Decorations

We did not decorate last year mainly because I did not have anywhere near the energy it takes. Sydney absolutely loved Christmas, decorations and all, and always bore the brunt of the emotional and physical workload. In retrospect, aside from lacking the required energy, I think I was protesting. I didn’t feel very celebratory, and in my mind, it wasn’t really possible to do it without her. If I couldn’t have Christmas with her, then we wouldn’t do it at all (or at least we wouldn’t do a good job celebrating).

In talking with other widows/widowers at a KinderMourn group, the consensus I took away was that each year after the death of your spouse, you are able to do a little bit more. Well, I am proud to say that we are moving through the holidays and this year, we did decorate!

It was a stroke of God’s grace that I volunteered to chaperone on Vail’s fourth grade field trip to Grandfather mountain. Part of the trip included a stop at a Christmas tree farm to discuss the industry as a part of our state economy (could you believe this guy sold 35,000 trees per year!). Anyway, we were able to pre-order a tree and take it home on the bus as part of the field trip.

The field trip allowed me to be able to purchase a tree without facing the seemingly impossible task of loading up the car one evening to go pick one out. If there was any one part of Christmas that was Sydney’s, it was picking out the tree. She loved to talk about it and start chattering and discussing and bartering with me on how large a tree we could get weeks beforehand. And she wanted to get it as early as possible.

You see, to her, buying the tree was like shooting up a flare to the world that warned, “Chirstmas is ON!” It was like a horse busting out of a racing gate. Like Braveheart, she would charge from the mountain and take on the decorations and parties and evil retailers (who seemed to love her for some reason).

In tree shopping, Sydney was also known to implement one of her old thrift store tricks where she would dress up (and require the rest of us to dress up) in not so nice clothes, and drive to the other side of town to try to bargain for an addition $3-5 off the price.

Though we have nowhere near her enthusiasm, we are celebrating and doing some things this year. We sat down and talked about it and decided on a tree, a Christmas card, a few gifts and riding around looking at lights! Sydney loved that too!

Finally, I wanted to pass along a neat thing that happened tonight as I was putting the kids to bed. It was special blessing, because last night was a little sad as the girls were talking about wishing they had a mom to put them to bed:(. Anyway, tonight I was helping Vail look for a new book to read on my kindle, which she borrows sometimes.

We came across “Anne of Green Gables.” It was highly recommended for fourth grade girls and to my surprise, she said she had never read it. It was 99 cents on kindle so I said, “let’s get it.” “Wait a minute,” she said, and she walked over to her bookcase. She took out a hardback copy of the same title and showed it to me.

“Mommy gave this book to me,” she said. “And somebody wrote in it, but it wasn’t Mommy.” “What do you mean?” I said. “Well, we got it at a thrift store, and Mommy said she had read it when she was a little girl, and she wanted me to have it. She said she wanted to write in it, but she really liked what this woman had said, so I should just pretend that she [referring to Sydney] wrote it to me.”

I mean is that not so Sydney… Check this out.

Anne of Green Gables

From → Stories

9 Comments
  1. davidandcandy permalink

    May the Lord Jesus touch your hearts this Christmas as never before! God’s blessings and much love, David & Candy

  2. Just beautiful.

  3. Kristin permalink

    Todd – this is one of my all-time favorite books. I re-read it recently and loved every page. I love hearing about others experiencing Anne for the first time!

    I think of you so often – and of Sydney and the impact she had on me and my own faith journey. She was pivotal. Please know that people like me everywhere are praying and rooting for you everyday.
    Hugs and prayers to you all –
    Kristin Woods Williamson

  4. Todd- Sara Mann, a friend of your brother Trey’s sent me your way. I am huge reader and blogger and she thought I would appreciate your words. I am sitting in the dark of my kitchen in tears of both sadness and joy. What an amazingly trying journey you are on and how clear it is to me, a complete stranger, how proud Sydney would be of how you are raising your children. Thank you for sharing this story- I will certainly carry it with me…

  5. Judith Allen permalink

    I think that was a when God winks moments

  6. Sadee permalink

    beautiful. thanks for reminding me that we have a God who sees us. and i feel like this post was such a special tribute to your one-of-a-kind amazing sydney.

  7. Wow, so insightful as to God’s love and constant presence, this story ….. and you. Your tender care, and guidance, for those sweet children is beyond admirable, it is inspirational, and inspired. I love you,
    Dad

  8. Renee Wade permalink

    I also feel this was a “God thing”. How amazing that the very book you were shopping was right there as if Sydney was there pushing you to it. God bless you and your sweet family this Christmas.

  9. Kate Crist permalink

    I saw your “Receiving” post on Jerel’s page. I saw this post off to the side and had to comment as “Anne of Green Gables” was and is my absolute favorite book of all time. I would highly recommend the movie version as it perfectly captures the sweetness of the book. It stars Meagan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. Happy new year to you and your family!

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