Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And so this is Christmas...

We've made it through Christmas 2012 without Brandon's humor (and sometimes downright silliness), without his deft hand popping the cork on the champenoise for mimosas at brunch or his oven-baked Blue Grass (Quality Meats) thick-sliced bacon, without his insistence on preparing a fairly complicated (to my culinary-deficient mind) main dish for Christmas dinner if Mom/I was willing to cover the cost of said main dish and its trimmings, and I was always more than happy to do so! Without all of us being able to toast him as chef.

And so this was Christmas...
Brandon at Christmas 2011 with the loves of his life - wife Christina and daughter Morgan

Brandon's Christmas 2011 main dish - prime rib of beef
Christmas silliness 2011 - Uncle Brandon & Uncle Kris "ganging up" on Konrad
Christmas silliness 2009 - wearing his mother's peppermint candy earring

This year we went to Christmas Eve Mass with Christina and Morgan, and daughter Carolyn and her husband Kris. Christina, Morgan, my husband Joe and I then headed to daughter Elizabeth's for a wonderful dinner of beef tenderloin and presents with our oldest grandchildren Konrad and Karenna. Christmas morning my parents, Carolyn and Kris, and Christina and Morgan came to our house for brunch. (Elizabeth was off to northeastern Ohio.) We had our "traditional" mimosas, thick-sliced bacon and Carolyn's strata, and we were able to enjoy our time together. Both out-of-town and sorely missed sons Tony and Joe(y) checked in at some point during Christmas day. (Joe[y] is to come "home" for a few days tomorrow, and we can't blame Tony for choosing a week with his family at his mother's and father-in-law's condo in southwestern Florida!) We may have started a new tradition. We met up again with Carolyn and Kris for a late afternoon showing of the just-opened movie, Les Miserables. (I highly recommend making the time for this movie!)

Yet, and so this was also Christmas 2012...

I had to get a live tree for Brandon at "our" Christmas tree spot, the Lowe's on Ridge Road. When I smelled their balsam firs the other day, it was the smell of wonderful memories. I knew I couldn't handle or trim a 6-7 foot balsam, so I settled for a potted Norfolk pine. Strands of gold beads and twinkling white lights encircle the branches, and the lights are set on a timer to light up for six out of each 24 hours. A fuchsia silk rose I found lying on "my" labyrinth just before Brandon's death is clipped to the center top branch, and a small Santa wind chimes hangs on another top branch, gently playing carols as the breeze blows by. 

I set it up Sunday and sang "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night" to him, which I'm sure he found "cheesy," just as I'm sure he laughed at my pathetic attempts to reach the high notes. Joe and I went back this Christmas Day between brunch and the movie. We cried and held onto each other for awhile. Then we listened to Hugh Jackman's superb rendition of "Bring Him Home" and we cried some more... 

Merry Christmas and God/Love bless you, everyone. May the magic of this holy season be yours. "And remember the truth that once was spoken, 'To love another person is to see the face of God.'"

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