Friday, January 11, 2008

The Holidays

We imagine that folks may have been wondering how the holidays went. As you can imagine, it was pretty hard. All the "firsts" without Mason are hard. But we tried our best to honor his memory and enjoy the holiday he loved so much. Friends of ours came over and helped us decorate the tree before we left for NY. That really helped us.

We kept most traditions the same. We went to NY and had a pre-Christmas with my parents and siblings, then it was off to Albany for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we had star helium balloons and we wrote notes to Mason and Poppa - (Kirk's Dad who passed a couple of years ago) and let the balloons go. Mateo wrote on his note: "I hope you are okay." We also prepared our reindeer food like we always do, and put candles in the ground to light the way. We held hands and said a few words about Mason and those we loved and missed.

Kirk's sister and her family changed their usual plans and spent Christmas morning with us so Mateo would have kids around. That really helped to not seem so empty and strange as both Mason and Francisca (who was on vacation in Bolivia) were not there. Then we went to Kirk's brother's house for dinner. We had a little candlelight ceremony. Each of us had a card to read: family, community, memories, love, laughter etc. The kids and family added to what Kirk and I wrote. The candles looked beautiful and had stars on them.

I also went and saw Mason's grave. The temporary headstone is up and my friend Mary and I placed notes that Kirk, Mateo and I wrote for him. A friend had suggested a blanket of pine to put on the grave and we did that. It was a beautiful day- crisp, cold wintry.

And so life continues.....


Summer Rivas said...

We think of you guys often and pray for you even more.
Love, Summer, Reina and Laura (indoor soccer)

Carter Goodwin said...

I think about all of you every day, and especially during the holidays. I can only imagine how difficult it was for all of you. I wanted to let you know that having known you, all of you, and especially you Danielle, has really changed my life. I admire your courage so much - to talk with people about what was going on with Mason, to answer truthfully but not aggressively when someone asked how you were doing, to see the love and support and courage that you have shown Mason and Mateo. My life, like that of other working mothers, is very hectic. Often I would get caught up in that and forget to enjoy what I have. But now, when I start to feel overwhelmed and like I can't handle this, I think of you and the way that you have handled Mason's illness and death, and still been there for Mateo and others. You are truly a model for me and I'm sure others. I don't know why such a terrible happened to people as good as all of you. But one thing I can tell you is that I think that I have become a better parent as a result of your experience. And I will never forget Mason, Mateo or you. You are an incredible family. Love, Lycia Carter Goodwin (Emmeline's mother from The Orioles Blastball team).