Christmas Day 2018

Christmas Eve was a day filled with joy and laughter for us. We celebrated with both our families - the Harkins side for brunch and an afternoon filled with presents, laughter, some inappropriate YouTube videos and a card game where Papa threw $10 in the pot to make it interesting. Luckily, one of the broke college kids - Erin - pocketed the cash. Lots of good natured ribbing and laughter. Just the way we like it.

If you have kids who come home for the holidays, check out the SNL skit "back home baller". I highly recommend it.

Then it was off to the O'Hara side. Lots of eating and drinking... and singing... loudly. The O'Haras can produce impressive volume levels. Erin was right there with her cousins, spreading Christmas cheer. Dan pointed out that our group included 5 men and 12 women. Of the cousins closest to Erin on the O'Hara side, there are 5 girls and 1 guy.

This ratio led to a rousing rendition of "The 12 days of Feministmas".

A great day all around. But as with every day in our life, something was missing. Holidays only accentuate it.

As we drove home last night after celebrating with our families, a bright, almost full moon lit the way back to Rochester. We always think of Shannon when the moon is full as it was when she left us. Honestly, we always think of Shannon. Period. Full stop.

We talked about her on the way home. About our memories of holidays and that last Christmas when she was still here, but not.  7 years since her last Christmas. It's so long ago, now, and that scares me. I don't want to lose any of my memories of Shannon. I don't want her to get further away from me.

So, a piece of unsolicited advice from me to you. If you know someone who's lost someone, tell them what you remember about their dearly departed. Say their name. It's the best gift you could give them. There's nothing better than getting to hear stories about the ones you miss so dearly.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Jen, Dan & Erin