When my mom and dad arrived, we knew it was only a matter of days before Grandma would be gone but we decided to go on with our plans because that's what she would have wanted. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas Eve service at our church and came home and opened presents that night. Mom and I were stayed up late watching Christmas with the Kranks (a favorite). We finally decided to go to bed and as I was getting ready for bed, Cora woke up. I rocked her and was having a hard time getting her back to sleep. I heard my Mom's phone ring, it was shortly past midnight now, Christmas Day, and I knew Grandma was gone. I believe Cora knew too, that's why she wasn't sleeping.
Mom, Cora and I snuggled on the couch and talked about Grandma and how much fun she was, how much we would miss her but how happy we were together during this time. I'm so glad my last memory of my grandma is from this past fall when we visited her. E was playing basketball in the community area of Grandma's nursing home and whenever the ball would roll by Grandma, she would try to jump out of her chair and get it for him. I kept telling her not to do that! I'm grateful I was with my mom when she got the call about Grandma. This will be one of my most cherished Christmas memories, although sad, it was a special night of four generations being together.
Mom and Dad left Christmas Day to take care of arrangements but we still had a wonderful Christmas. We had to cut Christmas short with Mike's family, we went out just for Saturday then headed to Iowa on Sunday for the funeral on Monday.
Despite the sadness this Christmas came with, I still feel it was one of my best Christmases. E was totally into Christmas, enjoying Christmas movies and books and the decorations. He loved driving at night seeing all the houses lit up. "Do you see any Christmas lights Mommy?" he would ask. Then when he saw some he would shout, "Christmas lights!" It was also special because it was Cora's first Christmas. She wasn't into it much but she did enjoy eating the pine needles from the tree and pulling off the ornaments.
I think the reason I enjoyed this Christmas so much was because I was with family the majority of the time. We were able to carry on the Christmas spirit during a sad time because we were together. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas with ones they loved.