Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One Year Later

It's hard to believe that it has already been a year since we did the Four Whittle Trees at the Festival of Trees. What a crazy-busy time it was, a culmination of an entire year of planning and preparing and decorating. We had at least one Christmas tree up in our front room as early as the end of July that year - and two by the middle of October.

This year, we waited to put up our Christmas tree until around Thanksgiving-time. Just like everyone else.

Tonight was auction night again at the Festival of Trees and it was weird being there this year. I almost missed not having done a tree. Almost. Thinking about it, I'm not sure I would even want to do it again - at least not the same way we did it last year.

Doing the Four Trees was a very special time for me. It was a time for healing. It was a time to remember and honor an entire family whose lives were cut way too short. It was a time to count my blessings. It was a time for selfless acts of kindness. It was a time for close friends. It was a time for family.

It was the first time that my entire surviving immediate family was able to come together since the funerals and do something together. Sure it was stressful and sure there were times when I wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew. But everyone pulled together and the results were amazing.

But this year was different. This year we were just at the Festival of Trees as spectators not participants. We walked down the row where our trees were last year. Some else's trees were there. It just wasn't the same. It was emotional.

Wait - I forgot. Not all of us were just spectators.

Mom made 40 hats to donate to the Festival of Trees for them to sell in their little Craft/Gift Store. Vicki had made similar hats to donate to children in need and Mom wanted to continue the tradition. Each hat is unique and was made with love. She is an amazing woman - always looking out for others instead of herself. She is a great example to me and my family.