$210,000...that's what we've all donated so far to help cure pediatric brain cancer. I'd like to think that money is already saving children. I hope that thought makes you feel good this holiday season. It helps me. My gut says we'll get there soon, and the cure isn't far off. It's been a long time since I've had time to do much. A couple of weeks off is very welcome. With it comes more time to contemplate our life, Naya and the last two years. Naya's absence becomes more noticed and real every day. I don't really think she's gone, just not her with me. Our lives will always be influenced, directed and energized by her. It's just not clear yet how things will turn out, but it's undeniable that she will continue to shape us and watch us.
The tree is up, and stockings are up too. I put Naya's stocking up and see it every day on the mantle. It's of course pink with horses, which makes me smile. Friends and I also put up all of her favorite ornaments with care, tears and smiles.
I miss her. She would be cheering on the Steelers today with me and looking forward to wrapping presents. There was so much about Christmas she loved, and I loved experiencing with her. One of my favorite and stupid things to do with Naya every holiday is go to Hallmark and buy there fluffy santa/snowman toy with music (see picture). They play music and shake. I am ashamed to admit that I'm one of those people who buys them, and I have a "collection". Today, I saw a funny Snoopy one, and wanted to get it. Zak was so embarrassed and wouldn't let me. Naya would have. Tomorrow, I'm going by myself and getting it. I have to for her (and me).
Today, I tortured Zak and took him shopping for Hank's gifts. I found a great store in our town with the best ornaments and Christmas decor. Truly the best I've ever encountered. I bought a few things while Zak was irritated and waiting in the car. If Naya were here, we would have been in that store all day! I bought a couple of things she would have liked including more ornaments for our already over-decorated tree. I might get a second small tree just to put her things on it.
The puppy, Sam, is quite a handful. He's smart, spunky and loves to play. He's pretty independent too. In the first week, he did a few things that Naya would have laughed at. He pulled her favorite blanket off the blanket rack and the entire rack came crashing down on him. He took a piece of clay sushi off of a sushi art project she made, and he found one of the rocks from her rock collection in the yard and brought it in for us. You could say it's all coincidence, but I like to think it's Naya letting us know she's around & enjoying Sam too.