We put up our Christmas tree yesterday and I just was not really in the spirit this time.  This is my favorite holiday of the year and I love decorating the tree, but it took every ounce of strength I could muster to pull myself off the couch and get it up and decorated.  Even the excitement from the kids did not help.

The truth is that I miss you, Mom.

I could actually hear you complaining about the clear lights.  “Christmas trees are supposed to have colored lights!  Did I not teach you anything?!?”

I could hear you saying, “Thank God that tree is fake.  I hate vacuuming up pine needles.”

I hung the ornaments that you made from plastic canvas for Andy and I along the bottom of the tree even though we do not have cats anymore.  You once told me they were indestructible and that is pretty much true.  Those ornaments spent a lot of time off the tree in our cat days.

I hung my baby ornament that you actually had to replace.  Metal rusts when it gets wet.  It really rusts when an eight-year old puts it in a glass of Coke because she is performing an experiment and wants to see if it will fizz, causing the metal to come off.  I can hear the exasperation in your voice now, “Erica, that isn’t going to work and you wasted a Coke!”  You were right.  It didn’t work.  You were wrong though too.  I didn’t waste a Coke.  I drank it, but I was eight and it was Coke.  I know now that is disgusting, but not then.

I hung our wedding ornament that you gave Andy and I for our first Christmas as a married couple.  The original was broken back in the cat days when the cats took the tree down on a crazy run through the house.  I remember calling you to say that it was broken.  You laughed hysterically at my story.  Hysterically.  So much so that you almost couldn’t breathe for ten minutes.  Then, you quietly sent me the $15 to replace it even though I didn’t need the money to replace it.

I hung the two reindeer ornaments made by your Mom.  I remember you saying, “I always thought these were dumb when my mom first made them.  Now, I would give about anything for her to make another set.”

I cried tonight while Andy and Laura hugged me tight.  I know it will get easier, but I miss you, Mom.  I miss you.