In the back of my mind, I kept picturing last year's Christmas - spending time with him at the nursing home, and trying refrain from crying while I was talking to him and holding his hand (he was no longer able to verbally communicate at that point). They are hard memories to recall since the effects of Alzheimer's Disease had robbed my Dad of his mind and abilities.
So, this year I muddled through the holidays during December - from St. Nicholas Day to St. Lucia Day to Las Posadas to Christmas. I did the best I could...and hopefully Sophia and Olivia enjoyed the activities we did and food we made together.
As I looked at pictures from Christmas day, my favorite one is of my Mom holding a cow bell from Austria. Her Stephen Minister, Tom, gave it to her to use on Christmas to gather everyone together for breakfast and a prayer.
Mom with Austrian Cow Bell on Christmas Day.
My Dad always would say the prayers before holiday meals. This year...with cow bell in hand...my Mom did her own prayer. It was one in which she said a phrase and then everyone else repeated something else after her. We did that twice.
The cow bell made her smile...and the prayer she said was one that provided comfort to her. It was a happy moment of the day.
I'm so pleased that I did the P52 Photo Challenge. Even though the year started out on a very difficult note with my Dad dying on January 5th...having a focus and documenting the highlights of a particularly challenging year was worthwhile.
P52 has given me something positive to look back upon for 2012. It also will help me remember the many bright spots and positive experiences of the past year.