I'm sitting here listening to Vangelis, a composer Leif loved, beginning with the end titles from Blade Runner, one of his favorite movies, and thinking of him. It's hard to believe I haven't posted on this blog since December 16th. Each of the days since then we have thought of him, talked of him, missed him, remembered good times with him. We were blessed with family around us, Peter Anthony, our granddaughters, my mother, friends, who kept us busy, happy except for moments when a longing broke through, kept us focused on life and the present so much better than we would have been if we had been alone.
Even this fourth Christmas without Leif doesn't feel right, though. He should have been with us, enjoying all the fun, the foods he loved. He would have participated in the lively political and historical discussions with fervor, laughed at the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert shows, talked about all the latest technology, and eaten too much potato lefse and Berliner Kranse. He would have loved the movies, played the games.
He could not be with us, but we went to the cemetery, which was decked out in wreaths and flowers, on December 28. It's a beautiful place, but a place full of both peace and sadness.
I cried, as I always do, and was glad for the long, tight hugs from Peter and Peter Anthony, so thankful they were with me. It still hurts to look at that marble slab with his name on it and know that all that's left of his earthly remains are behind it, yet I want to go there, to acknowledge him in that small symbolic way.
On New Years Eve, I watched the ball drop in Times Square and looked up at the stars in the night sky and thought of him.
I thought again how passionate he would be about the political campaign, wondered as I always do what we might have done to keep him with us.
But this year, more than the past, I was able to embrace the good memories and cherish them without always dissolving into sadness . . . though missing him will always be there. I missed buying him gifts, too. I thought about it when I was wrapping all the others. It still doesn't seem right not to have them for him.
It will be like that when his birthday comes at the end of this month, too.