At precisely one minute past midnight - the time when Cliff and I would kiss each other, "Happy Christmas, darling," and savour a cocktail, or vodka, coke & ice, or some bubbles ... perhaps straight after a firework or two going off at midnight, as we settled by tree to exchange gifts ...
... I lit two candles. One for the Dragon and one for my husband. I said, "Happy Christmas, Baba ... Happy Christmas, Dragon."
Yes, I cried.
I spoke to him, I kissed his photo, and the scatter-tube that holds his ashes*.
But now, with the lights dimmed, surrounded by my sleepy dogs, the light from those two candles is making the lounge seem so peaceful. There is strength coming from the light that they are in our lives.
Two fearless men.
Two women trying to overcome their fears.
And two warm beautiful candles.
I am no longer tensed up dreading, fearing even ... Christmas.
It is here.
It was the right decision, thankfully, to be here alone.
I needed to do this, and I've done it. I can breath easy again, literally.
I didn't do it alone though, womanNshadows and I have held hands thoughout the evening. I wish there wasn't a time zone difference, because there is no way I can stay up till 05h00, then drive down to the coast on icy roads. And when I am driving there, she will be dreaming of her Dragon <3
I am going to sit here and let the candle-light wash over me, soothe me and bask in the peacefulness of the moment.
And think about the two candles burning in North Carolina for Cliff and the Dragon too.
Tomorrow, I am spending the day with Manda and Mick and sharing Christmas Dinner with them. I'm sure that is also the right decision. I shouldn't stay alone on Xmas Day, but Xmas Eve is different. It was ours.
*I'm glad they are still here for today, and that I haven't yet taken him down to Malcolm ... but will do before the New Year ... hmmm, perhaps straight after the New Year, so that the fireworks are still ready for a weekend in January 2010, provided Marcus is going to be in the UK.