There was a lot of good to remember from this year. We lived the best we could and though our memories of Dom will be our last, at least we had them. We made the most of them.
We didn't put up any Christmas lights. No tree. We ate dinner Dec. 25 at a burger joint in Las Vegas, after downing foot-long margaritas for lunch. Aside from some carolers and the odd Santa begging for change, you'd have hardly known what time of year it was there. Bright lights are 24/7 in Sin City anyhow, though it was funny being the only ones not wearing jackets on the strip.
We finally got his toys pared down and given away. There were about two carloads full of them that went to various agencies in Medicine Hat. And we still kept a lot, ones that are meaningful to us or that we'd want to use again if we ever got the chance.
We found some old paintings he did, so we got them framed. We got some of the things from his wish trip to Vancouver last January into a shadow box, and did the same with some of the Extra Life memorabilia we've collected.
There's not much to say about how we're doing other than we're surviving. Trish is now volunteering at a couple places but she'll go back to work in May; I've been back to work since a week past the memorial service. No point in sitting around doing nothing.
That doesn't mean we're happy. This has been the most depressing holiday ever, and that's with all the fun we had in Vegas. You might be having a good day but seeing one happy family, one mention of the fact that your family is missing one member, is enough to ruin it. Then on another day the same things might have no effect. There's no way to know in advance. So you just roll with whatever comes.
What does 2016 have in store? The return trip to Orlando in February is all I see. Beyond that, I have no clue. I'd say it can't be any worse, but in many ways it can't be any better, either.
That's the toughest part about all of this. We have to cherish the good things that happened, and there were many. He basically had two wish trips, even if the second ended tragically and far too soon. We were told last Christmas the end was coming, which wound up being a blessing even if it was wrapped in agony. People showed us so much love and we were able to see that paid forward to charity, something we'll keep doing in the future.
We're having friends over for New Year's Eve tonight. They'll be here soon. And wouldn't you know, the next song that just came on from my playlist is perfectly apt for the situation:
"I get by with a little help from my friends."
Thanks for sticking with us.