This week I’ve had to contend with several significant firsts and lasts. For example, I attended what was likely to be the last Hopkins football banquet for me. It was a moving tribute to the seniors of team 145 who had lost their beloved Coach Sebastian. The same coach who’d earned the season’s first RELENTLESS award for powering through practices and games while terribly ill.
At the banquet the seniors honored Jordan’s father and I with the last RELENTLESS award of the season. Presented with signed game footballs from their last win. Jordan certainly deserved the award more, but our award was a reminder that we will have to be relentless forever to live in this pain, and certainly to accomplish our goals in honor of Jordan’s legacy.
Also significant-- this was the first time I have ever decorated a grave site for Christmas. While my husband and I have decided to just ignore Christmas altogether, I still felt that Jordan’s stone needed to be honored with some holiday cheer. I went there and raked the leaves, selected special Christmas ornaments from his childhood and then arranged them within the greens I’d purchased. It seemed silly at first, “holiday cheer” when he can’t be here to celebrate. And who benefits from cheer at the cemetery anyway?
But it’s my first holiday without him, and that means I don’t really know what is right, what will feel good, or what to do. I just wanted it to look nice; I wanted Jordan to to feel included and know he’ll always be important and remembered. And I wanted those who pass his stone to say “he is loved; he is cared for.”
The first time Christmas decorating this way naturally makes me recall the last Christmas he was alive. And today--I can’t even go there. A series of firsts and lasts. I’m pretty sure the rest of my life will be marked and measured this way.
The last time we'd all pick out a Christmas tree together.........