Updated: Dec 24, 2020
A couple days ago I visited a hiking trail that I haven’t been to in awhile. Its the trail I was on with my wife the day I found out my mom tragically passed away.
As I sat down alone on a riverbank and thought of the moments we shared during our final set of holidays we had together before she passed.
Even though I love the holidays, because of my mom’s death, this time of year always brings up some pretty tough memories as I gather with loved ones.
I miss her so much.
So as I sat in this place I had some time to think about what this season really means...
What the holidays should really be about.
It feels cliché to say, "let's forget all the noise and focus on what really matters", but after losing my Mom, and a huge piece of my heart a couple years ago …I’ve come to realize that there are some things that we as a culture look to for "fulfillment" that really don’t matter...
I am realizing how easy it is to get caught up in the search for perfect gifts, cleaning and house projects, work, family craziness, and trying to create a certain “image”… and frankly, all the other things our society makes us believe is important.
But none of that “really” matters. Not in the big scheme of things.
I've had to come to the realization (in a pretty hard way), that the holidays aren’t about the things at all. They are an opportunity to really be present with the ones we love.
While this holiday season may not be a time where we can all be together physically, we can all still be “together”...We have never had as many tools at our disposal to be "together" with our loved ones over this set of holidays with Skype, Facetime, Phone calls, video chat, etc.
I'd encourage anyone to take some time this year to tell friends and family, and really anyone who you is important to you, just how much they mean to you.
If I would have known what my final Thanksgiving and Christmas would have been the "last one" with my Mom around, I would have said and shared a whole lot more than I did at the time. I would have stomached up and fought the nerves I had at the time that told me “that’s too cheesy and awkward to share”.
I would have shared every ounce of love and appreciation I had inside me.
So, don’t be too quick to get to the dishes in the sink after the meal, don’t focus too much on the football game (tough one for me), don't worry about the Black Friday deals (they'll be there all year), and stay around or video chat or have a conversation for an extra 10 minutes.
Take the time to “check-in” with those closest to you and let them know what they mean to you.
Do it, because the holidays are a special opportunity for us to unplug and pour into the people that we so often take for granted.
And we just never know when it will be our last holidays together.
So don’t let the chance to tell them pass by.
You will never regret taking the time to do this.
-Written by my amazing husband, Rocco Bachara