I'd planned to tell Mom how much I loved her, but it was too late. I swallowed the lump in my throat and instead all I could hear myself say was, "Mom, I can't look at you, because if I do I know I'll lose it." We took one step, then another, and walked what I didn't know would be the last walk we'd ever share again. And just like that, she gave me away.
The Christmas after my father passed away was just as heartbreaking as Thanksgiving. Mama tried to make up for his absence by buying me two "big gifts" instead of only one. There was still a void, but we managed to celebrate and tis the season to be merry. His absence was always painful, but it became normal.