Although we of course aren't feeling very merry this Christmas, I do realize that it's the holiday season and that most people are spending time with their families. And I'm kind of proud of myself for managing NOT to respond inappropriately to any of the many cashiers and the like who have wished me a "Happy Holidays". "Not so much" or just "No" were tempting, but clearly not appropriate.
Anyway, the season does make me think about what wonderful friends we have -- far more than we ever really knew. And many of them are because of Katie. We're lucky to have them, and -- despite our current pain -- we were lucky to have had her.
I keep having conversations with her in my head, whether about stupid stuff (bad puns, articles she would have wanted to read, news stories she would have wanted to hear...) as well as more substantive topics. Yesterday I was wondering how I would have answered her if she'd asked, "What do you, as a parent, expect from me in my life?"
The wildly insufficient answer I came up with was along the lines of, "Of course I want you to be rich and famous and do great things to help make the world a better place and have a fulfilling family life with lots of grandchildren. But what I really want most is for you to be happy at whatever you do. Whether that includes any of those other things doesn't matter: if you're happy living in poverty as a hermit, that's fine. I just want you to enjoy your life."
I hope she knew that this was how we felt.
And in another, happier dimension (and forever in my heart):