Traditions are so important to me especially when they bring family together. Making special memories with my mom walking each procession every year. Bringing Giovanni and Isannah with me, so they too, can experience these moments with their Nonni and all the family that comes together. Moments that become memories that will grow each year as they do. Bringing Giovanni and Isannah to church with me to experience the beautiful services. I love knowing that they can listen to the messages and allow it to carry in their hearts. All the traditions big or small, they are lasting and remain in our heart and memory.
They lift us on the days when we are feeling down. They bring a smile to my face when I find it hard to smile on my own.
Traditions for and during the holidays. The same foods, the decorations, the family games, music and laughter that are always present during this time. Even when the year is hard and the fear is great, or when there is an empty place or two at the table, the comfort and love of the holidays bring us hope for a better tomorrow, all while embracing and appreciating what we have now. I look out and see faces staring back at me and all I can do is smile because this will be a new memory because of these traditions.
There is another new one that is very special and dear to my heart. It started when Giovanni and Isannah were just born. My childhood friend and her family, who we are blessed to have as neighbors too, came over at Christmas. They brought gifts for the kids and stayed with us for a little. This became a beautiful tradition that still happens every year because of the kindness and heart they share with us. All the kids open their gifts and share a moment together. We take family pictures by our tree and just feel the warmth and happiness of their company. They are friends who are family and that will never change.
This year was different thanks to 2020 but it didn’t change our tradition. Our friends made it happen again. Thankfully the weather held up and we were able to meet outside with masks and distance. We stayed safe and just had our special time. The kids played together and laughed. I stared out at them and couldn’t believe how big they all are now. How small they were when it all started. Their daughter wasn’t born yet but their younger son was always with us. Now their son has grown and their daughter took his place in our tradition.I still have the first gift that our friends brought for the kids. Two little picture Christmas Stocking ornaments. One pink one and one blue. To this day they hang proudly on our tree with a picture of Giovanni and Isannah in each one.
Traditions mean the world to me. I hope Giovanni and Isannah will feel the same and keep every memory in their heart so that they will carry these traditions as they grow each year.
We all have different beliefs but traditions are what you make them to be.
Create them, old or new, carry them and keep them going and growing.
On this Eve of Christmas, my mind drifts to family gatherings of years past, and my chest feels heavy. Remembering all the hugs we were able to receive and give. The laughs that filled the houses we visited. And the laughter of generations of family members all under the same roof. We could see the many expressions on their face. Faces that I have been missing. All these moments that turned into memories blurred my vision of what was directly in front of me today.
This year we took a hit, some more than others, but a hit was felt all around. The sadness and fear leading up to the holidays could make your body tremble. Knowing that people would be missing at the table. Less noise and laughter, fewer generations under one roof, made my chest close and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to take a moment to step away from my memories and be present. Yes, the holidays have felt a little lighter and leading up to today, Christmas Eve a little scarier, but we are still here. We are healthy and safe. Things won’t be the same but are they really ever exactly the same? We do the best with what we have every year because that is life. We want to bring family together for our children. We want them to experience all the magic of life and the holidays. We do our best to make things seem better than what they are at times.
Although our group was smaller than before, it was perfect. Being able to see Giovanni and Isannah sing, dance and laugh because of their Nonni is priceless. The way the kids light up when Nonna comes through the door is what the holidays are all about. This year we may be lighter but our home felt full. We are here. We are healthy and we are safe. There’s so much to be thankful for, and family is the most important of them all.
Wishing you and your family a magical Christmas. Hoping you can find the blessings that surround you and allow love to fill your heart.
We had a little break from COVID fears, school heartbreak and confusion just to be together as a family. Smiling, enjoying being outside together (with masks) and just experiencing the beauty that is still around us. Today was the first time we went on a bike ride, all four of us, together. It was the first time the kids rode in the street with us the entire time. Asher was the lead then came Isannah, Giovanni and I was the back end. I had the best view. I got to enjoy the little legs pedaling trying to keep up with their dad. I heard the laughter and saw the happiness of biking just by their body language.
It was a beautiful experience. One that was overdue.We got to bike along the piers and took a break to look around and take it all in. There in front of us was the city’s skyline. Home in Brooklyn but a view that can make anyone smile of the city. It was a beautiful sunny day with a hint of a cool breeze. The perfect weather for a family bike ride and a perfect day to spend together outside. It’s days like this when the stress of forced decisions being made evaporates and the love of life and family are present.
Monday, August 10, 2020 we celebrated 12 years of marriage. Several years ago we were gifted the time to travel on our anniversaries. We were able to celebrate just us again. Each place we traveled we laughed, loved and lived. We escaped to new places to get back to the place we said, I do. That day brought two souls together and grew two hearts. It was a day of new beginnings and a day that lit the way to our new journey. Whether we were traveling to The French Riviera or driving Highway 1, we have been blessed to see things through a different lens. We learned and grew. This year we were unable to travel because of COVID. Instead, we celebrated it together as a family. Our children sang a Happy Anniversary song to us. My husband drove us to Sonic Drive In. This was a big moment and treat. He knows I love Sonic from my way back Texas days so this was our travel adventure. It was our children’s first time eating there and LOVED it. After enjoying coneys and slushes with happy full tummies we headed back home.
Not more than 20 minutes after we arrived a tornado siren went off. Next came the beeping on phones with tornado watch warnings and TV tornado warnings telling everyone to go to the lowest floor of the house. My husband grabbed flashlights and our dog Griffin. Giovanni, Isannah and I followed him to the basement. It was the kids and my first time in a tornado watch so it was quite the experience. As we were in the basement, I couldn’t help but stare at all of them. My children, my husband, and our dog were curled up on a beam bag. During all that has been going on this year and all that was going on in that moment, all I could do is smile. This was 12 years. This was family and this always will be.
My husband and I managed to have alone time during Griffin’s walk. My husband, Griffin, and I went for a stroll as the sunset was beginning. The wind was softly blowing while the colors in the sky began changing. The beauty that was surrounding us on our walk made me think of the many sunsets we experienced together and the many more we will experience again.