As the year comes to a close, as the Holidays come and go, I am reminded of family. The holidays are all about family, a time to celebrate and observe traditions, treats and time. This holiday season I am reminded of my family and especially one family member in particular, my sister, Elvira, who went missing in June of 2018.
The angst you experience is like no other, to not know where your loved is, what happened to them, are they safe or dead somewhere?
After five months of desperately searching for my lovely sister, we found her dead in Florida. A sad day, with a tinge of relief, the search is over, but now we are left with a deep loss. A loss, which will forever remind me of the holiday season she came home to me.
My sister was found in November, literally on her birth date. We have spent the latter part of November and the early part of December preparing for her transportation back home and making funeral arrangements.
For me, the holidays would begin on her birthday, when I would reach out to her and spend the day with her, making her feel special, because very special she was. After her birthday, would come Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas season.
Seventeen years ago I started a tradition that began with my sister; I baked a batch of Christmas cookies for her in all different styles, shapes and colors. I carefully packaged and shipped them to her. It was the complete delight of the season for her, as she made my cookies famous throughout our network of close friends and family.
After a while, I found my cookie baking list growing as my sister would spread the word, other friends and family members contacted me asking to be placed on my list. Who could say no?
This year, I lost my beloved sister and truly felt no desire to bake and ship cookies, but my daughter and my other sister, Isabel, insisted that I keep that tradition alive and continue to bake, share and ship the holiday cookies.
I heeded, and found it completely lifted my spirits and made me happy, because I was doing the one thing my sister loved the most during the holidays. For me, it was my way of celebrating the Holidays with her. The cookies turned out great; the recipients were overjoyed and the feedback was glorious.
My message is to thank everyone this year for your support, and your kind words as I have struggled with this loss. I thank you for your presence and I thank you for being.
This newsletter is a combined one, because of the tragic loss I’ve had, but even when tragedy hits us, it can’t choose the best time to arrive. All I can say, is pay attention to your feelings, pay attention to the traditions in your own personal life and hang on to those special moments, it will help you to heal and overcome the tragic episodes of your life.
I could have sat in my sadness and stopped a well loved tradition, but with a little encouragement from two other special people in my life I moved forward, and guess what, the pain of the loss turned out to be less, because I shared and experienced in the joy that I gave to my beloved sister year after year.
May each and everyone one of you have a wonderful Holiday Season and enjoy your special traditions in the most meaningful ways.
I end this piece with the following: “You are a foreigner everywhere, except in your own culture”. Candida Marques – Global Arrival © 2018.