This was a unique year for us. With Allen still being gone for treatment, we still had our share of emotional moments, but we had relative calmness as well. When we took Allen to California and left him, it was the first time he's been away from us in 3 years. That's a lot of togetherness considering neither one of us have been able to have a job outside of the house that entire 3 years! So, just the fact that he wasn't hear was hard for all of us.
Allen passed the holidays by sleeping. The Pathway Home really kept Christmas and New Years very low key. They did some decorating before the holiday, but then just let the guys do their own thing on that day. I was surprised when they didn't have a dinner or anything for them, but then I thought about it a little more. By not doing anything official, it let each guy there do whatever they wanted. There was no pressure to attend a dinner or celebration. If they wanted to pretend it was a normal day, they could. Or if they wanted to "catch up on their sleep" like my husband chose to do, they could and not feel bad about missing something. After seeing what many went through during this time, I think The Pathway made the right choice.
As for us back home, we definitely missed Allen but it really was ok. We talked to him on the phone many times throughout the day and carried on our normal traditions. We all know that he is where he needs to be right now, so that he can get better. At one point I was a little sad, but then I remembered the Christmas before this one. I remember getting so mad at him that morning while the boys were opening their presents because he slept through the whole thing! He was in the room with us, but could not keep his eyes open for anything. This year was honestly better, because he could do what he wanted in a place he is safe, and we could do our traditions and include him by talking with him on the phone throughout the day. Don't get me wrong, we definitely missed him, but we all are so blessed.
New Years was no big deal for us. We always go to my sister's house to hang out with friends there. Allen and I were actually married at her house on New Years so it is extra special. Again, we talked to him several times and he called us when it was midnight here. That one doesn't seem near as emotional as Christmas does. Allen went to the movies with a group from The Pathway Home and had a good, low key night as well.
So, now that the boys are back in school, I'm back to volunteering and running this house, and Allen is back to his classes, all is well in our little corner of the world for now. Basketball season has started with the first game tomorrow and musical theater class will be starting again later this month. Routines help all of us settle in and get on track. While I love celebrating the birth of our Savior, it sure it nice to get back to the norm.