I am never much of a sentimental person when it comes to things. When my sister passed away suddenly in August 2005, my middle sister wanted so many things of hers while I only wanted a few things I have strong personal memories about.
The holidays have always felt different without her (she was big on celebrating, decorating etc.), and I’ve always struggled with trying to keep her memory and spirit alive during this time of year.
Now 4, Emma is beginning to understand more when I talk about my sister Laurie to her. She even seemed to understand the importance of seeing Laurie’s gravesite when we were back in Illinois for Thanksgiving.
Last year, I got Emma a pair of Peanuts Hanna Anderson pajamas that featured the gang skating on ice like the scene from the beginning of Charlie Brown Christmas (and somewhat the Peanuts movie). The scene was always my sister’s favorite because the song “Christmas Time is Here.” My thoughts turn to her and her love of the season when the song comes on. Even Emma recognizes the significance always saying, “Mom, it’s Aunt Laurie’s favorite song,” when I can get her to tolerate the Christmas XM stations versus Kids Bop and Radio Disney.
I’ve been slowly purging through Emma’s clothes, the baby toys etc. In October, I pulled out the pajamas along with some other too small now holiday clothes. I originally promised the pajamas to a friend, but then realized that they weren’t in the greatest condition. Emma has a habit of wrecking her pajamas for some reason.
Pajamas that were now dingy, stained and way too short in the arms and legs would typically go in my throw away pile. But looking at them up close, I just couldn’t part with them. I’ve searched on eBay and Craigslist. I put out requests on Hanna buy and sell Facebook groups to no avail to find a larger pair.
I’m grateful that Emma humors me and still wears them even if they do look a bit ridiculous! When I see Emma in them, I can’t help but feel Laurie’s presence.
For anyone missing loved ones this holiday season, may memories (and maybe a pair of pajamas) give you comfort.