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Christmas and the Great Escape

I'm aiming to think about things other than Coronovirus.

Mothers day is looming large on the horizon. My youngest was telling me that she's going to make it my best mothers day ever. Even she must have realised that this was an impossible feat as she is now telling me it will be the second best. I still very much doubt that will happen, although I don't tell her that. Mothers Day will be quickly followed by the Husbands birthday.

Two "firsts" out of the way in quick succession made me cast my mind back to our first "first", Christmas Day.

Christmas Day 2019 went past in a blur. Probably due to shock, but possibly also due to the amount of wine and beer drunk at Lauren's funeral the day before.

We were meant to be away for Christmas so we hadn't planned for anything at home. The kids woke us at 6am and we watched them open stockings in Lauren's room. Traditionally the kids have opened their stocking together in the girls room. this was the first Christmas that Lauren was to have a room to herself.

When we went downstairs they took it in turns to open Lauren's presents. Fair to say we weren't full of the usual festive cheer.

I held it together until we got to the Secret Santas. As we were to be on holiday Lauren had come up with the idea of doing secret santas for the small family gifts. When we pulled names out of the hat earlier in the year it was pretty obvious that she had me. Luckily her younger sister knew where she had hidden the presents. She'd bought me a Queen Hoodie and, the bit that really broke me, a heart necklace. There were 3 segments, Big Sis, Little Sis and Mom (sic) in the middle. The plan had been for Lauren and her sister to wear their parts and then wait for me to open mine before they showed exactly am I meant to deal with that.

Although we hadn't planned much for the day we did go to both sets of Grandad's where the kids knew they'd have presents waiting. Seeing all the families proved a good distraction and meant the kids got fed. The Husband and I refused all food, settling for some of the left over funeral sandwiches and a bag of Seabrook crisps later on! (staying classy)

When we got back home we made time for one of the other items on Lauren's Christmas list, to watch "Almost Christmas" as a family. It's a pretty average American Christmas feelgood film, but Lauren loved it. She'd wanted us all to watch it a few weeks earlier, but in true stingy parent fashion we hadn't let her as it wasn't on the free prime films.

After we'd done all the Christmas merrymaking we did the best thing possible, legged it! I booked an Airbnb in the lake district and we escaped up there for a few days. The relief was tangible. We took the board games that had been bought for Christmas and spent a few days playing them, we especially liked the Monopoly Cheaters Addition. This had been on Lauren's Christmas list, she'd have loved it. After 2 weeks spent lurking round the house the change was just what we needed. We did a couple of river walks but generally spent the time relaxing.

Now the funeral was done it felt that we needed to recharge and then restart. It felt great, although the return home at the end of the stay was tough and brought everything back again. Returning to a home that would no longer hold my beautiful Lauren.

It is all so unbelievably painful, and the worse thing is that I've read the 2nd year actually feels worse, I'm not sure I can handle "worse"

I guess the reality is that there's no great escape from this one.

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