Around this time last year, I was writing out our holiday cards. I've been designing custom ones since Isabella was born. Back in the one-kid days, I even created calendars with not only custom photos for each month, but a carefully chosen photo of Isabella with each family member to mark their birthdays and every holiday.
Back in 2008, when Virginia was born, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted something more personal that my mom, aunts, uncle and in-laws could cherish beyond the calendar year. I scanned Isabella's artwork from pre-K, and made a book interspersed with pictures of the girls.
Last year was different, though. For some reason I decided to make just one book. Something special for my mom. I put together photos of me, Mikey and the girls, and titled it simply "Perillo Family Memories". She was the only person I gave it too. I didn't order a copy for myself, figuring we had years decades to make books and create new memories.
Now I find myself clinging to everyone that occurred prior to August 7th, fearful that as time moves forward, my memory will get fuzzy. Thankfully Shutterfly saves old projects in your user profile, allowing me to go back in time this one instance. I ordered a copy for Mikey's parents, and one for myself. I hope my mom doesn't mind that her book isn't a one of a kind anymore.
What you see above are our holiday cards for this year—they're also thank you notes for everyone who has helped carry us through these last 125 days. I didn't want to do traditional, somber notes—you know the ones that funeral homes give you. Afterall, I threw one heck of a party to celebrate his life, and as hard on the heart this holiday season is proving to be, we still find rays of sunshine.
Rays like that one of the sun setting on the shores of Cape Cod Bay.
Mikey is with me every step of the way, I feel him, though I'm still not certain he's settled on wherever this next journey is taking him. I sense him lingering around us the last couple of weeks, perhaps not ready to let go of the life and greet the holidays feeling lost and lonely.
I've been wanting to share something special with all you. My first new recipe since posting about cherry slushies on August 4th.
I'm just not there yet. The recipes I've created since then are bittersweet because he never got to taste them. For now, I need to hold them close. You've all been so kind, that it makes me feel rather guilty being so selfish—it's not one of my strong suits, but I'm guessing you all understand.
It doesn't mean I don't want to share some homecooking with you, though. I figured we could take a stroll down memory lane, and revisit some of Mikey's favorite recipes during this time of year. I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays.