Since then, we've spoken of my brother many times. My parents were here last week and we stayed up too late, reminiscing about our best Christmas Eve EVER, as a Schillings family of four. It involved a ton of eating, drinking and present-opening. And laughter. Oh God, how we laughed.
Having children of my own brings a certain magic to the season, as I'm sure it does for so many of you. But memories of Christmas, 1999 are the sweetest ones to savour because a decade later, Andrew is gone.
So, on this special day, as families begin to gather in celebration for all that was and all that will be, I will think of Andrew and hope that he is watching over my sons from someplace warm and cozy and remembering Christmas of '99, too.
In the meantime, Luke and I are heading out to rummage for some last minute groceries...and some balloons.
In what I hope will become a yearly tradition, on Christmas Day, we will release some balloons from Andrew's Garden, with our love and (maybe some more dinky cars) attached to their strings.
I have a feeling that he's been waiting...
|Andrew with Baby Matthew, Christmas 2008|