If you’re a long time blog reader you know our family wasn’t big into Christmas. Kramer and I didn’t want to burden the kids and their families with “another Christmas”. With some traveling and Buck having a snow removal job and kids who get sick at that time of year we often had to cancel or change dates. It was all too much. Besides for our family, Christmas was more about the church aspect of the holiday. So instead we started something we called “Kramer Day”.
Kramer day was always held in July on some weekend close to our anniversary that everyone could make it on. It would have been today. Here is a picture of Kramer and I with the kids one year ago.
My times have changed.
On the far left is Karl. He was leaving to move to Texas. We had our day earlier in the month as he was leaving within hours to go teach in Texas. It was a long year with him gone, but now, he’s back.
Next to him is Kelli. She had her leg in a boot from a cyst surgery that wouldn’t heal. She was within days of finding out she was pregnant.
Next is Kayla. She was sad as she was dealing with infertility and hoped to be pregnant and now she is.
Buck is in the middle. He was juggling a couple jobs, a new baby, and life with a young family. He’s doing more job juggling but both are in completely different capacities. They are building a house now too.
Kalissa is sitting by me. She has a new baby and is working to manage home and two little ones…and Gannon is doing really well. She’s applied for another job.
Next is me with Kramer. He’s not here and I’m a widow now.
WOW…what a difference a year can make. At the time Kalissa had just told us that she was pregnant. Other than that, we had no idea what the next year would bring to our family. We were so young. We were so naive.
I think I was the most naive.
Kramer likely had a tumor growing at this very time. AH!!! If we had only known. If we had only known.
I’ll admit, my first inclination after seeing the picture of our family was to look at picture from right to left. I looked first at Kramer sitting on the right. See Kramer on the right…bigger than life!
If I looked at the picture that way, the sadness could easily overtake all the joy that happened over the past year. I’d have missed the new grandbabies…I’d have missed the new one coming. I’d have missed my joy in having Karl back in the state. I’d have missed how far Buck has come over the last year. As much as I miss Kramer….it’s so much more important that I look at the picture starting at the left, not the right. I need to focus and be reminded of the good first.
More than anything, through all of this last year, I’ve learned these things:
-appreciate the good
-tell or do kindnesses as often as possible
-celebrate that little things
-take time and MAKE time
-set priorities, make sure they are good ones
-live in the moment, it can be stolen away
-fences can be mended
There’s more I’ve learned and there is still more to learn. Right now, this saying has been pretty near and dear to me.
I have made EVERY effort I can to do for others what the firemen and first responders did for Kramer when they came shortly before he passed away as I never know when it might be the last time I have the opportunity. I write more notes. I send more letters. I do more kindnesses. I tell my kids and childcare parents that I can see they are working hard. I sincerely thank people for visiting me. I be as bright and cheery as I can to the person at the drive up window at McDonalds.
It would be so easy to wallow, focusing on all we will miss with Kramer’s passing but, why?? We all can still miss him yet still go out and be a smile in someone’s day. I’ve found that the more I do good for others…the easier it is to not focus on missing Kramer.
If you look at the family picture…seriously, look at the photo from left to right…when you do, you’ll see our family, even though in pain, has had MUCH good happen in the past year…for that, we are thankful.