“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” ~Gustav Mahler

Every year since Ryan was born, we have celebrated the beginning of the Christmas season by going to the Festival of Trees.

I love the beautifully decorated trees, the sugar plum fairies that dance upon the stage, the Carolers that sing a melodic tune and the pure delight on the kids faces as they wait impatiently to sit on Santa’s knee.

It is our tradition. Wonderfully kept and preciously preserved.

I confess, I worry that such traditions have burned to ashes in the fire of grief we have felt.

Nothing is the same. It never will be again.

But traditions are not built on one person.

We feel the loss of Ryan and yet somehow we are meant to carry on. To remake a new life without him.

Most days I hate the thought.

Tonight though, it was peaceful. The twinkling of the lights were reminiscent of brightly lit stars.

Ryan’s friend Dany came for the first time. I feel comforted that he wants to spend time with us. Like the connection to my son is just out of my reach but his friends provide a pathway. For that, I am grateful.

So we preserve the tradition, not just for ourselves , but for the memories that they provide.