Do you know what really gets to me? It’s watching a movie that I know she would have loved. I did that yesterday when the kids were napping. I curled up on the couch and watched a movie. Through the whole thing, I kept thinking about how much Mom would have enjoyed it. I knew exactly when she would have laughed, and when she would have cried. In the middle of every funny moment, I could almost hear her laughter echoing in my ears.

She had a great laugh! When she laughed, you could see the twinkle in her eyes. She used to laugh so much! I think that’s one of the things that I miss the most. I miss that familiar laugh of hers. It was unique to her.

She laughed a year ago when I called to tell her that the kids had managed to pull the Christmas tree over.

“Didn’t you anchor it to the wall?” she asked.

“No… was I supposed to?” came my reluctant reply.

And then she laughed. Ten minutes later, she showed up at the door with Dad and we anchored my Christmas tree.

I suppose I’ll have to put the tree up soon. The kids really love the lights and decorations. I’ll miss calling Mom to let her know that my tree is up. She would always come and see it, and tell me that the only thing missing was tinsel! Then I’d convince her to sit down and have a cup of coffee. Her last tin of coffee still sits in my cupboard. Maybe it always will.

My nativity scene was a gift from her, two years ago. Some of the ornaments on my tree are ones that she gave me. Some are handmade by her. Memories, so many memories. All bittersweet now.

Still, what is Christmas, but hope? Hope for eternity, because of the sacrifice that was to come. Christmas brings me tears, but it also brings me hope.

Mom’s laugh isn’t lost. I think that right now, maybe the halls of Heaven are ringing with her laughter.