November 24, 2011

Tis the Season

To be jolly? Is it? Sort of. I've always loved this time of year, but when you are missing part of your family, the holidays can be a little tough. There's my brother Rob, a C-17 Pilot, who is currently deployed. Sometimes it feels like my whole family (between the Hidalgo side and Nichols side) is never not deployed. But Rob is in the Air Force, and his last deployment involved scuba diving in Turkey. So while he's missed, he's also probably living the good life.

And there's Daren. Last year Daren spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in Afghanistan. His main concern over Christmas was that his Soldiers had a nice holiday -he asked his mom to send him coffee and a coffee pot for his platoon. That was typical of Daren. He was happiest when those around him were happy. And if he could help improve morale, he would. And he did. And we are going to really miss him this year. It will be the Hidalgo's first holiday season without their beloved son and brother and it will undoubtedly be tough.

And then there's Cale. No matter how many holidays (or normal days) pass us by, I will always thing that Cale should be here with us and wish that he was. It gets easier to accept that he's not, but at the same time my little family is not complete. Last year our Christmas card acknowledged Cale - we mentioned the son who was born and passed away too son. But this year I'm not sure what, if anything, to write (in regards to Cale). And the year after that? I'm torn on how to handle those things. I'm not sure how to keep my baby's memory alive and that scares me.

But those family members who are missing help (sometimes force) me to remember what the holidays are all about and what I have to be grateful for. Finley does that every day. And today I get to celebrate so many blessings that I do have. I'm so thankful for everything we have, it's just that I miss everything we don't. So I'll cling tight to my family this year and every year. Thankful for their service, their lives, and their memories.


  1. It is a lot of loss for one family. No Cale or Daren, it is just too much. I want dreading the holidays but not looking forward to them either. It puts a different spin on things when we have other children to celebrate with and for. I don't miss Camille differently on a holiday. I miss her so much, with every breath, every day. My husbands parents are both dead and now our daughter... It's just too much. I hope the love we do have and the family we do have will have to carry us through. Today, the holidays and everyday. Sending love to you.

  2. I'm sorry you can't share the holidays with Cale and Daren, and sorry that nothing can take away that hurt. But I'm glad that they are clearly so very, very loved just as they deserve.

    And I think you're doing a marvelous job honoring your guys, and when the time comes you will know the right way to honor your son in the coming days and years. If you think that's mentioning him a second, third, or twentieth time than I think you should--especially since those who truly care about him will never tire of hearing about him. Trust that mother's intuition of yours, because you're doing a beautiful job! <3

  3. Darren sounds like such an awesome guy! Will definitely be praying for your family as you guys remember him and sweet baby Cale. The holidays are sooo rough. It's hard not to miss what should have been. But like you I'm trying to remember all that I have to be thankful for despite the pain of the last year. Sending lots of love your way!

  4. I'm so sorry that you're missing both Daren and Cale this year. Unfair doesn't even begin to describe it.

    I know what you mean about keeping Cale's memory alive also. We're sending out memorial cards this year (in lieu of Christmas cards, since Eliza's a December baby), but I've already wondered about next year. Does Eliza get incorporated into our future Christmas cards? I don't want to be the morbid/creepy/awkward family, but I also don't want to fake it, or make it seem like she didn't matter and she isn't missed forever and ever.

    I hope we're both able to find a balance, in remembering our lost loved ones, and also appreciating all we have left.

  5. Too many people missing around your table :(

    I normally send our Christmas cards every year, but this year I just can't seem to get it together...too sad. I have a stamp with Addison's footprints that look like a butterfly so people who know will KNOW and others who don't probably wouldn't think twice. I also have that same butterfly footprint on our return address label. I still hate that I won't be signing her name at the bottom of the card...maybe I won't sign any names, just our last name...may have to for my own ability to sleep at night! Good luck with your decision, it's a hard one for sure!

  6. The holidays are so rough when there are those that are missing, but I'm so glad you now have that handsome little man to share them with. Good luck with the Christmas card. For years, we just signed ours as James, Priscilla and Obadiah while silently knowing two others were missing. Then we just never sent any out after Olivia passed away. This will be our first year to possibly get back into the groove and I'm not sure how we'll approach it just yet. As I've started to do, I might just sign it as "The Moore Family" and leave it at that. I know you'll find the perfect way to honor and remember Cale. Regardless of whether or not he's mentioned, those close to you will know that he will forever be included.

  7. Oh I cried through this one. You always make me cry! :) probably bc you think similarly to how I do and you bring my emotions out. Anyway, I am curious to see how you handle the cards this year. I've been struggling with it as well. Finn is adorable!!!