And then there is the coal in the stocking, wondering what life would be like with her big brother helping her open presents and insisting on helping Daddy detach her presents from their casings. Maybe Lorelei would want to play with Trey's toys and he would argue with her and say that those toys are "his". I would much rather have this bickering than the emptiness I feel every holiday season.
I am ever present with my daughter, but when I am closing down the house before bed, the last thing I see before I go upstairs to bed are the Christmas trees of our family and our children. It's ever so easy to present for her, but as she sleeps peacefully, my heart and mind have time to process the day and wonder in the lad of what ifs or if only. What if he would have lived? Would be be a vegetable? What if he was not sick? If only he wasn't sick. He would've been an AWESOME big brother as LL will be an awesome big brother.
So I guess, even though we have all fake trees this year, missing Trey will be the equivalent to the pines needles from a real tree after the season is over, they constantly remind you of the joy, but they can be so draining. My reality this holiday season is a real tree, I can't fake this but I can sure enjoy Lorelei's joy and that I will!