It's an entirely different feel to last year. We are in England rather than Spain - Cristina is due in 8 weeks or so which means we stayed here and had Maria's parents over for a few days. I know she is a wee bit sad but we have had a good day and there are a fair few presents flying about ( literally in the shape of my remote controlled helicopter )
We had a trip down to Estella's tree this morning. I had never noticed before that it is an evergreen and that it was the only one by the pond still to be green and brimming with life. As always as soon as we touched the wood time melted away and we were back with Estella. Heart wrenching tears from Maria and that feeling I get as if my soul had died with her. Anybody who saw us would not know whether to laugh or call the Funny Farm as we hug a tree from both sides and talk to it as we cry.
We always take a present along. Today we wanted her to have her first ever orange and so peeled it and left the flesh and skin to decompose into the ground but we also took a Gingerbread house. An inspired present choice from Maria. Usually we leave the present there in the hope that a family comes by and takes it but today it soon became clear that the birds were interested. We took off the wrapper and set the house down in front of Estella's tree so she could have a good view.
Birds are daft
They flocked around the house but did not realise that they could eat it. It was like watching the apes in 2001 circling the monolith until one of them develops the courage and intelligence to touch it. Eventually after breaking pieces off they worked out it was edible and started to feast. Our tears had gone and we were laughing at the birds and the Christmas morning show.
Things are better - we know that
But they will never be the same. All that happens is that the heartbreaks creep up on you sometimes when you are least expecting them. The nice thing is that the happy memories also suddenly slide into focus at unusual moments. I still feel Estella in the air and hear her in the night. I still miss her with more pain than I ever thought possible.
I know that it's a special day to day but I have been so annoyed with myself for not updating you all on what is happening. We have a little girl arriving in February - today Maria held her bump against Estella's tree for her to meet with Cristina. They will have a lot in common. We know that Cristina will be her own person though but one day when we can we will tell her about the little diamond who paved the way for her. The little girl who showed more bravery in her few short months than I have seen in a lifetime.
We will tell Cristina about her big sister - and we will tell her with smiles and wonder
And we will never forget her and the life she gave us
Happy Christmas everybody - cuddle your loved ones and sleep tight
And to each a good night .