I wish I had the succession of pictures for the annual tree picture from this year. Sadly, my computer crashed last year and I lost some of my photos. Most of them were from 2007. Luckily I was able to salvage some from online sites I had used and posted to.
The boys were in a funny mood and my camera wasn't cooperating at first. I think we literally took about 20 photos before we made it to some decent ones. In every photo one of the boys would be laughing or looking at the other one, or had their eyes closed, etc. They were very good sports through it all and I remember us all rolling in laughter by the time we snapped the last shot.
The saddest part of losing those photos is that 2007 was our last Christmas with Austin. Never would I have imagined then we'd never have him with us again for another holiday season. I was pregnant with Austin on our first Christmas together so Tim and I have never had a Christmas without him, until last year.
Austin wasn't with us for Christmas 2008 but his passing was so recent, a part of him still lingered. He decorated the trees and the house last year, even placing the angel on the top in bare feet, so everywhere we looked we could feel and see his last gifts to us. This year, as we pulled out those boxes, all that remained was his memory.
I look at Austin's sweet face in the photo above, so full of life and joy, and think about how much happiness he gave us. We miss him so very much and the holidays just aren't the same without him here. There is an empty spot in all of our hearts that he took with him when he left. We will forever miss his loving spirit and the sound of laughter that filled our home whenever he was around.