A couple of months before Christmas, I had read somewhere that if you have had a major life change in the past year (death, divorce, move, etc.) that you should create a new tradition for the holidays. Something to look forward to in the (in our case) absence of a loved one.
Knowing how hard it was going to be on everyone to not have Verd at our Christmas this year, I thought "We have to do something new.". As I pondered what new tradition we could start, the only thing that kept coming to mind were the Chinese lanterns from "Tangled".
To be honest, I didn't even know if they were real or not. I mean, I saw them on a cartoon, for Pete's sake! So, one night I turned to Google and sure enough, there they were. With an explanation of how they work (hot air balloon theory).
I wasn't sure how the rest of the family would feel about it, or if anyone had something else planned, so I checked with them and got a resounding "YES!!"! And the ordering began.
After a quick "trial run" after our Christmas dinner, we determined that there was no way in God's green earth (or, brownish green without a hint of snow anywhere winter where are you no I didn't have a white Christmas thankyouverymuch) that we were going to be able to light them off all at once, like I had envisioned and dreamed up to perfection in my mind.
We had 52 lanterns. With about 1/2 of those "belonging" to the 1o and under crowd. We learned that the flame gets rather large and "adultish" and so we hatched "Plan B"...we adults/big cousins would help the littler kids send theirs off then get right to work on ours.
And it went off without a hitch. Soon, lantern after lantern after beautiful lantern were floating off into the darkness.
Seriously a beautiful and touching moment, knowing we were lighting them off in memory of such a wonderful man, who we all miss so much.
What follows are some of my favorite photos...love the memories we made, and the tradition we have started!
Probably my favorite photo...ever! Look at those eyes...
And, my SIL...the last to release her lantern...
We miss you, Verd. You may not be with us in body, but you are with us in spirit...and you will never be forgotten!