This Christmas was quite different for me, it's the first Christmas without Manti here and it's also my last Christmas at home with my parents.. So there was a lot of emotion for me, the day we put up our tree and decorated the house I broke down and cried, I called my friend Mary Cate and told her how I felt and she was there for me.
I deal with my mising Manti differently than the others in my house, I try not to show just how much I miss having him here to hit me in the elbow with a spoon or pinch the under side of my arms. I don't let anyone know how badly I miss riding with him in the car and the both of us listening to his music and talking about EVERYTHING. I've barely cried about his not being here for the simple fact of I know he's doing God's work and he's out doing what he's always dreamed of..
I knew Christmas he'd be calling or skyping us, I was super excited to talk to him. I had written him a long letter the night John and I got engaged and I hadn't gotten anything from Manti about it yet so I was kinda nervously excited for him to say something about that. John was over for Christmas so I wanted him to talk to Manti as well, so when Manti finally got on skype I sat there beside John on the couch and we waited for our turn to talk to him. It felt like forever before we got to talk to him and I was going nuts, so when we finally got our turn first thing he said to me was "What the heck is that yellow thing in your hair?" I had put a yellow ribbon in my hair since it was Christmas lol. John and I stood there and talked to him a little then he said with tears in his eyes "As for your question in your letter, get married! I've prayed about it and y'all have too so go ahead and do it. I'll be there one way or another and you know it. Part of me going on my mission is so others can start and live their lives so don't feel about me not being there. I love you. But it better be in the temple or I'll kill him!"
I could barely hold my tears when he said that. I had prayed about the date to be married and I felt the one we had was right but it hurt that my brother wouldn't be there. So in my letter to him I told him how I felt, I said I wanted his honest opinion on it.
After my turn with Manti was over I turned to John hugged him and all the sudden all tear control went out the window. I cried and cried on his shoulder, I felt kinda bad for getting makeup on him but I was very glad he was there to catch me.
After a little while my parents were still talking to him and I went outside, the second my foot touched the ground I started crying again. For saddness and joy. I missed Manti so much I couldn't fight it, I thought of the fact of him not being here for Christmas and missing my wedding. Then it hit me, I'm getting married.. Holy crud monkeys I'm getting married and I have Manti's blessing on it. Wow!
As far as my Christmas goes, it was one of the best! It was sad at times but I decided to not linger on the sad but in stead relish in the good. I was with the greatest man I've ever known, I got to talk to my big brother, I was spending time with my family and we all were giving and enjoying each others company.
It may be my last Christmas at home as a Bailey, and it may've been the first Christmas without Manti, but I still count it as a great Christmas!