After a long hospitalization and another surgery, my brother Christopher Douglas Wilson passed away on January 3rd,2015. He was only 43, leaving behind his wife, two teen-aged stepdaughters, and a twelve-year-old son. Though he suffered in the last months of his life, the final weeks after the last surgery were definitely the worst for him. We were relieved when he was finally taken to the warmer, comfortable environment of a very nice hospice in Valdese. Chris was very involved in his community and church. At his funeral, the sanctuary overflowed such that the service was also televised into an adjoining community room where all could see it. We will all miss him forever.

Due to my brother’s condition in December, we didn’t celebrate Christmas as we usually do, with a family dinner on Christmas Day. I was visiting my brother with my older children at the hospital in Winston-Salem on Christmas Day and lunch at the cafeteria there was our Christmas dinner. Other than the tree Cassie decorated, the stockings I hung, and the few gifts I bought, Christmas seems to have skipped us this year.

The holiday passed without happening for us. Given the circumstances, this would be fine except that with babies like Heidi one feels an obligation to make Christmas twice as remarkable as it is even for a healthy baby. I hope that amid the stress of this year’s December, we did manage to give Heidi (and Cassie, Garyn, Cohen, and Adrie) a decent Christmas, even if the season wasn’t as we would have wished it. Here are some pictures taken from December:

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