The year of 2012 began with the Stauffer family Christmas dinner. We missed those who did not show up but a nice sized crowd gathered to feast and fellowship. The oldest one in the crowd was Leroy's 88 year-old mother and the youngest was the little boy who was due to be born Dec. 27 but was still too shy to show his face.
One of the long standing traditions, the ladies grab bag gift exchange, fell by the wayside this year. Instead, we assembled school kits to be shipped to orphans in Guatemala. They need things more than any of us do.
Today marks 18 years since our son Steve left us. He has now been gone as long as we had him. It's hard to believe 18 years could go by so quickly. I can't imagine him being 36. He's forever 18 in my mind. Two years after he died, grandson Josh joined the family. That's life--a mixture of joys and sorrows. Perhaps today the new little boy we're waiting for will arrive and make tip the balance two-to-one on the joy side.