It seems to sneak up on me every year at Christmas. You would think I would be ready for it. I'm looking for the oppressive grief around the time he died and around his birthday, but I'm never looking for it at Christmas. Usually it hits me as I hang his stocking. This year it hit me when Colin came home from a field trip and was talking about apple cider. Here I am driving the boys to get hair cuts and silently crying in the front seat of the van. Apple cider was a "Daddy and Caleb" thing. They always got it at Cracker Barrel on our regular Saturday breakfasts. Christine our waitress would greet us at the table with our drinks before we even told her. Cracker Barrel was our safe place - they took care of us there. When we could finally came back after Caleb passed away, I was showing with my baby bump from Luke. They rejoiced with us as much as they had grieved with us. There was a picture of Caleb on a bulletin board somewhere in the back. We've moved far away from Christine and our Cracker Barrel, but the boys and I ate breakfast at our "new" Cracker Barrel today. I just needed it.