Even with all of that love, yesterday was hard. For me, it was the hardest day since the one in January 2010 when Joe was first rushed to the hospital. Many people may not know this, but Joe was the best gift giver I've ever met (I understand that is not supposed to be "typical" for a guy.) He was thoughtful and creative and he always knew about the latest technology or could find the most obscure (yet perfect) gift. He knew his loved ones well and that made his carefully chosen (and usually ordered online) gifts perfect.
Last year he wouldn't even tell me about the gifts he bought for Domani because he wanted them to be a surprise for me too. In addition to some Mets gear and a few educational toys, he got Domani a Curious George stuffed animal - because Curious George was Joe's favorite when he was little. Every time I look at that Curious George I think of Joe and his thoughtful love for Domani. And that makes me smile.
I missed exchanging gifts with Joe yesterday. Not because of the material things I would have received but because it was one of the many ways Joe would express his love. If you knew Joe, you know that he wasn't a much of a talker. But on Christmas he didn't have to be - he always found a way to speak his love through what he had chosen to give. Probably a good lesson for all of us and not just when it comes to material gifts.