On December 3, 2006, my life was changed forever when my 19-year-old daughter, Lindsay, was murdered with a firearm. I have always been joyful and excited during the holiday season. I could hardly wait to decorate and put up a tree. That year, I even decorated before the usual post-Thanksgiving date. I’m joyful on the outside for my other children and grandchild, but I struggle to even leave my bed that time of year. This year, which is 12 years later, I managed to put up the tree. Literally that’s all I could do. The boxes of decorations sat on the floor waiting for their annual freedom, but I’d just walk past them — not even caring. I used to enjoy touching each special ornament, remembering which of my children made it or bought it throughout the years. Now, the process has become painful. Was this before or after Lindsay was murdered? Did she make it with her small hands at school? Did we make it together during a craft night at home, when our family was whole? The tree still sits on the table, undecorated and empty — just like my heart.