I don’t know why, but this year seems particularly tough as far as getting through family-type events. I miss my mom. I alternately miss her and I’m terribly afraid that I’m going to die unexpectedly young. I’ve never talked about that before but I’m trying a new thing where I write without editing myself. So whatever pours out of my head is what’s getting published here.
This is what I think about when I’m sitting in a quiet house late in the evening. Not all the time of course, but this time of year, it seems to creep up. It’s the holidays. I love them and I hate them. Christmas for me, growing up, was always – always – about being with my family and all of our silly little traditions. Dad would let my sister and I open one present on Christmas eve, but the rest were for Christmas morning. We’d have a nice dinner xmas eve (in later years this somehow included oyster stew which I never understood) and then I’d spend a sleepless night waiting for the earliest possible moment when I could wake up the parents and see what “Santa” brought.
Santa brought pressies for us kids until we were 18 😉
Don’t get me wrong, presents were nice, but what I loved most was Christmas morning. The smell of coffee going, and mom would be frying up bacon and making french toast. We’d all just hang out in our PJs and sit around the tree and slowly savour taking turns opening gifts. It lasted for hours and it was all of us, the dog and the cat just hanging, laughing and being a family. Dad would present mom with her annual gifts of her favourite perfume and the most current copy of Writer’s Market (she was always trying to sell her stories to magazines etc.)
After the gifting stuff was done, Kelly and I would spend the day playing with the new stuff or modeling the new clothes. Maybe we’d see friends, or if extended family was in town we’d be getting ready for you usual traditional xmas day dinner.
I miss this terribly. I never worried or thought about death much growing up. Never had to face it. I lost pets of course, a couple of them quite tragically. But that doesn’t prepare you for losing your parents. The first funeral I ever went to in my whole life was my mother’s. Mom wouldn’t have any kind of service for Dad when he died. She just couldn’t face it. They had the Big Love, forever kind of stuff and losing him changed her. She never so much as dated after he died. And she died alone. She had a stupid pulmonary embolism that killed her on the floor in her living room and if she hadn’t been able to make it to the phone to at least dial 911, she would have lain there all day until one of us stopped by to visit.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. Not sure I had a point. Just that it feels like the holidays will be harder than usual this year and I’m not sure why. There are people who are worse off than I am – by far. I shouldn’t bitch. I have people who love me and whom I love. Maybe thinking about that will get me through it. And I will be fine during the brunch my Gran is planning and during the trip we hope to make to Lincoln soon to see Jo and the gang there. I’m sure this is just melancholy brooding. It happens sometimes.
So I may hate Christmas for making me feel like this and love it for the times I got to spend happily laughing away with Mom and Dad and Kelly. It’s not like I’d rather not celebrate the whole ‘being with those you love’ aspect of Christmas. I have Shannon, and family to make more good memories with. And it will be fine.
And I should go to bed now.