And so it goes...the holiday comes rushing in and then even more quickly it moves on into the history or herstory pages.
I expected to be happy in our new home with or without decorations and sharing dinner with our friend and her pups. I anticipated feeling Momma's absence as the 24th passed without her for the second time. That evening was always very special to me. It was "our" time. It is "my" time now. Not so festive or warm or fun. Reflective though, I found I remembered so many holidays with her and with both parents. Things I hadn't thought of in a long time were running around in my head. Funny things, sweet things and just mundane, ordinary things. Christmas with the parents was traditional and yet always open for new things. Just as it should be, I believe.
For us, now, it is a day without the kids and their kids. A day we text or phone or FaceTime or all three before the three days pass. Christmas Eve, Christmas and my birthday have become the three day holiday. It is now different, not bad, just different.
We do Christmas with the kids on Thanksgiving with those who can join. It's a nice compromise and it was so much fun this year, it carried me through to the real Christmas. I missed everyone, but not in a weepy or depressed way, just accepted this new way of doing Christmas and was happy going about our preparations for guests. Dinner and company was so pleasant. We did just fine. Merry Christmas was enjoyed here.
My birthday had many moments of eye leakage thinking of all the silly things Momma and Roomy and I had done in the past to celebrate the day she had her last baby and the day I ruined Christmas dinner! It was 1949. So lucky to have so many birthdays with her in our home or before that, in her home. 64 of them with her; 2 without her, so far. I really miss her. I think it's getting a bit less frequent, but when the pain hits me, it's debilitating and I cannot fight it off. I am sure it will remain this way. She was a force in my life and some of my life was completely about being her baby. I miss that, too.
Today, the day after the three day holiday, I am still very wrapped up in memories of her. Good ones and heart wrenching ones. The tears have been on and off all day and I feel almost empty now as night approaches. It's as though my soul has just realized that this is my new normal and it is not pleased. Nothing in my life can be as it was before September 2014. Everything is changed. Some things are good and the change is easy. Others are difficult. Like my own and her birthday. Both are very painful.
I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people around me that keep me smiling and keep me in the now. I have to live in my now because that's who I am. It's a little more of a challenge on these days, but I am doing it. I think my kids and my friends understand and make an extra effort. If not, it feels that way to me. My husband doesn't seem to notice, I'm glad of that because he can't fix it and would try. I'm pretty good at grieving on my own in private and in prayer for more strength to face these days with memories.
As I sit here in my new home, Roomy dozes across the way, Miggy is crashed on the back porch and I alone am not listening to the news and writing. This is a good time. It's quiet. I'm ignoring the yapping of the local news guy and am immersed in my own thoughts, which you are reading. I like this feeling of mind purging and the hope that another grieving person will read this and feel less alone. Maybe even get a little strength knowing that lost love really does change you forever on so many levels and that's okay. I've said before that I loved my dad and have missed him everyday since his death in 1978. That is true, but Momma and I were so much more than mother and child. More than friends and much more than care-giver and patient. We were connected by our hearts. We still are. We will always be. It is a different loss. The kind of loss that is forever painful. The kind of love that is priceless. And price for having had that is this never-ending ache.
The one thing that keeps me out of the dark place I might want to fall into sometimes, is that I know how much she loved me. I know how safe and content she is now. I know how young and happy she is now and I know she is with Dad. My faith restores me daily and my God never lets go of my hand. I never walk alone. ~Amen.