Christmas is happening and there’s no way to stop it.
Life is continuing on and no matter how hard I try to pull the emergency brake it won’t stop just for me. I came to this realization the other night as my school friend Darci and I drove around town searching out houses with Christmas lights and displays. Since the beginning of November I’ve been hell bent on trying to put more time between me and the holidays as if more time will help me prepare myself for the difficult moments.
If only a person could add more time to a day…am I right? What would you do? Give yourself more time to clean? Go to the bank? Go see a movie?
I won’t get into a philosophical rant here on time, but it is important to what I’ve learned this week.
I know the first ____fill in the blank________ without my mom is going to be hard. The holidays thus far have been proof of that.
I have been fighting against Christmas.
I’ve been thinking about the days mom and I would sit on the couch and read for hours at a time. I think about the evening sharing of coffee as we watch tv after dinner. I think, and laugh, at the colorful and mostly inappropriate commentary mom provided when we went out to do errands on Saturday mornings.
I can still smell the bacon she fried for breakfast on the weekends. Wright’s bacon because anything else was too thin and didn’t have enough flavor. I can still remember the taste of her favorite breakfast casserole she made often though I haven’t had it since January before she got really sick.
I remember how happy she got when she found all four Lethal Weapons were playing on one particular day. Or anything that had Patrick Swayze or Tom Sellec in it. I’ve never watched Magnum PI all the way through, but I know she loved Tom in those short shorts. Since I’m on the topic of movies, I can’t neglect to mention how she would roll her eyes when one of us would tell her the Green Mile or Forrest Gump was on. Though they are classics, dad had burned all of us out on those in particular and it turned into a long standing joke.
My mom worked a lot. 5:30 in the morning (or earlier if she woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep) to 3 in the afternoon every weekday, later on some days and then sometimes going in on the weekend. She worked a lot and worked hard. The days she did have off were special, or at least now I look at them as special. Around Christmas she would take a few extra days off and this is when a lot of my favorite lazy days spent with mom came from.
Rolling it all together I know that these things won’t be the same this Christmas or any in the future. In a season about joy and happiness it’s a hard thing to swallow and to accept.
Here’s the big lesson though: what good does it do for me if I drag my feet and pull on that emergency brake? For one, I’d be wallowing in self-pity and that doesn’t look good on anyone. I would also be allowing myself to make this season into a negative time and I don’t want that. I don’t want to set the tone for the Christmas season without my mom to be carried out in future years as a negative time because that goes against all the memories.
Accepting the holidays are a thing that’s going to happen is saying “Okay, this is going to happen and parts are really going to fucking suck” and to keep my head up. It’s all about finding a new normal, and that normal probably isn’t going to come for a long time. If I continued on fighting Christmas and the holidays to come I’m only hurting myself and keeping myself from finding a new normal and finding a way to be happy.
I fought against Thanskgiving. Like really hard. If Thanksgiving was a person, I went into hand to hand combat with them. And I lost.
I dreaded Thanksgiving so much. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much.
I was uncertain and treaded lightly. I for the most part locked my emotions and feelings away for the first few days of my school break. It wasn’t until I had dinner with my friend Courtney that I allowed myself to feel and accept all the emotions.
It is okay to feel lost.
It is okay to cry.
It is okay to allow myself to be happy.
It is okay.
I surrounded myself at Thanksgiving with my friends Jackie and Ryan and their two kids. They brightened my day from the time I woke up and filled my days with laughs and smiles. I went to bed happy every night. I slept the best those five nights than I have in over a year.
So Thanksgiving happened, and I survived.
Christmas is close. I’m ready.