That’s what I was thinking as I drove home from Thanksgiving Dinner last week. We’re in it now.
At one time I was a real Holiday person. I used to love the Christmas season. I loved to decorate. I loved the music. I even loved the shopping, if not the January bills.
About fifteen years ago I lost my love of the season. My mother passed away on Christmas Day (See The Exit Door) and from that time on the joy went out of it for me.
Now during those succeeding years I was able to muddle through the holidays. I put up the decorations, I enjoyed getting together with the family, I felt joy watching the kids open up their presents, but I had lost the sense of wonder I once had. I used to love the whole four weeks, but then it just became a lot of work to get ready for one nice day of togetherness.
Now even that is a struggle.
I’ll be able to go through the motions. I might even crack a smile here and there, but it’ll be hard to feel anything positive. The hole is just too noticeable at this time of year.
We had a ritual at our house. The 2 younger kids were not allowed to go down stairs until I said it was time. I’d go down first, get the video camera ready, make some coffee and just loll around for a bit to torture them. After a while we’d let them come down and get their “Santa” gifts, which were out and unopened. They could play with them, but we’d wait to open up everything else until Kevin came home. He would spend Christmas Eve with his father and his family, then return home in the morning.
Lisa remarked yesterday that we wouldn’t have to wait for Kev this year. See what I mean about the hole.
I came across a video a month or so back. It was from Christmas 2009. Kev was there, Petey was there. We had family and friends spread out on the folding tables in the family room, it was a genuinely nice day. As I watched it I realized that nothing would ever be the same again. It’ll always be different. It may not always be sad and lonely and painful but it will never be the same.
I can only hope and pray that all the loved ones who have left us are together, somewhere on Christmas Day. I hope they can still feel the love we have for them. If they can come near to us on that day, I invite them to come. What tears there are will tell the tale of our loss. We keep trying to mover forward and make baby steps, but Christmas comes only once per year, so we don’t get a lot of practice.