November and December are the most beautifully difficult months.
In November, I begin listening to Christmas songs, because I love Christmas. It's the one holiday in the year I feel like I can do things for people who might really need them. I send cards, I write notes in them, I hand tinsel and watch, enchanted by the way the lights are reflected and become glowing in each piece.
I hum Christmas carols well after and into January. I put my tree up as soon as I can.
To me, my thankfulness for having what I do, the friends I do, my family now translates into the spirit of thanksgiving AND Christmas well.
But there is a small cloud across the moon of my holidays.
My mother died on December 11th. As October passes, this quiet feeling of missing a giant limb from my heart begins and grows.
I have a difficult time not crying during some Christmas songs.
"I'll be home for Christmas," wrecks me.
Remembering my family as I was a little girl around my grandmother's tree--and I feel that strange prick at the back of my eyes and the heat-burn of tears down the middle of my throat into my chest. I see beautiful lights, and feel sorrow mingle with each twinkling of them.
It's a hard balance. I will laugh and be enthusiastic and wear my silly hats. I will talk about gift giving and share amazon wish lists and send cards. I will smile.
But I will do it all without my mother. With the distinct, inescapable fact that she is dead. That there's no return from that. That there's no way for me to show her the tree, the house, our new cats. That there's no way she will ever see Disney's Christmas celebration. That, she's dead. There's no coming back from that. I can't call her to apologize for the things I have done. I can't tell her I am sorry I didn't take her last hospitalization seriously and didn't press to speak to her, maybe just one time.
That I didn't have one last Christmas with her.
So my stomach churns, but I smile crooked, a mix of sadness and hope when I hear a carol and see the decorations already out in the store.
My husband waits patiently for any tears. My cats know something is off already.
Christmas these last few years has become such a reflection of everything I have, had, and should have learned to keep. It has turned into a beautiful sorrow that I embrace willingly every year.
Because I'd have it no other way.Cross posted from my Dreamwidth journal. Comment wherever you like: http://elf-fu.dreamwidth.org/699106.html