The day dawned blinding white and bitter cold. Sarah and I were trapped in our cozy shared habitation and we were happy about it. She because there was no school. I because it was a sunny, snow-filled day and I could curl up and do nothing. Well, these days I usually can.
We did our gratuitous standing-in-the snow photos shoot and she wandered around for about 10 minutes before coming in and getting back into her PJ's. I put on a pair of sweats and proceeded to vacuum and put away the laundry, both of which warmed me nicely. She has since gone out again due to boredom but is back again because it is "freezing". She says she will be glad there is school tomorrow.
It is November again. I hate holiday months. There are no good ones. None. Even if it weren't NaNoWriMo, I'd know it was November. I can count on my mind to play home movies that will insure that I remember. I was reviewing my posts for ideas and ran across a post from the early part of this year: Hauntings. And realized that for several weeks now, I've been a bit down in the dumps, not wanting to write, not wanting to read, not wanting to decorate or celebrate. It served as a realization of why I feel so depressed.
For me, for the entire holiday season, this is the norm. November, December, January and the first part of February are really awful months. So, how do my holidays roll? Thanksgiving Day, November 27, usually I eat out with Mike and go our separate ways. Christmas Day, December 25, depends on if anyone is here but usually a repeat of Thanksgiving, except I have to fix something. Since Jerry died, it is usually sandwiches. My wedding anniversary, January 11, uh, there's no one but me to remember it. Anniversary of the death my husband, January 29. This is my black day. Valentine's Day, Feb 14, what would I celebrate?
Gotta tell you that you haven't lived until you sit through all those holidays hearing a clock tick in your head, and on the wall, waiting for the next miserable day to pass so you get through it and not think about it. I hate November. I hate December. Most of all I hate January. They're cold, empty, isolated, and are generally the most awful time of year I've ever lived. It doesn't even end there. Mama had a stroke December 24 during our family celebrations and died January 2. I was 17. Daddy died December 10, during my college finals, and we had a funeral instead of Christmas.
Apparently, all my holidays were to be hell of one sort or another. I could go really whinny and tell you about all the holidays when daddy lay drunk while I, Mama, and Billy tried to have a real holiday on virtually no money (cause it went for the liquor). Thankfully, family always saw we had gifts. But I don't remember opening any gifts. I do remember the spirits that insured there would be very little Christmas Spirit and having to be quiet in case we woke him up. We won't do those stories today.
NaNo is usually the only bright spot of the season and has probably become my one real holiday. It ends quickly but leaves a much happier memory. This year, it isn't working so well, I'm afraid. I'm three days behind on word count.
Don't get me wrong. I don't sit around and brood about the miserable holidays. I don't have to think about them. There is so little fanfare for me that I could easily forget them if I didn't look at calendar, watch t.v., get online or go shopping. They're thrown in my face with all the images of children, turkeys, huge family dinner tables, and people laughing, hugging, cuddling, and sharing. Here, in this house, there are no bright spots, no laughing people, no gifts, no tinsel, no shiny lights, and an empty table. I'm not inclined to manufacture them for the sake of saying I had them. They add nothing to my days except a lot of work. It is no wonder people commit suicide more during these months than at any other time.
No, I don't think that way. I try not to think about anything. Let me give you something to think about.
This year, when you sit down with your family, if you see a family member that seems not quiet with it, sit down and actually have a real conversation with them. Ask them what's bothering them. Tell them how very much you love them and mean it. Make an extra effort for each person. I don't care how busy you think you are or how bad Aunt Lou smells. Just do this. You never know. In a few months, that very person may disappear from you life forever. And your last memory will be the one where you were just too busy to notice or take a minute of your time to make their last holiday a good memory.
If you're a family member with a problem that will alter the lives of those around you in some profound way, you have a duty to inform those people you care about most. It isn't your right to carry it alone. Stop trying to spare anyone. You're selfish if you think you're doing a good thing. You're not doing it for them, you're doing it because you're a coward. Sit down and tell those you love what is wrong and leave them with a memory of how much they meant to you by allowing them to share the load and to be the best they can be for you. Caring for someone else's needs, sharing the heartaches, bearing their burdens is the greatest gift to give and to receive. No one had the right to cheat their family of an opportunity to do that. So, if you're not around in a few months, they'll know you were honest, that you loved them, and they had a chance to make everything right.
Believe me, the alternative... is no holiday.
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