Anyone who has read my blog for awhile knows that this holiday has become a hurdle I struggle to get passed. By the time I get to the 27th or the 28th, I am thrilled to be passed another Christmas.
I love the fact we are over 360 days away from the next Christmas. I am happy to see the holiday decor begin to disappear from the stores and homes. The holiday music that has been playing 24/7 on my favorite radio station (since before Thanksgiving, for gosh sakes), finally will revert to normal "70,s 80's, 90's and hits of today." I know, I know ... I hear whispers of "grinch."
Well, let me assure you. I am not a grinch. I value the holiday for what it should be - a celebration of the birth of Christ. I love making someone smile with a specially chosen or hand made gift. I find peace in an evening walk around my neighborhood to see the holiday lights. But sadness does follow me.
It hasn't always been that way. If life delivers enough hard hits during the holidays ... it can change how you respond to them. My dad died 3 days before Christmas in 1970. My mom died 3 days after Christmas in 2014. And in the last 10 years, my mom spent many holidays stuck in Assisted Living or a nursing home - because she was too disabled to get home. I know neither parent would want those experiences to ruin my holidays. The holidays aren't 'ruined,' but they are changed, and maybe permanently so.
Looking up - this year's Christmas was easier than last year's Christmas It was our second year in the condo. I have stopped grieving the move from our townhouse of 30 years. I still wish life hadn't made this move necessary. Stairs and a recently blind husband are just a bad combination. So I am passed that loss and really appreciate the convenience of the condo. I 'visit' my parents right after Christmas every year. The trips are filled with less sorrow now and more just a flood of memories of my life with each of them. I think it is good to allow those memories to surface (the good and the bad) - and to remember where I came from. It gives me some comfort to know they are both beyond suffering now. And we - as a family - are celebrating a soon to be born child. Maybe this grand child will help heal some of those hard hits that make this season so hard for me. Maybe life is finally giving me a mark in the positive column with a new little life to cherish.
Regardless ... This year ... I made it! Passed another one!