Goodbye,Helladays

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There are so many good things about the Holiday season. I enjoy meals with family, cook and wrap presents. I take photos and watch the little ones open their gifts with innocence and excitement. I clean up the mess of wrapping paper, just as I did ten years ago. From the outside, nothing appears that different, I suppose. I know I should have a better attitude, but it seems to become more difficult to endure this “happy time” every year, when it isn’t happy for me.

I feel like I spent most of my Christmas this year alone. I managed a “tree cutting with my son and his friends, decorating a different tree-(the first one, a white pine was just too spindly),eating at my Aunts, a family tradition and seeing my grand kids play together on her floor as everyone laughed and gobbled down snacks and a ham dinner. . Still, Christmas Eve alone was miserable. My youngest son that has is still at home has a girlfriend who he is either with or talking to, my husband watches TV and hangs out in the living room. I kept hoping my son would come watch TV with me after his girlfriend went home, but he didn’t. Wasn’t it only a year or two ago that he stayed near me and comforted me as I cried over his brother or helped me down the steps at the Gingerbread House display when I was hurting so bad that it was difficult to walk?

My father passed away in August, between hospital and “rehab” stays, spending the summer with my family and being in hospice twice before I could no longer care for him. It was horrible. He has always been so active and often refused to let us help him. When he began to fall and get hurt, I had no choice but to seek help. We found the nicest nursing home we could-dad’s memory was in and out. Sometimes, he talked and told stories, other times, he was asking how “my mother and I” got him put in that place, even though it has been nearly four years since I lost my mother. When he asked my daughter one day if she thought he would ever be able to go home , she held him and whispered, “I don’t think so-I’m sorry.” Three weeks later he was gone. Not because of what she said, but because he had heard what he already knew was true from his oldest grand daughter and he couldn’t bear it.

It may seem odd, but I have grieved them both this year, as I cleaned out their house. I will never stop grieving the 15 year old who should be 2 now, who collapsed and died while simply playing baseball.

I read the newspaper and see all of the tragedies around the world. Those who have lost family to violence or war, and find myself feeling guilty. I see how many people in my neighborhood live alone or are elderly, their families far away. They look forward to these days as being one of the few times that they see their families, when I see most of my family every week.

One of my daughters had to spend her baby’s first Christmas away from her, because she was too sick with the flu to care for her. Thankfully she is better now. I think it is easy for family to forget that those of us who are not well, depressed, or grieving need joy in our holidays too. My children are busy with their young families or girlfriends. My husband and I don’t have a joyful relationship like we used to. We live here, we talk when we have to. He is healthy, doing what he wants. I am not, and find myself longing for happier times with a loving family and my own little children around me.

Yesterday was my birthday-I got phone calls from my kids and a card from my aunt. That’s all. Today, my son got his drivers license. Although I am glad to see him get the chance to grow up, unlike his older brother, these rites of passage for him, find me looking to even more loneliness and worry.

It seems the more I try to find happiness in these times, the more difficult if becomes. I admit to wiping a few stray tears at the Christmas play when my tall, handsome son played “Joseph” as the rest of the cast were modern day characters with attitudes rather like my own. Of course at the end, my “Joseph” had made them realize the true meaning of Christmas, but, sadly, going home to find myself watching reruns alone quickly dispelled that mood.

I look away, pretending to be distracted, hoping some well-meaning clerk won’t ask if I had a good holiday. I breathe a sigh of relief when she picks the next person in line to share he cheer with. I come home to an empty house and wait on my newly “freed” son to get home. The cat howls in the next room as if she is as sad as I am.

I’m sorry, world, if the holidays aren’t what they used to be. I’m sorry I avoid the cheery clerks and church folks at the play. I’m sorry I went to sleep at my Aunts and woke up crying. To those of you who still can, I wish a happy season. For those who feel like I do, we just wish it was over.

8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    No need to be sorry! You chose how you spent the holiday and it had some highlights. I hope you can think about some of what/how you are blessed with and sidestep the being sad.

    • 2

      beebeesworld said,

      I am too much a realist-I appreciate the birthday greetings and the time with my familly-there was just ttoo much time alone for grieving and wishing… Thanks for reading…

  2. 3

    Judy said,

    Brenda, I think it’s perfectly fine to write about your grief and don’t ever feel guilty or “ungrateful.” That just adds to the burden. You’ve experienced tremendous loss and it colors everything. And when your health isn’t great – nothing feels good. I wish it were different for but how can it be when your beautiful boy was stolen? It might get easier someday but never forgotten. I’m hoping things can only get better from this point forward. And even though it’s been tough, I want to wish you a “happy birthday.”

  3. 4

    The holidays can be stressful and emotional times…And along with memories of how things used to be, or should be, they only serve to enhance our sadness as we age…Time for a New Year as we wander through this cycle called Life… I’m with you. I understand. Wishing happiness to come !

  4. 5

    You feel the way you feel. No apology needed. Still…..Though late. …I do wish you Happy Birthday.🙂

  5. 6

    SwittersB said,

    Loves and hugs Brenda….Happy Birthday and best wishes for the new year. Please let yourself be loved. Always the very best for you dear lady! Gary

  6. 7

    Yes life sucks then we die Brenda, in many ways some never put to words they stop fighting and just go. You are a fighter even if you feel like you lost the battle, for you are still having birthdays I hope you can continue to live without joy honey as something has to take place to allow it back in HUGS Happy New Year!

  7. 8

    beebeesworld said,

    I guuess “live” is a tricky word-exist-yeah, but it seems like the pile of BS i have to face gets deeper and deeper. Life just isnt fun now. I enjoy moments, but even my youngest has grown uo so much and i feel so alone. I cant see that ever changing unnless a lot of other things do-and doubtfully then. I love my kids and grands, but the hole in my heart and life islike a black hole that sucks in so much of the joy. Thanks for your continued caring, nuts!


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