Usually I love this time of year. Yes, there are some childhood memories that aren't pleasant from this time of year but there are more of those memories where Christmas would remind my parents of who they wanted to be. At least for a short time my mother would remember that she wanted to love and make us happy. My father would grin as he brought in and set up the tree. We would go sledding or out to the slopes to ski.
This year...it somehow feels different not having my son with me on Christmas. That's been true for several years now but....this year feels different. Because now he's in the group home and it feels like he's more distant than he was before. That makes no sense, I know, but...this year as I wrapped his presents and even now as I write this I find myself crying, grieving the loss of how I wish things could be.
I haven't begun my Christmas cards though the packages have been sent out. And I spent this morning with my daughter as she searched for the right present for her brother and dad. We made plans for her to come over for Christmas eve and I was reminded how lucky and blessed I am that this is possible. Of course, knowing that she might switch graduate schools and leave the area is another potential loss and one that hits hard on the heels of my emotions about my son and the group home.
Don't get me wrong. It's a wonderful group home. And I know it's a chance for him to grow up in new ways that could make his life easier. And if another graduate school will be better for my daughter I will be happy for her. But it will be a loss in my life to have her go.
It cheers me up to see my tree, though mind you it's a challenge getting my dog Sophy to understand the round things on the tree are NOT balls for her to play with!
So....my cards will go out late, but that's nothing new. I'll cherish the time I have with my daughter on Christmas eve and Christmas day. I'll talk with my son over the phone. And I'll acknowledge the anniversary of my father's death on Christmas eve by lighting a candle and remembering the times he was able to be a good father. I'll remember, too, the hurt that caused him, in turn, to hurt me—a reminder of why it's so important to find ways to love and accept ourselves so that we do not repeat the harm our abusers did.
A mixed bundle of emotions, this time of year. I suspect it's that way for most people.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),