Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bittersweet Time of Year

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))))))),
April_optimist

6 comments:

Colleen said...

Beautiful post. I can relate to the mixed emotions and memories. I have been behind on cards too. Will not send as many this year. Better to remember the reason for the season. And to spend time with the ones we love. God bless!

Amy said...

Praying for a peaceful and blessed holiday for you...thank you for this beautiful post, dear one!

Kahless said...

I hope you have a peaceful Christmas
xx.

jumpinginpuddles said...

we laso have mixed emotions this year and we understand the feeling of celebration of xmas but loss of so many other things its a confusing time of year
have a awesome new year, we have a year in review sitting on our blog if you want to read it :)

Karma said...

Of course, it is mixed emotions for all of us. I think the hardest thing is that most people don't give space to acknowledge the hard parts. We're supposed to be cherry and gay the whole time.

For my mother, one of the biggest struggles in life was finding herself when us kids went off on our own. She never did manage to fully tackle that one. (That's when the Alzheimer's set it.)

Take care of yourself and happy new year!

April_optimist said...

Colleen, Amy and Kahless, Thank you. I hope you each had a lovely Christmas.

Jumping in Puddles, You've had a lot of changes this year! I look forward to reading your post.

Karma, Isn't it powerful to realize it's okay to feel all of what we feel?