This evening I'm holding fast to the hope that one day I will find new lovely new holiday celebrations… that makes the time feel truly SPECIAL.
This lack of specialness (as I define and experience it) is that which I mourn in most EVERY aspect of my life.
I'm very lucky to have my mother nearby. We spent Christmas day together this year - the first in many - due to a series of, well, situations that make holiday time together just not happen. This year, just the two of us, we made the best of it enjoying a drive and day at a local casino slot machine gambling followed by a tasty leftover dinner at my apartment with Allie and Murphy. It was a nice day and we both tried to recall only lightly the poignant moments from the past - our 27 odd years together as a whole family – with my Father. Thousands of wonderful moments stored in only our our minds and hearts - that we're lucky to have - but miss with a pain that cannot be articulated with words. This year we spent the day as companions – gently caring – as only people from the same core family can.
Let me be clear - I'm ever so thankful for all the blessings I DO have. I spend a lot of time reflecting on gratitude. I also deeply long for the right love relationship - one simply by being present makes ordinary moments special. Someone who did for holidays what my Father did for my Mother and I - and everyday for my mother. partner. man. friend. person upon whom she could RELY when ALL and EVERYONE ELSE failed. The tiny became magical and the serious became the joke of the year. Nothing was overwrought, forced, or overly produced, just the right decorations year after year, the same music, kooky traditions, outdoors - burned eyelashes and laughing and love. I believe I will mourn those holiday celebrations for what remains of my days. Within this, as well, the fear (it's nearly a knowing at this point) that I will never come close and that everything will always feel like a cheap imitation with temporary stand-in people who don't really know me, or even care to.
That said, I do want to thank my friends who invited me to spend their holidays with them. Geese, dinners, potlucks, parties, church, brunches, you name it J Thank YOU! I love all of you and your invitations speak to me in the language of the love of our friendship. You're amazing, funny, smart, and strong people – it is an my honor to call you my friends.
I know I let some of you down (not just about Christmas, either) – quitting, running out crying during the Xmas Eve XFit workout, declining invitations, and worse yet accepting and not coming. It's such a rude return on your investment of love and caring toward me – and for that I am sorry. I did the best I could. The rest of the time I protected my thin emotional shell by hiding out and watching bad TV, reading, cleaning, organizing, and taking what comfort I could from Murphy and Allie and warm blankets and tea. Not a terrible way to spend some time off after all – but this is what I have been doing for nearly all of the 12 years since my father died. I'd like to try a special experience with someone rather than just trying to "tolerate and get through it". And it's not just Christmas – my birthday preceded my father's death by ~7 days. He and my mother were visiting me in Seattle on my birthday, they flew home to Ohio and he died the following day. I'm SO lucky to have had that last little infusion with him and will treasure those moments to my grave - but ever since my birthday has been tied up in an emotional sad universe of grief. I need to build some new experiences that feel magical so that I can enjoy something again in this life. Romance that leads to a real proposal and engagement, a magical romantic once-in-a-lifetime wedding, special holidays to follow – hopefully children – things that feel so distant for me that they only seen to happen to actors on television shows and movies.
but I'm hopeful.