Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Holidays for Me...It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...Usually Not..

Good Morning.  When my niece Abby, and I created this blog, I never thought I would be including my life's stories, as well as some of my reflections.  But, all of this is an important part of who I am, and sharing them with you is just as important.  There is happy, there is sad, there is nostalgia.  This post is really quite deep, and I dwelled for quite a long time whether to post it or not.  You notice the first line really relates to Thanksgiving evening, and that's I first starting writing this piece.   I wrote, and rewrote, put the story aside, took it back out.  So, here it is to share with you.  It is very heartfelt...more than you will ever know.

Well, another Thanksgiving is over...everyone has visited, everybody's been fed, the dishes are done, the leftovers put away, eaten or delved out for the company to take home.  Thanksgiving and Christmas can be very bittersweet for many of us...I know it is for me.   I remember as a kid having some not so pleasant Christmas's.   I wish I could say every one was great, but it wasn't.  For whatever reason, my mom would be capable of causing angst during a holiday, making it not very pleasant for the rest of the family.  I really think she suffered emotionally, whether it was her childhood, or her teen years before she married my dad.  I do know that she was very close to her mother, who died a few days before my mom's junior prom.  This has never left me, because my mom told me she wore her prom dress to her mother's funeral.   My mom was very fair, though, and made sure all of us kids got the same amount of presents.  This was a quality that all three of us kids clung to, and still do, today.  Her wrapping was perfect, the presents were always stacked beautifully, but again, many times the holiday was ruined because of something that would affect her.  Then I went into marriage with my late husband, who wasn't fond any holiday, particularly Christmas.   He wasn't spiritual either, and Christmas to him was nothing but a marketing scheme.  I really couldn't disagree to a point...having holiday decorations out in stores in August is pushing it, even in my book.  But, every holiday seemed to come and go, and, he was never too keen about going back to the Midwest to our families either.  Yes, I had my friends here, but they had their own families to celebrate the holidays with.  I felt pretty isolated, which would cause me to feel not only depressed and lonely, but worse, alone.  I pretty much lived this way for 26 years, always hoping the coming year would bring some sort of miraculous change, but it didn't.   Also, my dad died in 1987, and my mom in 2002.  There were times I would pick up the phone to call them, only to hold the receiver in my hand, reminding myself they were gone.  Talking to someone you love in one's mind, or even out loud, only goes so far.  I guess my dilemma was that I depended upon others too much to bring me happiness.  But, how "does" one find inner peace, security and happiness within themselves?  Is it something we're just born with, is it something we have to work at, is it something that one day, we just say, Eureka, I got it!   I kept trying to work through these emotions, only to find myself in the same place.   I would love nothing more than to be with someone who shares the same passion I do at holidays.  To go for a sleigh ride, to cut down a Christmas tree, to be somewhere in the snow, and drink hot chocolate.  A dear friend of mine has always dreamed of a Norman Rockwell-type holiday with her family, but every year seems to miss the mark.  She gets rather melancholy on the rare occasion she talks about it...it sounds like it should be so easy to achieve because she has a lovely family.  But, what should change to make it happen, what can she do?  We always seem to find ourselves in the same spot, then say "next year will be the year" only to find here it is, next year, and we're in exactly the same place.  I remember being on a trip with a friend probably about 8 or 9 years ago.  We went to Connecticut the first week in December.  Driving into Ridgefield, there was a colonial home with candles lit in each window along with a wreath framing each pane.  It was snowing, and it was like being in a Christmas card.   Arriving at our destination in Salisbury that afternoon, they were just about to begin their tree lighting ceremony.  I mean, really, I was like a little kid, I was so excited.  But then, reality set in when I got home, and even though the memories lingered, I embraced them so hard as if I could "will" the whole scene back to where I lived.   And, what is something "I" have always dreamed about during the holiday?  Being invited to a grand cocktail party...semi-formal, waiters bringing trays of hors d'oeuvres, music filling the air.  It's never happened, but every year, I always have it in my mind.   Do I set myself up for something that is too hard to achieve?  Or, perhaps I don't know the right people, or I haven't networked enough over the years.  It's downright hard for me to simply enjoy the holiday.  In addition, I also have regrets not having children, so therefore, no grandkids to share the Easter Bunny, Halloween or Santa.   I keep telling myself to get out there and make the best of it, cause every year that goes by that I don't, is another year that I'm older.   Maybe someday I'll get it...I want to get it, because I don't want to be unhappy.  But sometimes I feel like I have exhausted all of my avenues....where "do" I look for whatever it is I'm looking for?  What is the "it" that I'm lacking?   This is not the lightest reading, but I have met others in the same situation, and if this story helps you to know that you are not alone out there, then my blog has served a purpose.  Although this is something we can't cook in our kitchen, I believe it "is" something we can procure in our hearts...it's just that the recipe is quite long, so it may take some time to finish.  I just hope I have all the ingredients...


My mom, dad, me holding spice, our dog, my brother, my sis and her then boyfriend, now husband

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