Christmas was approaching and I was panicking. Not because I had not bought all the presents (I had already decided I was not going to), not because I had not decorated (I didn’t and was okay with that), not because I was feeling the pressure to be happy (a friend had written that she chose to reinvent the holidays and I was following her lead) but because it was the first time in a ton of years that I was unattached. But time doesn’t wait for us to resolve issues so December 24 arrived with me not quite being ready for it.
I wake up with a decision to decline the sweetest of invitations to join a friend’s family Christmas Eve celebration. Next came a decision to go buy a new microwave for the house. Two decisions while still barely awake. Nice start. After my shower I blow-dry my hair, make an appointment to do my nails, and pick out what I am going to wear tonight since I have a “date” at midnight –more on that later.
I leave the house and doubt assaults me. Do I want to brave the crowds, the traffic? I find that it’s really all about how I react, and since I was feeling incredibly calm I had nothing to fret. So off shopping I go. I manage to do it all. No hurries; no worries. I even go to the butcher and buy a great steak to cook and then buy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for a toast.
I head home. My friend and her two boys are heading out. Hugs, kisses, good wishes. Warm feeling. Realization, so far, that I have just had the less stressful Christmas Eve preparation ever. I change, cook, sit and eat, and make reservations (or at least look at) my hotel options for Chiang Mai and Koh Samui. Time for my “date” is arriving.
For many years, even before my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, at midnight on Christmas Eve -in each other’s time zone- we would look up at the sky and find the brightest star and “connect” through it. Next day we would talk about what we had felt. When Parkinson’s had taken away her ability to communicate I would be the one talking. Last year, on the first Christmas without her I continued the tradition and even though I felt her presence, it was gut wrenching to know I didn’t have her to call the next day.
11:50. I open the champagne. Pour myself a glass and head outside. I find our star. I tell her my dreams, my fears. Is my father close to her? I expect tears, sorrow, loneliness, but what I got was a sense of peace, of being surrounded with love and caring. I smile. I go back in with a sense that I will never be alone.
Christmas Day proves me right. I split my time with my two adoptive families. Early Christmas lunch at a friend’s house with her mom who treats me as another daughter. Then a later lunch with a family I gained from a previous life that gave me a stepdaughter and grandchildren. I return home to a friend and her boys. We sit with a cup of tea while we talk and as you may expect by now… it feels like family.
So this blog was to be about my Christmas break, but I somehow feel the word mend suits it best.
Next I will go back to my BLT+ preparations…