Thursday, December 06, 2007

Last Year at This Time

I didn't know that my life had already begun to fall apart. I was anxiously awaiting Dave's return home from his fall semester sabbatical. I was waiting to get a tree until he was home and until Nicholas was finished with his semester. We were going to be a family again.

Of course, Dave had already begun another relationship and had (apparently long since, to hear him tell it now) decided that he would be better off without me. I was worn down with home care and trying to survive on my own, but there was an edge of hope and a little bit of joy that we were going to live like a family for a little while.

This year I've done no decorating and we won't be a family at Christmas -in the same way- ever again. I'm going home to Alabama, and Dave will be in Illinois with the kids. I don't know what they plan to do. The kids and I will celebrate our own Christmas later, and I don't know what that's going to look like either. I'm thinking perhaps we should go on a trip together, but I haven't talked to them about that idea.

There is much that is good here. I've realized again and with new intensity how wonderful my siblings how, what fantastic friends I have, and how truly amazing my grown children are. But I want my family. I want the four of us sitting by the Christmas tree. I want the old thing, and my heart is just broken that I can't have it.


Suze said...

I'm sorry, Andrea. Why does life have to be so f***ing rotten sometimes?

(((Take Care))))

Anonymous said...

Everything changes and evolves you know - nothing gold can stay. Christmas traditions don't stay the same for anyone - our children grow and move on, families change through divorce, marriage, birth and death. Your old familiar Christmas days were numbered anyway, dear, just like every other thing on the planet. But that's not necessarily a depressing thing - it's one of the most wonderful things about life. You never know what new and wonderful things are just around the bend. New Christmas traditions are coming. I am really looking forward to spending the holidays with you. Reminds me of the good old days when our Mom had all of us sitting underneath the tree.

Anonymous said...

I know you want the old thing, honey. It was lovely. It was lovely partly because you made it so, and you have not lost that ability. Just like you are reinventing your bedroom, you will reinvent your traditions. They will be different, but they will still be lovely and cherished.

breadchick said...

Andrea, I was in the same "holiday" funk you are about not decorating this year. On Monday, a good friend brought over a simple wreath for my door and a small 2" tree for my hutch in the living room. Am I in the mood to celebrate this year, not exactly but in the wreath and tree I smell the hope of the birth of a new season. I hope you will have that joy at home in Alabama and when you get back to spend the time with the kids.


Elizabeth said...

It's too damn sad and I know how hard the holidays can be. As the years go by, our family holiday gatherings have gotten smaller and smaller after first my grandmother, my dad and brother passed away and other family members moved farther away. I still have wonderful memories of the uproarious times we had together. When I told a good friend how my holidays have fewer people with each passing year, she said they will start to get bigger again. And that's true. For one thing, my daughter is getting married at last, and I have an almost son now who has a big extended family nearby. They want children too. And so I will be part of a larger family again. I don't decorate much because I live alone, but I make decorations for other people and enjoy that more. If you keep it simple, maybe just putting some candles and greens around can be good too. It's good that you can be with your mom this year.

Lexy said...

My neighbor has an 8 yo girl who is doubting the whole Santa thing. The mom was worried that her child will be upset that she "lied" to her.

I told her it isn't that she lied; it's that she gave her child hope. Hope and faith that there is something magical in the world. It's a hope and faith that she will rarely feel again except in these childhood memories. How can that be bad?

I know you have the faith, hope and heart to have magical moments again. Just not in the same way you've grown accustomed.

Lisa :-] said...

The one thing I've discovered about "family" over the past decade is that it is a very liquid term. Family grows, changes, ends and anything in life. And once we have mourned the passing of what was, we can begin to cherish what is.

carolynswafford said...

Andrea, I'm sorry. It sucks and it is all different. Not easy and definitely not comforting. Hang in there!!!