I love this time of year. I love the twinkling lights and wonder why we can’t have them all year…The ribbons, the bows, the music, the shopping, the hot cocoa, the family get togethers…it all makes me giddy. I feel the joy…I feel Christmas…I feel all of the warmth and love. But December remembers…Ten years have passed since that December day when I received the call that would forever make December have a very Charles Dickens feel…the best of times and the worst of times.
If I had to try to explain the feeling, December by Sara Bareilles actually describes the way it feels best…It’s not really the lyrics so much as the tone of the song that really pins it down.
The afternoon has settled long and heavy on my shoulders
The winter’s light feels different on my skin
It doesn’t seem to strike as far below the surface so
I have to conclude that shadow won’t let it in
That shadow won’t let it in, shadow won’t let it in
You’ve always been a problem child
You run me down right restless and wild
And I remember when you used to be mine
I know I am not the only one who spent a Christmas mindlessly unwrapping presents…trying to be normal when life is anything but normal. Everyone going through the motions so you don’t just stop and cease to exist. You have to appear human because the other side is out there…you just have to get there…even if it begins with faking it.
The sadness wanes…It’s just that you can never recover fully from certain losses. I know I’ve said that before but it’s a weird place to be in sometimes. It doesn’t heal like a scratch that doesn’t even leave a scar…Your mind can’t neutralize a loss like your immune system can a cold. It is not something that can ever be over…it is just a permanent hole in your world. It is an internal scar that if on the outside would probably make people stare. It’s the phantom limb that only you can feel but have to remind yourself is no longer there.
You stop mourning in the traditional sense but there will always be reminders, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, what if, and should be. They dart around your mind at unexpected times. But most thoughts and memories are happy now…because the good stays and the pain fades.
There are Scott Weilands…people you hope can make one day at a time last a lifetime…but they can’t/don’t. Then their body just says, I can take no more. I feel empathy for his family because I can…it’s not fake or manufactured…it’s because I know. Loss caused me to have a keener understanding of empathy and I kind of have low tolerance for over empathizers now. But I know what it is like to lose someone over and over again until they really are gone.
On this tenth year, I can laugh at our childhood memories, talk about our traditions…and laugh about how you sang Almost Paradise (the love theme from Footloose) in your carseat as you tried to do sit ups.
We’re all OK now.
And there is much to celebrate…Today, sometime this morning…two little souls came into the world. My beautiful lovely friends now have twin boys! They are so beautiful and already have an army at the ready to guide them through this world! Welcome boys! Can’t wait to meet you!