Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Same Cheer, Different Year.

It is already the 5th of December and the only thoughts I have had about Christmas are how the heck I am going to make it through and with what money am I to buy presents.

I get in a very bitter sweet mood around this time of year and yes I have many things happening in my life that are very sweet (OC Blog Awards, "AUTS" Contest Win) but it is hard to get past all of the bitter stuff.

Why is it that no matter how sweet the moment I seem to allow all of the bad memories and things that really upset me seep in? What gives? I just want a year when I actually have "Happy Holidays!"

When I think about the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" I quickly remember back to the first Christmas that we had to go to Dad's on Christmas Day after spending Christmas Eve with Mom. It was such a strange transition and so sad to have to not have Dad around when I woke up Christmas morning and not to be with mom all day too. I wish divorce was never invented sometimes.

I remember the first Christmas without Grandma Rosa and the next Christmas without Grandma Lucy or Grandpa William. That was the first Christmas without any Grandparents at all. There is no relationship like those with your Grandparents. I was cheated out of my time with them and if yours are still around give them a second longer hug this year for me. I would love to have a few seconds with each one of them again. They were awesome!

I remember the first Christmas with Diabetes and how I hated not being able to drink a quart of egg nog. Egg nog is awesome and so are Christmas Cookies and Candies and all that other crap that I did not get. There is nothing worse then finding fruit in your stocking Christmas morn. Bummer.

I will never forget the sting of tears that first Christmas without my father. Those tears that sting so bad do not last as long anymore but each year they come back to remind me of how imperfect and incomplete my Christmas will always be. I miss him so much and this time of year makes me miss him even more.

I do remember the first Christmas as a married man, and the first Christmas as a father. Those are the best holidays to remember but damn it if those tears don't sneak their way in and haunt me every December.

Why can't I remember my little guys waking up at the crack of dawn, tearing open each gift with wonder and excitement in their eyes? Why is it that each time I close my eyes and see them laughing and hugging dolls, toys, and games that they "had to have" I open my eyes to tears of sadness?

Is it because my dad isn't here? Is it because my kids never sat in their Grandpa's lap? Because I wanted my Dad to be the awesome grandfather I know he would have been and now that will never happen? Is that why?

Yes, that is it.

I really hoped this year would be different.


Chrissie in Belgium said...

George, you are brave to put the words in writing. To say out loud what you feel. I am sorry that Xmas isn't simply a time of joy.... What is hard about Christmas is that everything is suppose to be so perfect. Me, I use to love Christmas. We use to have glorious Christmas traditions with our kids. Time doesn't stand still. Now my kids are making their own Xmas traditions. My heart wants everything to remain like it was. Only my head understands that my children must be allowed to build their OWN memories. My mom tells me that I did TOO good a job of raising my kids. Now they both have to push me away b/c they have to become independant. My mom says it is as hard for THEM as it is for me. I wonder??? Why does everything have to be so hard? I GUESS ALL WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS IS THAT WE MUST APPRECIATE WHAT WE HAVE, WHEN WE HAVE IT. SO YOU GUYS WHO ARE HAVING A REALLY NICE CHRISTMAS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND KIDS- ENJOY IT FOR GOD'S SAKE! George, both you and me, we can't let sorrow stamp on the happiness that is standing there right in front of our noses. If we do, then maybe we deserve what we get!

Rachel said...

I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays as well. My SAD seems to get better in mid-November, but then the holidays create a different stress.

Tell your kids stories of their grandfather and great-grandparents. As someone who only knew a great-grandmother, I loved hearing about my grandparents (who were all gone before I turned 4 years old). I think it especially cheered up my mother, who, while in high school, lost her own mother on New Year's Day.

Scott said...

Thinking of you G-Money.

The holidays without my mom around are really hard too.

Maybe it can be a time of year that we celebrate their great lives - all the good they did when they were around, and how much we miss them now that they are not.

Vivian said...

George- You are so not alone in this. I had a melt down last night as we were putting up the tree. We are the connection to the ones who have passed for our kids. We have to keep them alive by telling their story. They are always with us because they are a part of who we are. Please don't let the sadness of those gone keep you from fully being here for your kids. These are the fabulous memories they are making to carry forward.

In Search Of Balance said...

I'm so sorry to hear about how difficult this season can be for you. I'll be sending you good wishes....

Minnesota Nice said...

I think this time of year makes us really "emotionally vulnerable". FOr me, it's always wondering what the coming year will bring and what state my health will be in by next Christmas (heck, we aren't even done with this one and here I am thinking about the next - how stupid is that?)
Yet, if I don't get too rattled with stress, I can let myself enjoy the pleasures of the season - each year I decide to definitely not decorate, but, here I was last night getting the boxes of lights down from the back closet.
My dad was really ill with heart failure at one Christmas, and my brother was dying of AIDS a few years later, so I guess I try to remember back before that, when everybody was healthy.
And now, we have my little niece Emily to add that special sparkle.
These are times of deep feelings, George (all you guys must stop making me cry at my desk) - hang in there.

George said...

So much widsom for so many wonderful friends! This community is so awesome. In all aspects of life you all make me realize how NOT alone I am. thanks.

Paul Foreman said...

Hi George,

There is nothing wrong with feeling how you do, many of us have exactly the same feelings - enjoy the fond memories and remember the good times, embrace what you have today and know that the most precious thing you can spend at Christmas is "time" - spending time with the ones you love and cherishing the moments of joy that brings is truly the most special way to celebrate not only Christmas but life in general.

Every single moment of every single day is special and precious, and not only that - what happens now, this very moment, is building tomorrows memories - There is a saying that "No one is guaranteed a tomorrow" children instinctively know that because they are fully engaged in what they are doing at any one time, fully in the moment and enjoying "what is" - as adults we have so many distractions, thoughts, memories, and responsibilities, our minds easily lose the present moment; this is not our fault, it is just part of being human! Spend time just "being" there - it is the greatest gift you can give and the greatest reward there is...

You are a wonderful person and father, enjoy the season knowing that you are special to them - just as they are special to you.

Paul Foreman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie said...

I know what you mean, George. While we all get excited about xmas and all the hoopla surrounding it - there is not a single family out there that does not have a moment during the holidays where they reflect and remember those who cannot be with them anymore.

It is hard, but I think it is a part of the holidays and it's maybe a good thing - it's a bittersweet thing when I think about my grandfather - what a wonderful person he was and how we were all cheated a lifetime with him when he died so young. But I also remember all the wonderful things he did - how he made us feel and the type of man he was. Would he be proud of me? I bet he would. Would he love my children? You bet your arse he would!

Traditions change as we grow up and now, the best part of xmas is watching my kids - the excitement, the joy and the pure innocence of them as they talk about santa and what he brought for them.

Enjoy your family, George and honour the ones who cannot be with you. Light a candle on xmas day and think of the happiness they brought to your life while they were with you. Remembering isn't such a bad thing - it's a way to honour them.

MileMasterSarah said...

This post has made me grateful for that drive I get to take to my dad's on dec 23rd. That drive I really have grumbled about and not wanted to make. I think it may just be worth it.

Hannah said...

I'm cryin' at my desk. I'd love to give you a big ol' hug, because I'm not really sure what to say.

But for the record, this year at Christmas I'll probably cry too. I'm a sap and it's my first Christmas as a wife.

My Christmases haven't stopped being weird. My parents split up right after my junior year of college, and my husband's parents split up the next year. The holidays are really hectic for us because suddenly we have at least 4 places to be, and plenty of people who will get upset (some taking it personally) if we don't spend enough time with them.

I think Christmas is a rough time of year for so many of us.