This is my first post of the New Year. I didn’t make any formal resolutions. I will however try to post more on here especially to weigh in on whatever is going on in the Catholic social media. But, first, I want to explain why I don’t like Christmas and will be happier as we move toward Spring and Easter time.
This was my first Christmas without my Mom. It was harder than I thought it would be. Not that I have spent many Christmases in Cincinnati since moving to GA in 1999. It’s just that I missed her. Very much.
It’s very hard to explain to anyone the depth of sorrow that I felt this holiday season when others seem so joyous. Perhaps my sister understands. Maybe my brothers and some others who lost parents or other loved ones this year would understand, too. I do know that no amount of platitudes or motivational posters or well-meaning wishes help me much. A hug with no words sometimes does. That’s what Charlie does. Just hugs me and even he knows that sometimes that isn’t enough. I usually have more than the mild depression, that I am used to dealing with, every Christmas; however this year was the worse it’s been in a while.
I have my reasons for my mixed feelings this time of year. I have great memories of childhood Christmases; it’s only as an adult that Christmas began to lose its flavor.
My daughter was born 6 days before Christmas in 1970. I had a small complication following her birth and all I wanted was to come home with my new baby to my baby that I had at home (she was 18 months old) and not be bothered with any kind of Christmas celebration. However, on Christmas Eve, relatives descended and came back on Christmas day. All I wanted was to hold my two babies and rest and not worry about spreading Christmas cheer to unwelcome family members in my house. This was a long ago Christmas with great joy plus great melancholy. I think that this was the beginning of my adult dislike of Christmas.
There would be two Christmases when my husband was in the hospital; two times that I almost lost him. The first was with an infection that no on could identify. He still has scar tissue in his lung from it. The second time was to have open heart surgery following a heart attack. Nothing like it to improve one’s holiday spirit. Charlie survived but my psyche took another blow and even now I am super vigilant over his health from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
I hated to share my children. Yes, I was one of those mothers who held and kissed and rocked and played with toys and went outside for picnics and walks in the park and around the neighborhood. They went everywhere with me. I didn’t leave them with baby-sitters and on the rare occasion that I did, I worried until I was home with them again. So when, after the divorce from their father, I didn’t see them from noon on Christmas Eve until 5:30 on Christmas Day, my feelings took a big hit and so did my Christmas joy. I didn’t complain because I didn’t want them to be sad on the holidays. I can’t help wondering though that If I had handled all this Christmas visitation a little differently, my memories might have been a little more pleasant.
Fast forwarding through the years of memories to today, I have a glimpse here and there of Christmas happiness but I can not pinpoint the year, or the time, or the memory. I just know that there had to be some happier times even if they weren’t impressive ones. Most of what I remember are gritting my teeth, putting a fake smile on my face, and getting through the best I could.
This past year (2014) has been a year of sorrow. Besides losing Mom, I also lost an Aunt (my Dad’s sister) and my best friend from high school to cancer.
So to sum up: My brain knows the “reason for the season.” My heart is broken. My brain can help me sing Alleluia with the angels. My heart says “My, God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” My brain perceives the lights and tastes the wine. My heart searches for a taste of the peace without sadness. My brain makes my mouth move and say “Merry Christmas.” My heart says “Bah, Humbug.” Depression hurts and it can also make me feel a little schizophrenic during this time of year.
So, if you ask me if I had a good Christmas, I will probably say that I had a different kind of Christmas because it was a blue one. Very blue!
2 responses to “I Had a Blue Christmas”
I will pray for you. God bless,