A sad commentary.
This is the beginning of the holiday season, the first without my parents. My father passed away in June, 2010, and last Thanksgiving was my mother's last. Unbeknown to all of us.
We tried to make it a "happy" day for her. My sister did all the cooking and baking; brothers and nephew/family were coming to her house as well as Mom.
Only Mom didn't go. Said she just couldn't do it. Wasn't feeling well. She stayed home, alone, because that's the way she wanted it.
She did get to my sister's for Christmas, but only because she stayed overnight on the Eve with my son and his family and he drove her out there. But after Christmas Day, everything went down hill. And she passed away on New Year's Eve Day at 4:00pm.
This year brings back so many memories of years past. I find myself barely being able to carry this off. I don't want to. I have no festive spirit. This is a real chore for me. I just want to sit and cry and cry and cry. I have not allowed myself to have a breakdown, to let it all out since my father's death and then my mother's. But it's welling up inside me like a tidal wave and I don't know how much longer I can keep it at bay.
Family is not what it used to be. This is not the family I grew up in. This is not the family I worked so hard for my whole adult, mothering life. There are those who don't speak to each other; there are those who don't care to be around another. There are those who have caused hurt and pain but are oblivious to it. There are no apologies. There is no soul searching. There is no sense of responsibility. And, unfortunately, not only is it our kids, but this refers to my siblings as well. Those who know better because they were brought up in the same house, with the same parents as I. The same background, the same memories.
And so, the holidays trigger no emotions, no memories, no thought of putting things right. For the sake of the parents, if nothing else. They have not yet realized that "family" is all there is. Without the unit, your life is pretty much helter skelter; in free-fall; whirling out of control.
So today, with only 3 of the 5 living near us coming for dinner, we will put on a festive "face". Make the best of the day. Turkey and all the trimmings. Maybe there will be a phone call or two from my siblings. And after today, I will forge ahead with plans for the upcoming Christmas. But my heart won't be in it. I will not go crazy with the decorating and baking. Just a few things to say "Christmas". Seriously, I can't wait for January 1. Then it's all over and we can get back to our regular life. No mental, emotional reminders that we are a fractured, frayed, separated family.
For those of you who have the love and consideration of your children and grandchildren still, who have close-knit family ties, who are there for each other no matter what, who have the respect of your offspring as their parents, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you always find peace and love in the hearts, minds and arms of your family. May the memories you have created over the years see you through the rough patches and make your family ties stronger with the years, for all generations.
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