I won’t go into a long tirade and apologize for my absence because I always seem to do that and end up saying the same thing. There’s really not much more to say except I’ve been busy with my new job and I’m traveling quite a bit for it being a non-travelling job. I should be home and settle by mid-January when I can hopefully work out a more structured schedule, but until then it’s balls to the walls in last minute year end wrap up.
But this post isn’t about my new job or blog absence, so I’ll quit talking about that and make an abrupt segue into my real post.
The holidays are hard. Grieving makes then harder.
My parents have been gone for seven years, but this time of year is still difficult for me to manage. It’s not like the grief hurts more than it usually does, it’s just that the memories are more present. You reach into a box of decorations and those memories come flooding back in one emotional wave after another. I am not afraid of those feelings, most of the time they give me such a sense of remembrance that it’s worth the twinge of loss I feel at the time. It’s just that they are a constant unforgiving reminder of what might have been. I feel it a lot when I look at my kids and the holiday traditions they are building. I am sad that those memories won’t include either of my parents. That is a hurt that is hard to shake.
I’ve never been shy about acknowledging my Mom’s presence. I swear, sometimes uncanny how her spirit shows up in my life. It’s gone from being unsettling to expected. Even the kids see it and I hope that is something they never stop seeing or feeling.
The other day my distant cousin asked for my Mom’s Pink Lady salad recipe. Again, this is one of the things that has ensconced my Mom in my holidays and has spread into Cheryl’s side of the family and has become a tradition for them too. It makes me proud. As I went to scan the recipe so I could e-mail it to to my cousin, my phone focused on the picture and suddenly a message came on the screen that said “this document has been previously scanned and we have saved a copy for you in your photos.” The things is, I have never scanned this with my phone. I’ve never taken a picture of it with my phone. I did have it saved on my lap-top from scanning it years ago with my fax/scanner, but I’ve never taken a picture or scanned it on a mobile device, but sure as shit, there it was.
Yesterday I was driving down to San Diego to pick up my nephew. Those three grandkids were my Mom and Dad’s pride and joy. They ADORED them. As I was driving I was telling my boys about how happy my Mom would be that we have kept in contact and built a relationship with my nephew. Things with my sister have gotten out of control crazy and my nephew is not even a part of her life. I’ve been very fortunate that my ex sister-in-law has been more than willing to allow him to stay in our lives and has gone out of her way to nurture our relationship with him. She doesn’t need to do that. It would be so easy for her to just close the door and move on.
I am so grateful that she hasn’t.
As I am explaining this, a song randomly shows up on my iPhone. It was my Mom’s song to my sister and I and she revived it with the grandkids. I’m not gonna lie, we all cried.
Then, after a great day with all the boys, we dropped off my nephew and was settling in for our drive home when I received a text from a very dear friend. Years ago I had given all the special people in my life a poem I found buried in my Mom’s belongings. It obviously had special meaning to her as she had many copies and had kept them kept safely for years. My friend sent me a picture of her framed copy and told me that she puts it out every year for the holidays and she wanted me to know that it was still a very valued treasure and a big part of her holiday. It was so nice to know that my Mom’s presence is still felt, not just by me, but the many people she touched.