365 Days Later

Christmas Day is over.  It’s 6:00pm, I’m sitting on the couch, watching and listening to a Macklemore concert. I have a pitbull trying to crawl into my lap, and a big brown dog fighting for space on the couch. My husband’s in the other room playing a computer game (do they still call them that or am I showing my age??).  Ha!  I Facetimed a bit ago with my parents and got to see my nephews and niece.  We slept in this morning, had a lovely breakfast, opened our gifts, and hung out together.  This afternoon I made my first “art quilt”.  OK, I have to break for a minute….

Alright.  Back.

Last year was a tough Christmas.  We had just moved into this new house, my parents were here, it should have been a joyous time.  While there were moments of happiness, and while I enjoyed having the company, the 24 hours beginning Christmas Eve and running through Christmas Day eve were rough.  J wasn’t in communication with me then, and D had recently begun his retreat from me.  Christmas Day last year started with our oven breaking in middle of my cooking a breakfast bake.  Right in middle.  I don’t think we had breakfast…..

I had been hoping for a call or a message from D, but nothing came.  We had made plans to go see The Hobbit (if you haven’t seen it yet, and you’re a fan of the books….don’t go see it.  It should have been re-named “Bilbo Baggins runs around for 4 hours and then there’s lots of Goblins and then the Smaug scene lasts for another 4 hours”.  Seriously. ).  Between the trailers and the movie, we were in that theatre for close to four hours (maybe more?).  When we got out, I still hadn’t heard from D, so I called him.  I got him, and it was about a 2 minute conversation.  He was so cold, distant and so obviously not interested in talking to me or anyone else.  It was a blow.  A physical kick in the gut.  That kick stayed with me for almost a full year.

I’m not feeling it so much anymore.  Not from D’s abandonment of our relationship, and not from J’s despicable tirade.  I am (mostly) over the pain.

Yesterday and today have been two breakthrough days for me.

A few months ago, I joined a group on Facebook of women (mostly) who like me, had been alienated by their grown children.  We come from all walks of life, from all socio-economic levels, from all types of families, from all religions.  The one thing we have in common, is that we have been tossed to the curb by our kids.  The level of support, love and caring that emanated from this group has built this fence around my heart and cushioned it from the pain that my children have inflicted on me.   That insulation carried me through this holiday.

Last night, we went out to dinner with P’s boss, M and his wife J and daughter S.  Sweet S.  Nine years old, so she fed my mother hunger.  I got to pour the love I would give to my sons, into her.  J, who is also a friend, had shared with me a few weeks back how despondent she was at the thought of facing this Christmas without her mother, who passed away earlier this year.  Dinner was more than just finding a distraction for myself, it was about giving J an escape from her own sadness.  I think it worked.  We had a lovely time.  It was warm and I felt myself enveloped by a glow of friendship.

This morning, we slept in until almost 7am.  A minor miracle in our world! We went for a leisurely walk, came home, made breakfast and opened gifts.  The rest of the day has been spent relaxing, and just enjoying doing nothing.  The best part? I didn’t feel sadness.  Some nostalgia maybe, but no sadness.  I even saw pictures of D on Facebook, and I wasn’t sad.

It’s a major step.  One I’ll take, and build on.

Big changes coming up in the next few weeks.  This is a new beginning for me, or at least, a new chapter.  I don’t want a new beginning,  but I do want some say in the writing of the next chapter.

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