I was looking through some stuff today (this is also known as re-organizing cupboards) and came across a notebook I thought I had emptied out. As I fanned the pages quickly, I came across some writing so I stopped to see what it was.
It turned out to be a “journal” entry I had written in December 2008, soon before we lost the house. It seems so long ago and, in some ways, emotionally, still very recent. So much has happened and I don’t feel like that person anymore.
The first entry was written on Christmas eve. My two kids had just headed over to their dad’s so they could have Christmas morning with him. My step-daughter was with us but we were bringing her back to her mom’s that night.
That was my first Christmas morning without my kids since they were born. We had no tree and the kids received one present each from us, purchased with a gift card my husband and I had received as a gift. I remember thinking it was the worst Christmas ever.
Christmas always had been one of my favorites until that year. I was always excited about Christmas – the decorations, the songs, getting and decorating the tree, buying and wrapping the presents, even hoping for snow and extremely excited when it did. I’m not sure who was more excited – me or the kids! I loved watching everyone open their presents, the looks on their faces, even when the present wasn’t the “fun” stuff. I loved Christmas morning so much that when the kids’ dad and I split up, I insisted I have them for every Christmas morning. Selfish, I know, but he agreed. He knew what it meant to me.
I have come to dread the holiday season now. I haven’t been able to provide a traditional Christmas morning for my kids since 2007. Everything about the holiday, including snow, irritates me. If it were up to me, we would just skip December and go straight to New Year’s Day. It saddens me to so clearly see that change in me.
My mom had written me an email right before this last Christmas, asking what gift cards the kids wanted, seeing how we were doing, etc. She knows we struggle to make ends meet and that makes Christmas especially difficult for me. Near the end of the email, one sentence she wrote saddened me deeply. Mom had written that she hopes that all we (my husband and myself) have gone through over the last few years hadn’t taken away my love and excitement for Christmas time. I guess if she ever reads this blog, she will know it has. Sorry, Mom.