Here Come the Holidays...

The holidays are upon us and I am filled with ambiguity mixed with dread. Dad died so close to Christmas last year that it was just "a day". This will be the first "normal" Christmas without him. It just seems weird. And lonely.

Everyone else seems to get along fine without him - one brother has been mad at him for a few years, and I don't know why. He never says anything nice about him anymore; just brings up bad things from the past. I'm sure he has his reasons, but I'm not sure why and it bothers me. The other brother doesn't like to talk about Dad at all because "it's sad". Mom had such a complicated relationship with Dad that it makes no sense to talk to her, because she has her own issues to come to terms with.

So, that leaves me with nothing. Christmas has never been my favorite holiday as it is - my brain always wants it to be one of those fairytale ones - family that likes each other, can't wait to see each other, laughing, enjoying the day. That's not my family. Most of the time it's a matter of just tolerating the day, waiting to get to the point where you can just go home. I stopped taking pictures a couple of years ago because honestly, what's the point? It isn't like my brothers really give a damn - about me, about the holiday...about the family. My mom is the same way. "It's just another day" she says every year. So why take pictures of a day not worth remembering?

I've had such a bad year that I barely have any friends left - I've neglected them...possibly hurt them in my own hatred of my situation...mending fences will be hard because of it. But I will try. I've learned to retreat into myself and it hasn't been good for my friendships. Some understand, some don't - the ones with close families seem to have the hardest time with my "aloneness"...they have support systems in place - my support system is me. I am the "rescuer" in our family - the one who deals with the doctors, the appointments - entertaining the old people...a psychologist once told me that it will kill me, but who the hell else is going to do it? No one has volunteered. Top that with not having a job for most of this year, the mortgage...well, let's just say it's been a hell of a struggle. They say God never gives you more than you can handle, but I'm really tired of God thinking I can handle so much!

Anyway, my Christmas day will be filled with memories of my dad and my brother Mike - two people I miss beyond words. And I dread it.


quilterinaTina said…
hey barbara a/k/a zabadu!
this is nummymuffin from the CT boards.....You and I have muc in common--can you email me offline:
I'd love to know where in North CA you are---as I am too!
Again. Breathe.
I know this feeling. It won't go away, but you have to remind yourself.
You titled your blog "If I didn't have a sense of humor" There is a reason for that. My guess is that you are able to smile even when smiling isn't easy or appropriate. That smile is your power... don't lose it. If you misplace it, find something to put it back. Give yourself a dose of the Nairobi Trio or read an Ode to an Emotional Italian Knight.
If all else fails, do what i do and sing a familiar song in an unfamiliar voice. Copacabana as Arnold sounds aaah-some.
But most of all... remember. Breathe.

Take care and your kindred spirit will be thinking of you this week.
The Team said…
just so you know someone far far away, who you will never meet, prays once so often that your every little act feels to you like a triumph.
Admire your pluck. And, oh, I also am published!
Rebecca said…
Hi Barbara,
Cry, go ahead and cry...
Grief comes in waves and sometimes you just have to let if wash over you. If I have learned anything in all my years it is that un-grieved losses become idols. They keep us stuck in the past and unable to move forward into the present. My dad died in 05' and I am still letting go. I have found that grief is a process. Not doing it is akin to trying to hold a basketball under water. It is exhausting and eventually it comes up and hits you in the face. I will be praying for you.

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