Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blue Christmas

The past year here has been anything but easy to deal with. From last September (a year ago) until now, it's been filled with all kinds of drama and ups and downs that I've tried, very hard really, to cope with the changes it has brought into my life.

From the first time I got the "news" from my daughter about her plans to leave here, move to the Harrisburg area and of course, take my beloved two grandchildren with her to trying to figure out how in blazes I would be able to live here alone, manage to keep my house, and all the happy crapola that comes with that situation to now, I have been getting some things ironed out gradually.

Tonight though, I got the news from her that she and the grandkids will NOT be coming up for Christmas -at least not for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Weather permitting, they will come up the weekend right after Christmas.

That should really be fine with me, but it's not!

Christmas has always been for me a time spent with family -all of my family if at all possible! And that idea goes way, way back in time for me because growing up here with my Mom and her parents, Christmas meant at least two of my uncles and their children would be here and one year, we actually had all but my Mom's baby sister and her husband here for the holiday. Talk about a packed house, this place was that for sure that year! The only times that there was no one extra here -meaning extended family -was between 1963 and 1966 -but then, I managed to get home so my Mom wouldn't be here alone.

From 1966 until 1972, Christmas was spent with my Uncle and his family in Maryland and 1972, it was my ex-husband, me and my older daughter because my Mom was in western New York that winter helping her older sister and her husband due to some medical issues my aunt had then. Since 1973 though, Christmas has been here -in this house, with my kids and my Mom and my husband then until 1979, after my Mom died. But even then, the kids and I were by that time, living in the old homestead here. One year -1983 -the kids spent Christmas with their Dad and his Wife #2 (he's currently on wife #5 now) at their place in eastern Ohio and I spent that holiday with my then-fiance, his sons and his parents. Talk about a whole different ball game, that year was it, for sure! There was none of the traditional things I was accustomed to - no church service, no familiar friendly faces of my neighbors and fellow parishioners as we worshiped together at the midnight church services at our church. Just strange surroundings and different people and not really feeling at ease at all in their midst.

To hear my daughter tonight, you would think that every year of her early childhood and teen age years, her Christmases were all ruined because they (she and her siblings) were forced to go spend Christmas with their Dad! One year that happened. One frigging year and she makes it sound like it was all her life, wasted like that and she isn't going to put her children through that kind of turmoil. Sheesh! Their Dad only ever asked for that one time since we divorced and I felt sorry for him and allowed that to happen then! And now, I'm apparently the wicked mother of 1982 for having done that to allow him some time with his children!

From 1979 until 1996, my kids and I had -with the exception of that one holiday -spent Christmas together here -well, allowing for the 2 years my son was stationed overseas in Germany and Hungary that is -and during that time span, my kids and I went every Thanksgiving and Christmas too up to my Dad's homestead to share those two special days with my youngest aunt and her handicapped daughter. From 1979 until about 2000, my aunt fixed most of the meal for those occasions but the last 8-10 years of her life, I tried to fix as much as I could here and take it to her house then for our dinners. The last 5 years then, I fixed the entire meal here and the kids and I would take everything then up to my aunt's so she and her daughter wouldn't have to spend those holidays alone.

I know I am just indulging myself right now in a mountain of self-pity -the stupid "poor me" syndrome, ya know -and I need to get cracking and move that aspect, those feelings aside. Pull up my big girl panties, as that saying goes and move on. Can't expect kids to honor ones old traditions forever ya know. But, in my head right now, the only song I can hear -playing over and over like a damned broken record right now -is The King singing Blue Christmas! And yes, no matter how much I try to overcome all of these bad feelings and vibes I'm experiencing right now, without my grandkids here, it is going to be more than a bit of a Blue Christmas for me, without them. A first and one I never wanted to experience either, I might add.

I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to deal with all these emotions and make it through Christmas Eve, Christmas Day too, without having the kids especially here. But I know that's the way it is going to be and I'm going to have to get my act together and find ways to compensate, somehow, for the emptiness my heart will have at that time. My blogger friend, Terri of These Are Days, had a post tonight that really hit home with me. The title of her post was simply "Breathe" and in it she was addressing the feelings of dissent and anger and the damage it can and will do to one's system if you don't work on getting rid of that stuff and do it as quickly as you possibly can too!

So, right now, I'm nursing a big, big cup of eggnog, heavily laced with Bacardi's 151 Rum and trying to relax and ease up on the self-pity routine that is currently playing in my mind. Get used to it! Grow up. Get a life too, while you're at it!

I should have tried to prepare myself for this kind of scenario to take place in my life a long, long time ago but, you know how it is. Old habits die very, very hard and this is not just an old habit but it is an old tradition of my life and I never wanted it to end back in 1963 after my Grandmother died, nor after my Mom passed or any other time either for that matter.

But -and boy, my mind is filled with various lines from this song or that one about dealing with changes in one's life and not being able to go on forever the way we may think we want things to be, but my apologies for this tonight, that's where my mind is at the moment.

To quote another song "We'll muddle through, some how" and yes, that's probably exactly what I'll be doing over the next 2-3 weeks -just muddling through, getting by, somehow.

I've done it time and time again before so there's really no reason I can do it again this year, this time. NOW!

Is there?

Might not be easy to do, but by gosh, by golly, I'm going to knock myself out if I have to and going to try my level best, my damnedest to be, if nothing else, jolly!

There's things I still have to get done. Avon deliveries for one thing will be keeping me running. Gifts to wrap. Still a few other gifts I need to figure out what corner of a certain body part I might be able to find some resources to purchase those last couple of gifts for some people in my life. Getting harder and harder to find any crevices there that have any extra cash (or credit) available right now ya know!

It is what it is and what will be will be. That's for sure!

But I do need to begin working on this -starting yesterday now -and get my mind straight, my head screwed back on in place and concentrate on finding ways to change my traditions if need be and make the holiday what it should be -a time of peace and love, giving in whatever way I can to help others not feel that this time of year is a Blue time but much, much different.

Stay tuned -more songs may just enter my mind and give me other, better, healthier ways to approach this change my life has taken.

Peace, love, hugs and only the best wishes possible to you -my special online, blogger friends for a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years too!


Suldog said...

Jeni, I'll put it into stronger language than you were willing to use: This sucks. I'm not your family member, so I won't say anything that would be personally insulting to anyone else, but it's a damned shame that YOUR Christmas isn't going to be what you hoped. You're a person full of love and giving for others, and you deserve better.

Having said that, maybe there are some wonderful volunteering duties available on the day or the evening before? Nothing works so well to get a pity party out of our heads as giving others something to make their own lives sweeter. Giving is receiving, etc.

(I offer that advice haphazardly, of course. I've never done it on Christmas myself, but I've always thought that if circumstances were similar to what you may have this year, then that's what I might explore.)

terri said...

Jeni, I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I know I would feel exactly the same way you do. It's Christmas, probably the single most celebrated day of the year in this country and all everyone wants is to surround themselves with loved ones and celebrate that love.

Maybe Suldog is onto something. Or maybe, as another blogger suggested at Thanksgiving time, this could be an opportunity for you to open your home up to others who are feeling a bit stranded and alone this Christmas time. It wouldn't be quite the same as your traditions, but it could be a fun and wonderful experience.

Really, I'm wishing we lived closer. I'd love to have you come for Christmas here with me and my wacky family.

Hang in there friend. I'm praying for you during this difficult time.

Kat said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I can imagine how heartbreaking it is not to have your family with you on Christmas FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. Change is so hard and this change is downright crappy. I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better your grandchildren and children will probably miss you and your traditions just as much as you are missing them.

Parenthood is so crazy in that you give every single ounce of everything that you have to your kids and yet they still grow up, move away, and have their own lives. Selfish little turds. ;) jk But it does seem messed up. I don't know what I'm going to do when my kids grow up and move away. I can't even think about it.

Parenthood is for crazy people! ;)

Know that you are thought of and you are loved. I pray that this Christmas turns out to be a wonderful, surprising blessing and that when your children and grandchildren are able to visit it really feels like your traditional Christmas. God bless!

Maggie May said...

I'm really sorry that you are being treated this way. You know something? I personally think sometimes acquaintances and friends can be better to us than our family.
Maybe we should not be so available when they want something.
Sorry, but something similar has happened to me too.
Thinking of you and hoping you can find a way of really enjoying your Christmas.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Finding Pam said...

There is no sader song than Judy Garland's "Have yourself a merry little Christmas". I am so sorry for your Christmas and the fact that you will not be with your kids and grands.

Our kids never came home for Christmas because they wanted to have Christmas for their children. I did spend a few Christmases with them. The last two years my kids have come home at Christmas. It has made my day. Only thing is they stayed a full week with us. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Thanksgiving is our big family time. It has been hard not to have our oldest son and family here then. Since I can't have both holidays with them, I am thankful for Christmas.

I try to help others at this time of year. It gets me out of myself and I enjoy helping others.