This post was about missing my Mom at Christmas, but it applies to any occasion. You have the power to choose joy. Read on…
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I drove into town the other day, thinking nothing really of it. Until I happened to go by my mom’s condo complex.
I slowed down and glanced at her front gate. And totally out of the blue, my eyes stung and I gulped hard.
Mom’s condo was pretty. It was simple but pretty. It housed a vaulted ceiling, white cupboards, peachy taupe undertones on the walls and was filled with her things from back on the farm. It was so her.
I miss the peach. The warmth of her kitchen beside her fireplace. The coffee that always greeted you as you walked in. And even all the charming clutter leaving barely a square inch on those counters. I always laughed and did a little decluttering and decorating when visiting. She just liked stuff.
But most of all, I just miss her bear hugs.
I fought my feelings as I drove on. It didn’t pay to dwell where I couldn’t fix things. It just didn’t. So I snapped myself out of it and carried on my way.
For the most part, I can do that. I’ll remember at the blink of an eye a memory and most times I can laugh with it. Here’s one… Mom was losing her hearing so each time we met up, it would sorda turn into a friendly yelling match. She never wore took a huge liking to her hearing aids, so when we went out to eat, we had to really crank up the volume as if we were all deaf ourselves.
And then you’d go to her house after. I remember avoiding a visit with her when I was on a super serious diet, because her table was always filled with candy dishes. And then she’d always drag out desserts to go with coffee. I was weak and never bought or made that stuff, so I couldn’t say no. Ever! Her kitchen table with it’s 3 or more vignettes plus all the candy and pastry dishes were quite something.
She was so funny when you were due to leave. She was never ready for that, so she’d conjure up a brand new conversation, hoping you’d linger JUST a little longer. When we reached about 4 new ones (all the while me putting on coat and boots and gathering up our stuff), it never failed. I always HAD to announce, “Ok Mom, gotta go! Right now!”
But that wasn’t the end of it. She was always that mom that went OUTSIDE to the road when you left, but not just at the door outside. She had to walk to each window, waiting (yes, waiting) for you to roll it down so you could say your goodbyes just one (or 3) more times.
Ohhhh but it didn’t end there either. She’d stand on the road, and you’d see her wave until she was out of sight. One never ever drove away with her back to you. Ever. So you cranked your neck as you attempted to drive, waving over and over again until you rounded the corner.
And then the guilt would set in. How could we leave her there all alone? Augh.
Memories of my mom make me smile. I think of her all the time, wondering what it’s like in Heaven. Funny… when it’s our time to go, we have lots to look forward to, but then it hit me. When we’re here, we miss those gone, but when we’re gone, will we miss those we leave behind?
Which reminded me yet again, memories are sweet and precious and the way we were intended to remember those we loved. But the biggest deal of all are the folks we are with right now. We, at this very moment, are making memories with them. And I would hate the fact that my son remembered me mourning my mom all the time.
I allow him to see me get a little emotional at times, but it’s no more than a sniffle and wiping away a single tear. We’re built to feel and it’s ok. It’s just not a good thing to dwell there for too long. My mom certainly wouldn’t have approved of us being sad on her account!
Christmas is most certainly different these days for us. It’s quieter, and it’s funny how you actually do adapt and make it ok again. But I will say, it’s a mind frame. I can allow myself to dip deep into despair and mourning if I let myself. But I don’t feel a reason to. It just wouldn’t fix anything anyway. So I just flat out don’t.
Why all this on Christmas Eve? Well, I think at some point we all miss someone this time of year, whether it’s family we can’t be with or loved ones now out of our lives. Christmas is like that, it conjures up the best of memories making you miss the missed even more.
But when I turn towards my son, I know what I have to do. I have to put on a brave face on the days I don’t feel like it. But when I do, we always win. We go on, creating a new path and new way for just the two of us. We are what we make of our days.
If you’re alone this Christmas, I do have a suggestion for you. We aren’t created to be alone, yet that’s the choice so many of us make. Yup, it’s a choice, and the sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you can release what ails you and get happy again.
It takes a little willpower, but to step beyond your comfort zone and make a connection is necessary for the next step. More friends or family reunited. You do have to take a chance. And just know, I understand how hard that is.
I’d like to wish each and everyone of you a warm, lovely laugh filled Christmas, whether you’re on your own or missing another. It may be different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Choose to turn it into the Christmas you desire!
Remove the need to impress. Be yourself, dress the way you want, don’t worry about the pressure to give, and just go enjoy. Just. Go. Enjoy.
Quoting my friend Deb from Homeward Found Decor:
“Making the most of what we have now is the way we celebrate in a season of loss…”
Indeed it is, Deb. Thank-you.
Go on. You can do it if I can.
Merry Christmas everyone! Make it one! Promise?
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