It’s Christmas

I’m on my second glass of wine.  It’s 5:31 p.m.  The hashbrown casserole is in the oven.  The steaks are still marinating.

My daughter is at her boyfriend’s house.  My son is back from work and sleeping maybe.  I don’t know.  I was taking a nap when he returned.

We’ve just moved my husband’s jigsaw puzzle back to the dining room table because we won’t be using it again any time soon.  We had a crowd of five here for Christmas Eve dinner last night.

Mostly I’ve spent the day trying not to think about what’s making me sad or crying about it because I am sad.  I’d like to chalk it up to menopausal hormones or too much wine.  Low blood sugar maybe.  When I’m asked how my Christmas was, what should I say?  The truth?  I spent much of the day in tears?  Or should I lie and say it was okay?

I’m not an only child but you’d never know it.  Of my three brothers, I received holiday greetings from one via e-mail.  Won’t be seeing him over the holidays even though he lives about an hour away.  Maybe we’ll get together sometime during the year.  I pat myself on the back because at least I sent them all a card.

I called my mother in the nursing home yesterday.  Sent her a small gift.

My friends have their own families.  Maybe there are things that make them sad, too, but they’re surrounded by loved ones.  At least I think they are.

The only time I laughed today was at the beach with my daughter.  A storm moved in while we were there.  We hustled to get back to the car but didn’t make it.  We were running on the beach, trying to beat the rain,  mocking the gait of a woman in front of us.  And we were laughing.  Hey, today?  I’ll take laughter wherever I find it.

We put our tree up but the top section wouldn’t light this year.  I never did hang the ornaments.  Even the angel at the top looks sad and disappointed.  Maybe she, too, is wondering what happened to the life she thought she had.

On Fox Glen Beck is interviewing service people in Iraq.  I feel for them, but I cannot watch it.  I’m tired of crying.  Rachel Ray and Nick Lachey redid a homeless shelter or something.  Can’t watch that, either.  On Dr. Oz some woman lost half of her body weight and had a baby.  Time to turn the TV off.

I watch my family shrink.  The people you think will love you or should love you because you’re related to them?  That doesn’t always happen.  Families fracture.  They go their separate ways.  And you hang on to whoever you’ve got left who can tolerate your presence for more than an hour.  In the end you realize you’re alone anyway.

Whenever I think I’m alone, I remember that’s when I find God’s there with me.  When I cry I know he hears me when no one else does, because I do my best to cry alone.  I know he does his best to comfort me.  But sometimes it just takes longer.  Sometimes loss doesn’t heal as fast as we wish it would.  And all we can do is wait for the day when we don’t feel sad any more.

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