The alone-at-Christmas-blues hit with a vengeance yesterday. It was inevitable. I had tried to pack my days so full of music, writing and household activities that I would drop into bed every night without having time to think about not having a husband or children, but the tears caught up with me anyway.
Church did it. Everyone seemed to have visiting family–parents, siblings, children and grandchildren. I saw this nice-looking couple who are probably about my age walking in with their two little granddaughters. I’m going to guess the girls are two and three years old. One was brunette, the other blonde, both just gorgeous, wearing red velvet dresses and white stockings and behaving perfectly. These are the kids we dream about, not the child with the runny nose who might be screaming and tearing up the hymnals.
Watching them, the realization of what I’m missing came down on me like an avalanche. If I hadn’t been up front singing and playing guitar, I might have started crying then or left a little early because suddenly I couldn’t stop thinking about how my husband is gone, his family is gone, my mother is gone, and I have no kids or grandkids. My father and my brother are 700 miles away in California. I saw that perfect family and wanted it so badly it was almost unbearable.
I didn’t say anything about it to anyone, just packed up my guitar and my music books and went off to buy a few groceries and come home to do laundry and hang out with the dog. But then I got busy. I made myself a special dinner, and I baked a delicious coffeecake so I’d have something wonderful to eat for breakfast. I rearranged the furniture in my den. I reorganized my home page on my computer. While I did this stuff, I watched a Rod Stewart special on TV, followed by the movie “Chicago” and later “The Sound of Music.” Soon I was singing along and realized I was happy again.
I woke up happy this morning. I love my new den and my new home page. I love my Christmas lights and Christmas tree, decorated just for me. I’m anxious to open my presents. In a few hours, I’ll be so immersed in music for the Christmas Eve Masses that I won’t have time to think. I hope.
My life is not the same as most other people’s, but it is good. If I don’t think about what other people are doing, I’m fine. But if I do, I’m a soggy mess.
It’s Christmas Eve. If you, too, are feeling pretty beat up, do whatever you can to treat yourself well. Give yourself a present. Eat something delicious. Take a bubble bath. Watch a movie that has nothing to do with children. Most of all, get busy. It’s harder when you’re not at home, but when things get to be too much, how about going for a walk or making a run to the store or playing a game? Try with all your might to block out those thoughts about what you don’t have and treasure what you do have. If you need to shed a few tears, go ahead. You’ll feel better afterward.
Feel free to vent here. We understand.