It’s that time of year again. Getting together with loved ones, sharing food, laughs and memories. This year we are going to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter. She is so excited about hosting the family dinner this year, and I am excited for her. I remember how much I enjoyed getting to take the reins and host the family for Thanksgiving and then Christmas eve dinner and festivities. I am so grateful that we will all be together this holiday season and I’m thrilled I don’t have to kill myself getting the house spotless for company this year. I have issues in this area.
It is bittersweet now; I used to host my mom, one of my sisters, my cousin, my in laws and the kids. Now, my mother, my mother in law and my cousin have all passed away. My sister in law has moved out of state, my other sister will not be coming over either. Although I am grateful for the past memories and the new ones we will be making together as time allows, I can’t help but feel sad.
Something my mom said to me a few years back has been coming back to me a lot lately. When I would ask what she was going to do for a special occasion, like Christmas eve, she would say that as you get older, holidays are no longer “special”, they become “just another day”. I remember thinking to myself how sad that was, how it was nonsense and how it will not happen to me. Last year I dealt with the grief of losing her; this year, I am understanding exactly what she meant and it isn’t nonsense and I am sad.
The last year has brought my life into focus. My faith has been tested, my ability to forgive has been tested as well. I am trying to see things through a softer lens. I want to live out what is left of my time on this earth in a way that is honest, loving and caring. I want that little girl inside of me to have her feelings of love restored. Trust has been shattered by people close to me and it turned me harsh for a number of years. Although trust lost can not be restored, the harshness is dissipating and I am feeling somewhat renewed. My time here could end tomorrow or 20 years from now; all I know is that I want to be proud of myself and I want my children to be proud of me as well.
Getting older is hard. For me, it has been a roller coaster of emotions, the loss of family and dear friends and seeing the world you have lived in and loved, be turned into something you don’t recognize anymore. That is when we start hearing our parents (and sometimes our grandparents) voices coming out of us. The photo I posted along with todays blog is my closet. It is a picture of a sweater my dad gave me when I was about 25, a sweater of my mother’s, a coat of my dad’s and a furry cocktail jacket of my grandmother’s. When I’m feeling a bit lonely or down, sometimes I will go into my closet, touch these items, and talk to my loved ones a bit. I have found some comfort in doing this and a little bit of comfort can go a long way.
My advice to you is to be kind and count your blessings. I wish you all a holiday season filled with love and new memories to sustain you.