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Because Ben Wanted A Post For Christmas

Family members on my mother’s side number over one hundred.  Going to Christmas dinner meant hours of shoulder to shoulder family merriment and waiting in long lines to use the bathroom.  There wasn’t a kid’s table at these events…there was a separate wing for the children.  A family with thirteen children and dozens of cousins is bound to have conflict.  All of those personalities shoved into one space usually led to raised voices and silent tears.  I never understood it and used to write monologues about how amazing our family could be, how incredible a support system all of us could have, if we’d all just stop being so petty about the stupid stuff.  No one listened.  I felt like I was so different from all of them.  My brain worked the opposite of theirs.  I had no idea where I fit.  Neither did anyone else.  So I stopped going.

However, I started to love Christmas with my stepfather’s family almost immediately after I gave up on my mother’s side.  My stepfather’s family was small and generally void of conflict.  They aren’t without their issues, of course, but at least we have gotten through many, many holiday gatherings without someone running out of the room crying.

I’ve started to look forward to this time of year and find great joy in sitting down to a meal with people that I usually only see once a year.  They are broken and imperfect and I love them in spite of it all because they belong to me.

This Christmas finds my mother in the hospital, my father driving semi truck, my grandmother facing her first holiday season as a widow, and everyone in the tri-state area marooned by an ice storm.

I’m alone in my apartment, now.  Last night I made a pot roast and smashed some potatoes.  I took the meal over to my grandmother’s house in hopes of easing any of the lonely aches she must be feeling on this first Christmas without her husband.  We ate and watched a bit of It’s A Wonderful Life.  Turns out granny had quite the crush on Jimmy Stewart back in the day.

I’ve called my mother but she’s still in a lot of pain from surgery and, I’m guessing, isn’t even aware that it’s Christmas today.  She has a Fentanyl drip.  The second coming of Christ could happen and she wouldn’t know the difference.

Even though the weather has sort of poo pooed everyone’s holiday, I’m thankful.

I have a full life.  I’m blessed with great friends and family.  I have a job that I love.  I’m able to go to school.  I have plenty of food.  I have a car that gets me where I need to be.  I’m healthy.

I hope this season has found you counting your blessings as well.  I firmly believe that the energy we put out into the world comes back to us ten fold.  Positive equals positive.

Look at the good in life, people.  Acknowledge the bad but try not to dwell on things you can’t change.  Take steps to make your life better if you’re unhappy.  Choose to think better.  Act better.  Choose to be better.  It makes all the difference.

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3 Responses

  1. I love that you made dinner and cuddled up with your grandma to watch a Christmas movie! I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. I count you as a blessing! Thanks for everything this Christmas especially carting our arses around evrywhere and for all the food. We had a lot of fun and it was so good to see you. Douche!

  3. Sounds like despite all the things happening around you, you were able to celebrate a bit. My Dad’s side of the family reminds me of your Mother’s side. My Mom’s side of the family reminds me of your Stepfather’s (although there are roughly 60 of us). We weren’t able to celebrate with either side this year. We got a million inches of snow from the 23rd through the 26th, so I was snowed in at my parents’ for 3 days. Christmas church services were cancelled, even. By the time I was able to go home, I was a Grinch! But I’m thankful for all I do have, for sure. That includes you, girl!

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