“Bye. Talk soon. I love you. “I hang up the phone. I just fleshed out the Christmas plans with my sister. She is the closest family we have near and will be spending dinner at her house. We are keeping plans and times loose. I will call her after my kids open their gifts. No pressure of schedules. We can spend the morning in our pajamas! This is new to us. We spent year after year rushing to get out of the house to visit family in the next city. Spend all day there and have to travel back in the same day. It made for an exhausting time. I can’t stop smiling at the new plan.
Also, what makes us giddy for this Christmas is last year we didn’t know if my sister would make it to this one. She spent last year in the hospital healing from her second cancer surgery. As a family, we spent Christmas lunch in the hospital cafeteria. Even though the kids had fun, it was the bleakest, darkest Christmas ever.
I once dreaded this Christmas for another reason. I turned 38 two months ago. It’s the age my mother died. Rationally I know that I might not have the same fate as her. The fear is still emblazed on my heart. Once my sister was in the clear for the second time, it was my wake-up call. Life is too short. It takes more energy to be negative than happy.
I owe it to my children to make their tinsel memories filled with delights, not darkness. My mom gave me that gift. I only knew what she really went through when I was older. My daughters are very perceptive to how I feel. That motivates me to be a better mom by being happy with the now.
I will work on giving my mother’s only grandchildren the same happy and positive mom she gave me. It feels so freeing to not only survive being motherless, but thriving by rewriting my story. I confirm the details with my husband. He, too, looks forward to not rushing on Christmas Day and celebrating our small and happy family.
Our daughters come running in and we make a family hug. I love how this Christmas will be the best one because we will be together, in happiness.