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Christmas Recalculated

Posted by admin on July 26, 2020 in Motherless Mom |

 

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I pour a second cup of coffee and turn around to lean on the kitchen sink to observe the kitchen and living room. The destruction of Christmas is evident on every surface possible. The smell of the overnight breakfast casserole cooking is making me drool. I am so relieved to have prepped it last night. The dish is tradition now.

It is 10:30 am on Christmas morning. We are all still in our PJs and will remain in them all day. We wouldn’t have it any other way. A few years ago, I was very ill. I had no Christmas spirit in me at all. So, hubby and I took Christmas Day off. Off from the crazy running around to visit people. Off from having people over, which meant off from cooking and cleaning and no fun for us. Even thinking about it exhausted me. We agreed to less gift giving as well. We did our phone calls to love ones. The four of us played games, enjoyed our presents, watched movies  ,and ate. As we devoured the meal we prepped, our oldest exclaimed it was so much fun and can we do Christmas in our PJs again! Our tradition was born.

My hubby and I grew up with Christmases being loud and crowded with family coming and going. Sometimes we would spend most of the day in the car going from house to house.  For my sister and I, we often had to be up and dressed to get out the door early to get to one Grandparents house, then the next.

I was ten years old when I spent my last Christmas with Mom. There was a big gathering at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. She was tired, but got her wig and clothes on just right. My Dad and uncles helped her into the house with her walker. She couldn’t move without it. My Mom’s youngest sister even came for the day from her group home. I remember hearing the cameras click constantly. I didn’t realize how precious that day had become when she died 8 months later. I don’t remember the sadness that lingered behind my aunts’ smiles. I don’t remember my grandma asking for one more kiss as we left that day. I remember the laughs, the songs, and my mom’s bright smile.  Since that Christmas, every other one dimmed in comparison. And the pain of missing my mom comes back every year.

As I grew older, I had a career in retail. For my one day off from the chaos of Christmas, it was never a day off. My hubby and I would spend Christmas Day going from one family’s house to the next After becoming parents and parenting a child with extra needs, it was bone-exhausting to travel. So, we would host at our house for anyone needing a place to go to for Christmas. The prep and cooking would take a full week beforehand. It was a lot of work.

Then, I said no to it all. And I have never looked back.

We visit with others on days around Christmas. We might entertain a few people, but not for a meal. We downsized the gifts we give to each other. We have too much stuff as it is. We find a few places to donate instead.  I loved the shift of doing what we felt obligated to do and doing what we wanted to do. It became more about spending time together. We eventually would take quick showers after the kitchen was cleaned up and climb into fresh pajamas for the remainder of the day.

The year is busy enough as it is. Putting the world on pause and enjoying each other at home is the perfect gift. You never know when it will be the last Christmas.

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Social Media Kitty Darling

Posted by admin on June 19, 2019 in Motherless Mom |

  “Mom, when can we have another cat? “My nine-year-old asks for the millionth time. It has been over two years since our beloved Indiana passed away. My husband and I had cats for 19 years together. After Indiana died, my heart was shattered with grief. I couldn’t imagine opening it up for another pet. […]

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Positively Grateful

Posted by admin on April 4, 2018 in Motherless Mom |

“ It was pre-cancerous.” The words just said by the doctor hang in the air within a cartoon bubble. I watch his mouth keep moving. However, his words are on mute to my ears. When I finally tune in again, I realize he is talking in a serious doctor tone explaining that I will have […]

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5 Questions I Would Ask My Mom

Posted by admin on July 4, 2017 in Motherless Mom |

My nine-year-old daughter just put me through an interview. She asked questions about my favorite movies and favorite foods. I was delighted to answer every question. Her curiosity shows off her brilliant mind.   I only knew my mom for ten years. Without a doubt, I know what I would ask her today.   Mom, […]

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Grief Without Borders/Thank you, from Canada

Posted by admin on July 4, 2017 in Motherless Mom |

It is 2018. Many fellow Canadians are opting to not travel to the United States because of the current political climate. I can’t help to think of the American experience we had in 2013. It was the first Family Day here in my province. And we had to leave our country for the day. My […]

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The Wind of Autism

Posted by admin on March 27, 2017 in Motherless Mom |

Like a sunrise I didn’t know I needed, you marched into our life to make your claim. Your silent words I should have heeded, delays past milestones, red-flags everywhere. Your eyes expressed when words failed. The simplest thing could trigger a storm. I pulled every trick I could until you sailed back to the moment, […]

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My Writing Life: Mom Edition

Posted by admin on March 19, 2017 in Motherless Mom |

  You can’t edit a blank page, just like you can’t make a kid take a nap. When my oldest was a baby, inspiration hit me to write a children’s book for her. Our oldest cat was getting on in age. I was afraid she wouldn’t know him as she grew up. One day while […]

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Thank you, Mr. Vint

Posted by admin on March 8, 2017 in Motherless Mom |

Snuggled on the couch with photo albums spread out, my kids ask again for stories about when I was in school. It is the end of the current school year. We are chatting about the good memories of the year. My kids are amazed that there was life before them. “Who was your favorite teacher […]

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Why Did She?

Posted by admin on February 10, 2017 in Motherless Mom, YAFiction |

I hate her. There, I said it, or at least in my head. She was supposed to come home today. All those medical talking heads said August 15 would be the date. Adults are liars, even grandma and grandpa. They say we get extra time at their house. Are you serious? I’m supposed to be […]

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When You are Ready to Quit: Don’t

Posted by admin on February 4, 2017 in Motherless Mom |

  My tunnel vision sharpens, my eyes are focused on my MacBook screen. The message stares at me without blinking. I have read it a possible few hundred times. I swallow in attempts to quench my parched throat. My voice echoes the message. “ Thank you for writing about what I have been thinking… None […]

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