Just, remembering what I used to love about Christmas, and why it now sucks so hardcore…
Yeah, my dad loved Christmas. He was such a big kid. I remember specifically, how popular he was with my cousins. How they would literally pile on him. And I remember not being jealous, but happy – proud – pleased. Cuz he was mine, and he loved me best. And I was happy they loved him too. My mom’s family all loved him. I don’t see how anyone who knew him wouldn’t.
We spent Christmas Eve at my grandparents always. After my dad died, I’d spend time with my cousins some, but I never felt like one of them anymore. I started to hang out with my Uncle Don more. He was quiet, and would just find a chair and sit there, bemused by the goings on around him. I always felt comfortable with him. He’d make crude jokes, like my dad did, and it was fun to be alone with him, in a safe little bubble.
I had some good times with my aunts when I was older. Sneaking out for smoke breaks with them, grabbing a beer or drink with them. Talking about men. If I’ve ever felt comfortable with women, it was always with women older than me. And my aunts were fun. My aunt Cathy especially. Loud, crude, just a blast. Even if it was just for a few minutes on Christmas Eve, it was good.
I got none of that now. Dad, dead. Grandmother dead and grandfather too ill to entertain. And after this last year, my extended family – my aunts, uncles and cousins – are just so painfully gone from my life. Honestly, I haven’t spent a Christmas Eve with them since my grandma died, what, 4 years ago now? But this year has driven such a deep rift between my little family and everyone else… I feel like I’ve lost them all.
Yay for Christmas. I’m so grateful for what I do have. My mom, my brother, my sister-in-law who gets on my nerves, my nieces and nephew. The family friends whose generosity is so heartwarming. But Christmas reminds me of how much I’ve lost. And it’s overwhelming.