Remember when you were little and the anticipation of events would suck up all your attention and you thought you’d burst before the happening?
Me, this year, Christmas, dying.
I hope our family makes it to our shared time together. It’s ironic, since we’re more together than we have been, ever, but we’re not any of us handling these circumstances well and I feel like if we can make it to when Bubba gets here and there are latkes and I hand those girls a present like my mother did me … Gawd I miss my mother… If we can just wake up to pancakes and stockings, we can, for one whole day, maybe find our normal. It would only last a day. A day that is always some version of the same day and is unarguably delightful.
People with better mental health probably think, “That’s nice, she’s looking forward to Christmas.” It’s more akin to, “She is terrified all the time.” My anxiety is multiplied. In the last week I have damn near convinced myself that I will slip on the ice, bust my head open and bleed out, or maybe fall in the bath. Or maybe accidentally impale myself on the scissors I keep seeing Office Administrator walking around with or waving. Maybe I’ll be abducted while putting groceries in my trunk. Or I’ll die in a fiery auto crash caused by some asshole in a big truck.
Oh, yeah, and there’s a fucking plague and some people say you can get it twice. I’m irrational, yes, but it’s not like these things don’t happen. I don’t want to be panic-stricken, but that happens, too.
And let’s be clear, I’m not afraid of dying. Not really. Not the actual dying bit. Though it has occurred to me, I’ll be right disappointed at being unable to write about the experience afterward.
I’m afraid I will die and miss the joy. I want the joy. I need the joy. I am joy deprived.
I may write about joy. An expository essay.
My boss picked me up a little special somethin last week. She said she knew it was for me, cause door. That was joy.
There are plenty of big blessings and small pleasures in my life, for which I am grateful. Unfortunately, many of them teeter on bittersweet due to the current state of the world.
For years our children have gathered on the big bed at night for attention and affection. Because of all this *gestures at everything* their talk has seldom been high school drama, but skewed toward loss, which is abundant. They’re the bearers of bad news, and they bear it. Honestly, it’s too much. My heart breaks for them, and for their inner circle of friends – parents losing parents, losing jobs, who’s sick, who’s grieving… Their sense of freedom and fun is replaced by burden, which provides me with deep, heavy worry. We still laugh a lot, but we don’t laugh as often, and when we do, the aftertaste of bitter reality lingers.
I have no model on how to parent my daughters through a pandemic. Even my mother’s mother was born after the last one.
I miss my mother now like I’ve never missed her. Weepy, lump-in-my-throat miss her. I haven’t completely sorted this out. For a while I thought it was because the moon was in Cancer and I was all up in my feels, but now I think it may be how so much of the holidays are our mothers — It came upon me while I decorated the tree — many of my ornaments are hers, from ‘home’. It comes upon me while I curl the ribbon, like her. There are poinsettias and cheeseballs and holiday cards — all of this is her. In an instant, I become acutely aware that these feelings are as intense as those I feel after losing my father, except my mother is alive and a thousand miles away. I didn’t get to see her this year. I don’t know when I’ll see her. I don’t know that I will see her. And by then, what will be changed? Terrifying.
It’s hard to bring love and light and hope and humor to a blog when I feel this way, hm? I told you, I’m not myself.
The atmosphere is thick with ick. It’s so icky right now that random, previously insignificant things provide relief or hope. Like, I saw a BABY the other day and I thought holy crap, I don’t know when I last saw a baby! Life does go on! I’m not even a baby person, okay?
We finally hosted Bubba and Simon and Kiki and her husband for smoked meat and cocktails. It was wonderful. A great time was had by all, laughter ruled, there were no leftovers, and best of all, no one fell ill in the weeks after.
Three of us had birthdays. They did not entirely suck, but they were. not. party-ish, which is sad when one is 17.
I blind-baked some cookies for a woman with dementia, her own recipe. Her family hoped it would provide a happy memory. My wheelhouse. The woman did indeed find a happy memory. She loved the cookies and thought she had baked them herself and doesn’t that make you feel all gooey inside?
Also, when Moo bakes cookies, she puts mine in baggies to take to work.
I began my cookie baking festivities, complete with the Christmas music.
I think the lemon curd is my favorite.
I do not like newfangled Christmas music. I like old school, mostly before my time Christmas music. If it didn’t first release on vinyl with winter art, Bonus! a pop up scene inside the album! I likely shout a trail of obscenities at it as I skip it. Just sayin.
Oh, I cannot wait. Just one more day of work and then four days of Yuletide Joy!
Bubba’s smokin a brisket, y’all!
I don’t know when I’ll write again. Between the blocks and the photo upload and the number of times I had to close the page and go in again, I could scream. What’s with the delays?
In the meantime, Happy Holidays and Many Twinkly Lights to you!