One of the most beautiful things about being a writer is the ability to just write…regardless if anyone ever reads it- you write to write. You write to get thoughts, opinions and feelings out- even if it’s just for you. Sad that it took me 40 years to understand that. I’ve always wrote stuff but never fully understand the reason behind it- I was always trying to write for others and not myself. Now that I’m changing that- it’s more pleasurable.
Thanksgiving was a weird time for me because my mom died in July and now we are into the holiday season and I guess I’m supposed to feel that loss more…but I honestly don’t.
I remember mom cooking huge Thanksgiving meals for just me and her- that was basically the only family we had and I remember decorating for Christmas and her doing the same thing all over again only with a ton of added candy. I would help her make candy and we would spend hours in the kitchen making “molded” candy. We would have a ton of colored chocolate and I would paint the molds and then we would fill them up- sometimes she would sell them for extra Christmas money and sometime she would give them as presents.
As an only child growing up on welfare, food stamps and in the projects, you would think I didn’t have much of a Christmas but mom did everything from making candy to cleaning houses to stripping tobacco to make sure I had as much, if not MORE, than most kids.
So…why wasn’t Thanksgiving more emotional for me? Sure, I thought about mom and the Thanksgivings of the past and I’m sure Christmas will be hard as well but those holidays memories were decades ago and the last 10 years or so were terrible.
Mom was really sick for about 10 years and in a hospital most of those and the last several she literally lived in the hospital so it was rough taking Thanksgiving dinner an hour away or trying to do something for Christmas to make it festive. I mean, what do you get someone that lives in a hospital and can’t even turn herself over?
My wife and I have been together 15 years and every Thanksgiving/Christmas was spent with my mom (we saw her family as well) and it really messes with you to see people you love in those situations yet there is nothing you can do about it.
I’m an atheist so I don’t believe in the fairy tales or all that “she’s still watching over us” because that is literal bullshit but I do understand why people hold on to that belief- it makes living life easier and most people need that- if they faced how hard life really was, why would they continue fighting?
I’ll tell you this- this is the first holiday season in at least 10 years that my mom isn’t in pain and we haven’t had to watch her go through it.
People die and it sucks but life continues on and I can’t be sad based on past holidays because I know the last several were terrible on her and I wouldn’t want her to still be here, in pain…stuck in that hospital bed, just so she would “be here”. I was told multiple times that she wouldn’t make it so I embraced for that call for almost a decade- we celebrated each holiday like it would be her last.
If you haven’t had to spend 10 years watching your only parent slowly and painfully die then you have no fucking idea what a relief it is when it finally happens- sorry if that sounds mean but that is reality. Mom would have wanted us to make the holidays as amazing as possible for our son and to work on building memories for him and every memory for him, so far, has been spending holidays in a hospital- watching his granny die.
He didn’t have to face that this Thanksgiving and he won’t have to go and see that on Christmas after he opens his presents.
It may sound heartless but he deserves that. We deserve that.
I spent hours setting in a hospital room, watching my mom sleep…just in case she woke up, she would see us there. I spent hours watching her in pain and suffering and that included the holidays but we did the best we could and we tried to make them the best she could have. Last year, we brought in punch, presents, cookies, candy and all the nurses came in and we all had a great time…
…everyone but her; she smiled through it but the pain never went away.
It’s gone now.
Life is about those living…not about those who have past. I enjoyed Thanksgiving and I plan to enjoy Christmas and if anyone thinks that is the wrong way to handle it…eh…fuck em.
Love, Peace and Sharkyness