Once Thanksgiving is over I’m the first person who decorates, listens to Christmas music on KOST 103.5 and plans what she is getting for every person on the Christmas list. I love Christmas and everything about it. I love that people are a little nicer, that people say Merry Christmas and I love all the holiday spirit that’s in stores and around the community.
This year my holiday season looked very different. I put up the tree with just enough ornaments to post some Instagram posts that I committed to months before, didn’t listen to any Christmas music and only bought presents for my dog Violet and Dave two days before the 25th.
The reason for the change this holiday season was because my mom Diane lost her battle with lung cancer the day before Thanksgiving. For anyone who has ever lost a close loved one, you know how it can affect everything around you and things like Christmas just don’t matter anymore. Really nothing does.
I was in a fog for most of December and when people would ask me, “have you finished your shopping yet?” I wouldn’t know how to respond and would say, “I’m not really celebrating this year.” Then I would have to explain why, which would result in an awkward silence followed by, “Omg I didn’t know! I’m so sorry.”
Some people didn’t understand me not celebrating in the traditional way and would tell me, “that decorating for Christmas would make me feel better.” I’m sorry, I know everyone is different, but putting some pine cones and cranberries on my mantle is not going to make me less sad or want me to celebrate.
When it got closer to Christmas Eve and the big day, I didn’t want to do the obligatory visit to different people’s houses, minus my mom’s of course. No one understood that either, and after the 24th and 25th I continuously heard, “we missed you on (fill in the day.)” Instead of turkey and mashed potatoes, Dave and I ate pizza on Christmas Eve and homemade Chinese food on Christmas night and didn’t leave the house. I did, however, end of decorating the house on Christmas Eve morning because it was important to Dave. If we had kids, of course, this post would look very different as I would suck it up and make their holiday season amazing.
Will Christmas be like this every year for me? I hope not and I really don’t think so. I’m usually a very strong and positive person and again I love Christmas, but I know that the holiday season, Thanksgiving-New Year’s will be forever changed because of this loss.
I know it’s cliché sounding, but I and anyone who has ever lost a loved one has to focus on the good times especially during the difficult times. After her passing, my sister and I took some pictures and some little keepsakes from her house. One is a small glass painted Christmas tree that I saved my money for when I was 10-years-old and went with my dad to buy for her. I’m positive now that it was much more than the few dollars I had and that my dad pitched in, but my mom absolutely loved it and kept it in her china hutch all year long.
So I too will keep it out all year long and look at it and focus on all the happy times instead of thinking about no more Mother Day brunches. I’ll think about our summer trips to Monterey and our picnics in Wrightwood, even the time a bird pooped in the chicken. LOL
She wouldn’t want us to be sad all the time and not be motivated to do things we love. So Happy New Year mom in heaven and I hope that everyone, no matter what losses you suffered in 2017, has an AMAZING year ahead!
Photos by: Scott Rinaldi Photography