Christmas (or other holiday times) can be difficult. Real life isn’t always about happy family gatherings. It can be about loneliness, sadness and drama. Over the past 10 or so years I’ve experienced all 3.
The loneliness of living with the secret desire to leave a relationship without knowing quite how to make it happen. Not as bad I’m sure as being truly alone when you don’t want to be. My mum is lonely, I know that. She misses my dad more than anyone else can. But she often assumes no one else does. Plus she fails to engage when people try to help. But I digress. Loneliness doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t surrounded by people.
A lovely photo from a Christmas past popped up on my Facebook timeline this morning. It’s of my dad with his three teenage grandsons. I’d so like to take another of him with the same young men now 27, 30 and 31, but that can’t happen. That makes me sad, but after 7 years I can appreciate the memories for what they are. I’m sure there was some drama that Christmas, it is never far away when my mum is nearby.
I know she is sad we don’t have the Christmas’s be did then. For one thing we rarely all get together. The grandchildren are grown and have their own partners and lives. One niece has her own child. Plus we, her children are in different relationships. This year the older of my two brothers and I set out to have a Christmas we wanted. It included her, but not to the exclusion of getting what we wanted.
On Christmas Eve mum’s behaviour threatened to throw everything off track, but for once I was calm with her. The phone was only put down on me once while I reinforced the plans we had put in place. This time her attempt at manipulation got her nowhere. At last we did things our way and still over the main days she has had a lovely time and seen almost everyone in the family. Not all together, but in manageable and drama less chunks. What’s more, I’ve come out of it all feeling happy and fulfilled. Plus optimistic for Christmas’s to come. It’s not often I’ve been able to say that in recent years.
I’d love to have spent more time with my own son, but am happy that he and his wife enjoyed the time with her family. Lunch out with them was good, just not long enough. That is definitely something to work on for the future. Otherwise I have no complaints, other than to admit to eating and drinking too much over the weekend. But that’s actually all part of the great memories that have been formed. Family is definitely great when it works.
I’ve been lax at writing during December, but a big January planned. Next week I’m launching my new Meme Five Things.
It will be a weekly meme for bloggers and Twitter folks. Simple and fun to join in with (I hope) and involves describing five things about a topic. 5 words, 5 sentences, or a longer post about those 5 things.
I’ll share more information early next week so watch this space!