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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Life goes on... With you or Without you. (this includes Christmas)

My first Christmas without Mom.    I've not "dreaded it"... in a ways I' dismissed it was even going to happen.    But.... She kept showing up, by well.. not showing up.     When I heard Christmas Carols, there was no teeth to grind.  I didn't have to turn up the radio to drown her off key singing out.   She LOOOOVED "Silent Night"... and for years I shook my head in disbelief as she butchered that beautiful song.    But... I learn something..  like most days.  That Mom's version was HER version.  It was MY version.   It was MY Christmas.     And now it isn't the same.   But... Christmas comes with or without or permission.   And it's here.   And that's OK.     

    Mom was like a child herself about the holidays.  LOVED the hoopla of it all.    Mom mentioned Santa Clause so often, I was sure that SHE believed in him    One year when I was about 5, I found all my Christmas presents in the closet.    I wasn't looking for them.  They were just there.   I Looked at this huge rag doll and thought "I don't even LIKE dolls...  "   But..  my mom wanted me to.    So I made a decision that day.  I wasn't ruining Christmas morning for my mom and I was going to LOOOOVE that doll come Christmas morning.     My Mom's feelings were my world.   To have her disappointed would have crushed me.   She was soft and kind hearted...

    My childhood Christmas memories are of spray snow, cheesy icicles which i LOVED to be the one to decorate the tree with.   Construction paper garland made at school.    The love was incredible.   .   There wasn't much under that tree,   Mom always worked overtime to afford school clothes and Christmas.   I remember getting a barbie head to fix on one year.   I cut her hair within days.   I tended to do that to all the barbies...  cut their hair.    One year I got  a Shawn Cassidy doll  *swooooon*.    And I remember the year I was finally allowed to wear make-up!   WHOO HOO!    She wrapped each piece in wrapping paper and filled the stocking with it.   It was all Cover Girl... I'll never get the smell of menthol make-up out of my    I can remember being told I have to "believe to receive" and pretending to believe that Santa was still visiting.   Again... this charade was for her... more than myself.  

   As Mom got older...our roles changed.   her excitement for Christmas didn't go away ... but now she was the one receiving the presents and I was the one excited for her to see what I got her.   And if it was a   she wasn't much of a poker face.. it showed.   So I usually got her a couple of things.. in case.   
   Last year she couldn't leave the home, so we all went to her nursing home room and said Merry Christmas.  She wasn't very enthused.   Could tell her spirit was down.   Then she opened her present from Ryan & Sarah.  It was a shiny fuzzy purse... hard to describe.    but it had bling and Mom woke UP.  lol   She kept it in her bed and layed down to sleep with it.   Even calling out to the hall to be sure I hadn't taken it with me.  lol  

   I'd give anything to hear Silent Night sang out of tune, be a child, my mom watch me open a present with so much anticipation of MY reaction to it, to see her gush over a flashy purse. 

  But what I DO have this Christmas?   All of those memories.  All of those values,.   All of the love she ever gave me every day and every Christmas morning.   It all goes to preparing you for when they aren't there.     My Mom can't be here with me this Christmas... but...  it's because she's spending it at home.     

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