My last post seemed to sound amazingly depressing. And I guess it was. I think Spadoman got it right. I lost my son a year and a half ago. And I can say I know pretty much how he feels. My son loved Christmas. The whole wonderful gift-buying, tree-finding, decorating and whirlwind hoorah. So, its really hard to get that feeling back. I remember at five, he starting having his own little Christmas tree in his room, and he continued to do so until he struck out on his own. He prayed for snow, but it never came. He always chose his gifts for others with great care, and he couldn't wait to open his own presents. He loved it all, and was able to impart that same spirit and joy to his son. We were much the same, then, in our approach and attitude toward Christmas. When you lose someone that close to you, as many of you who have already done, you develope a mind set that becomes something like before and after. Which, of course, means before he died, and after he died. The first Christmas after he died, I didn't want to do a damn thing. My oldest son and I, bought a few things for each other, but there was an incredible darkness and loss of feeling about the whole thing.
My son once told me that if something ever happened to him that I shouldn't worry cause he would be "outta here". And, being a Mom, I shushed him, and said don't even think about that. You'll be carting me to the old folk's home before that happens. But its so hard to let him go. A part of me still wants it be a mistake. A part of me still feels like I'll get an email, or a phone call, or he'll come walking through the door, saying, "Mama, guess what?"
This year, we have new members in our little family. My oldest son's fiance, her little girl, her son, and a friend, who stays in his room and comes out to eat. We are making an effort, I'm trying to put on that happy face, for everyone else, but I'm getting to the point where, if left to my own devices, I would say fuck it, bury my head under the pillow, and stay there.
I'm angry, so very angry, at God, at the world, and at myself. That sense of responsibilty never goes away. No matter how old your kids get, you still feel it is your job to protect them, and I feel I failed him. He was such a marvelous, fun-loving, intelligent young man, planning to become a doctor. And it all makes no sense to me. I know of many families here in the area where I live who are going through the same thing. My brother, who lost his son, says it never goes away. It took them almost five years to say the word "died". I can say it but what does it mean except he is no longer here?
I write this not to ask for sympathy, or to even expect anyone to understand. Maybe that's why I fall back on my memories. Because, really, in the end that's all you have. Each day creates a new memory, and I hope all of yours are good ones, and if not good ones, then at least something you can salvage and call your own. But I will say this. If there is some member of your family that you are feuding with, won't talk to because of this or that, or gets under your skin, or whatever, remember all of that is bullshit, just plain old bullshit. What matters is that they are family, and always tell them you love them. Anyone you care about, whether they feel the same toward you or not, tell them how you feel.
So, for my son, I will try to make this Christmas better, one he would have enjoyed. I know he would expect me to go on, and I'm trying, I really am. Maybe it does get a little easier, I don't know, but right now its pretty fucking shitty.
My sister-in-law, each Christmas, goes to the mausoleum, and places a little tree in front of her son's crypt. Its been ten years for them now, and that sadness remains. But they talk more about him, and even laugh about the crazy things he did.
My oldest son won't talk about it much. But he feels it just as strongly as I do. That look of what are we supposed to be doing? Oh, yeah, I have to buy some gifts. And I guess we should put the lights up. God, I can't wait till this is over.... You see the pain on his face. He drinks more now, and I don't think he knows why, exactly, but "Mama, I don't want to talk about this now...we'll talk later....ok?"
But we are trying, and I think that is important. For us, as a family, and for my wonderful son who died so young, but enjoyed every minute of his short life. I'll always keep him in my heart, my mind, my soul. I know where ever he is, he still keeps a good Christmas, and gives of himself the way he did when he was alive.
And if this post moves you in any way, do this for me. Go to the Red Cross, AnyMarine.com, or toys for tots, and make a small donation. A dollar will do. Or your favorite charity. Go to a nursing home and visit a disabled veteran. Put a smile on his face. Reunite with a distant loved one, and put all the old crap behind you. Or just stop and think about all of the people you love, and love them a little more. Make your Christmas as special and wonderful as possible. As I am doing my damnest to do.
Blessings to you all.