During the happiest times of my life, the holidays created a mad sugar rush. It was like eating icing with a spoon and then crashing back to a reality where candy canes weren’t on the breakfast menu and you had to clean your room.
I still love icing and the swirling of the holidays. The movement, the anticipation, the sharing. There are presents to give and receive and it’s so busy that you can simply skate across the surface.
This year was the first year since my brother and parents were gone where the Christmas holiday wasn’t glazed with melancholy. It’s been years since that unrelenting journey began and I thought, “we’ve done it”. We had finally found our way.
But then I wept, madly.
The source of my despair was tripped watching the movie Crazy Rich Asians, when the mother flies to Singapore to be by her heartbroken daughter’s side. I began to sob, shaking, reminded how close to the surface my grief still lies. And since then, I’ve cried buttering toast or folding laundry. I can’t quite clear the tap just yet.
At first, I felt ashamed by my tears. I should be passed this.
Should is a terrible word too often my master.
This year has been the most unfamiliar for me. With the promise of new beginnings, the blank space has felt void. In my mind’s eye, I could have called my parents when my confidence wavered, when I nursed the sting of romantic disappointment, and when I felt hopelessly overwhelmed attempting to shield a child from the discourse of divorce. This is all an illusion, however, because if they were here, my mother would be sick and sleeping. My father would answer the phone and his voice would crack. I wouldn’t have wanted to add to his load. Yet the mind can take you to a fantasy of yesteryear – the one we want to remember.
Friday marks the third year of my mother’s passing. We celebrated our last new year’s with her as a family in hospice after just having buried dad. We held party hats and ate takeout from The Cheesecake Factory in an attempt at normalcy. Though I miss her wildly, I’m grateful that today looks much different.
It is my intention to be in a place of receiving in the new year, but this requires that I release what I carry. I would not ordinarily share this. I wrote it for me. I unveil my tears only to a limited few, wipe them away, and push forward with a smile. But to begin tomorrow differently, I need to do something different today. I hope that you do whatever it is you need to for the most promising start to the new year.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019.