It’s been a crazy week of weather going between snow, ice and rain. It seems that the winter snowfall came very early this season. Today it is raining and all the previous snow we had is melting off creating a slight fog in some areas. This weekend we are being told to expect a Nor’ Easter but there isn’t any determination to how much or how strong of a storm it should be. (**coworker just walked in and claimed he is hearing major storm possibly up to 2 feet of snow)
Well as we sit here ½ way into December and our holiday fast approaches it always seems to be a time for reflection of not only the people we love but our past experiences and maybe people who are no longer with us. For many years the month of Dec spelled a month of depression and bitterness of the holiday season. This year as well as last year it seems as if that black cloud has finally been lifted from over my head and I no longer feel that way for various reasons be it Christmas or my impending birthday.
My Birthdays were never great as it sat right next to the biggest holiday of the year. It not only tended to get overlooked growing up but it was used as a tool to combine gifts. I guess now as an adult that is not a big deal but I can tell you that as a child this was always a major disappointment. My friends all got gifts for their birthdays and gifts for Christmas, rarely did you ever hear about combined gifts. Still people seemed to take advantage of the loop hole in my arrival to this world.
When I was a young child Christmas was a magical time for me as it is for most kids. I always looked forward to Santa coming and seeing what he would bring me. I never had a nerve to ask him for anything girlish, I knew I have to answer to my mom or my friends. Try explaining that new Barbie doll to your best male friends. Not only would they not get it, you’d probably get punched. None the less I enjoyed Xmas until about the age of 9.
In 1974 my mom was at the happiest I’d ever seen her. She had a new boyfriend that she intended on marrying. Larry was a cool guy and he was the father I had never had. Looking back the best thing about Larry was that he treated me as though I was his own and I would have been happy to have him as a step dad. Family life was good back in those days and mom was as lovable as any of my friends mothers.
Dec 24th 1974 my 9th birthday my mom was at her boyfriend’s home when he complained of a headache and wanted to rest. My mom found him dead lying across his bed from an aneurysm. It was not only one of the worst birthdays and Xmases I remember, it was the start of a very dark run of holidays for my family. My mom was never the same after that, she spent 2 years very depressed feeling as though she wasn’t worthy of happiness.
We all have painful moments in our life that stay with us, but it is how we bounce back from those hard times that can make us who we are. My mom was never the same person and in being this way she tainted every holiday season after that. From that point on Christmas in my house was never about family being happy and together, only about abuse, darkness and sadness. This would be one of the things that would stick with me for most of my life.
When I met my wife and started my family it was the first time in a long time I had not only stability around the holiday season, but my birthday would always be a big deal. I applaud her for being that caring, being around a family that always had the ability to see how they enjoyed the holidays I’m not surprised, but it simply wasn’t me. I could never seem to find that magic again and as December would approach my already depressive moods would get worse and I would withdraw.
Bad Christmases, Bad Birthdays and a life of not caring about myself because of my innermost feelings were all a struggle I could not manage. At any given time we are all able to overcome and negative issue but when your core being is broken all those other issues often seem beyond repair. For a very long time this was who I was and it was very apparent to the people around me as they saw my December decline every year, how helpless they must have felt.
Looking back I’m glad to see that I’ve finally worked to overcome at least my core issue and in doing so I’ve come to realize that I cannot rewrite the past. What I can do is write a new more positive future and that is the direction I’ve been heading into. While I will never change the dark years I’ve had, I am thankful to be able to create new better memories. None of this would have ever been possible without my changes as those changes affect every facet of my being. My holiday gift for this past year and this Christmas is my ability to enjoy not only who I am, but also my family for who they are and what they mean to me now.
On a side note I went to the mailbox the other day to get the mail, pulled it out and as I was reading the various pieces of mail I noticed a Xmas card envelope addressed to "Karyn and Diane"!! This is the first time I’ve received mail from someone who knows me with my new name, I was overjoyed to see that.
Hope your Xmas plans are coming together nicely, enjoy the season while it is here, I know I will.