Here we go…into the “Holiday” Season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and then you turn the page and start anew. So if this is such a happy, joyful, wonderful, season why do so many of us dread it? Why is it not joyous for us? Why are we not happy like other people? Why is this time of year so sad for many of us?
I can’t answer for everyone, but I can tell you about me and why I feel the way I do. For me it starts about two weeks before Thanksgiving. I feel myself begin to dread the upcoming months and I start to feel heavy, burdened, and just deeply sad. If you’ve read some of my earlier articles you might think you understand why this is, but there is so much more to this weight I carry. I had happy holidays growing up, not all but some. I enjoyed spending time with my family and I had always Christmas presents under the tree, they weren’t always extravagant; sometimes a new dress or a Bible or a small toy, but there was always something there for us. So why do my memories of the “Holidays” weigh me down? Good question! It has taken me years to put my finger on it and I’ve come up with some reasons. I hope you can relate and that in some way bearing my soul may help you heal and press on, even when you don’t feel like it and it’s hard, because life is so very worth living!
First of all, for me, it starts before Thanksgiving, not because I don’t have anything to be thankful for. Oh! To the contrary, I have more blessings than I can count and I’m so very thankful to God for being so good to me! For me it’s because we always went to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, she alway called it “her holiday”, because everyone had Christmas at their own home and it was her opportunity to be surrounded by her family and to cook our favorite foods and watch us eat till we were ready to bust. She loved her family and she loved to cook and since we all loved to eat her food, it was a match made in Heaven. She’s been gone now for almost twenty-nine years, it doesn’t seem possible to me since I still feel like it was yesterday my husband came to tell me she was gone. They say time heals all wounds, but some things cut such a deep and wide canyon into your heart and soul, no amount of time can heal it. As I write this I wipe away the waterfall of tears streaming down my cheeks, still feeling the cavern losing her left in me. See for the first six years of my life, she was my mother; she rocked me, loved me, read to me, sang to me, played with me, taught me nursery rhymes and loved me better than anyone else ever could have. Living with the blissful ignorance of a child, her as my mother and my grandfather as my father is a place I still long to be. No problems, no worries, no burdens, just loved and happy.
See I was born when their youngest child was nine. I grew up, until age six in a home where everyone called her mom and him dad and the oldest daughter sister, so that’s what I did too. I was blissfully unaware that wasn’t how it was and there was no reason for me to know any different. At six, quite the shock to my life, my family, my heart, and my soul came to an earth shattering end. When my “oldest sister” took me away, just six months after my grandfather died. So in the course of six months, at just six years old I lost the man I thought was my dad, I was taken from the only home and mother I had ever known. I was told by my “sister” that she was my mother, the man she had run off and married was now my dad, and we moved across the state. No, it doesn’t just happen in the movies, this is my story, my life. Father’s Day and a Girl’s Broken Heart
So when Thanksgiving approaches I can’t help but remember that little girl, so blissfully happy, living in my little bubble, where I was the center of the universe and loved and cared for. I’m not saying after everything changed I wasn’t loved or cared for, but it wasn’t the same and it wasn’t and still isn’t easy. My relationship with my mother and her husband was strained at best. I never felt like a part of their family, I alway felt different and certainly never as loved and adored as I was when I was home. So Thanksgiving was an escape, a chance to go home, to go back to that blissfully ignorant six year old, loved, surrounded by my family, and happy. When I lost her that all went away… I haven’t been “home” since that faithful day, at the ripe old age of twenty-three, when my husband came to give me that crushing news, that she had gone to heaven and I wouldn’t ever be able to go home for the holidays again, till I join her there, because she is home.
So Thanksgiving, while being thankful and happy to have my own family to feed and love, is still a bitter-sweet holiday for me. I miss her just as much while writing this as I have for the better part of my life. Next week the story of my struggle to be okay during this holiday season continues………
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