Meltdown in Aisle 5

Well, actually not in aisle 5, it was in Walmart’s Customer Service line.  (But I didn’t think that was a very good title.)  I was waiting in line to return my son’s defective Christmas present, a flashlight friend that did not want to stay lit up.  It was four days after Christmas and I had been a real female dog lately around the house, so to speak.  {I think you know what I mean.  😉 }  I thought my mood was just because I had been sick and then my cycle started.  Not to mention that my kids had been out of school for a week and was driving me crazy with all their bickering.

So I was standing in line, reading my Facebook notifications, when I saw one from my cousin in Oklahoma.  She’s on my mom’s side of the family and surprisingly enough, I had just been thinking about them that day.  My cousin posted some photos of her family Christmas.  She had been fortunate enough to celebrate it with not only her husband, her three kids and their families; but also her three brothers, their families and her parents.  Her mom was my mom’s older sister.  It was great to see all of her family, especially my Aunt and Uncle.  I was typing the message:  “Looks like you had a holiday filled with love. Lucky you. Happy holidays cousin.”; when the tears started to fall down my cheeks.

I realized then, that my mood was coming from the fact that I missed my mom.  People warned me after mom passed away that the first year would be hard, but the second Christmas would be harder.  However, no one warned me that the third Christmas without mom would be so tough.  It wasn’t that I forgot about her during the holidays, I thought about her several times.  But I didn’t realize that I was missing her so much, until tonight.  And it wasn’t just her that I was missing; I was missing my dad and my siblings.  I was missing the Christmases from the past.

I wasn’t the only one.  My sister had put the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” on her Facebook page with the following message: “It’s that time of year folks, time for the song! It amazes me that it doesn’t matter how old I get, that I have lived on my own longer than I did with my parents, or that I am now the mom, there is still a little girl inside of me that wants to be with my mommy and daddy and brothers and sisters at Christmas. Guess that feeling just comes along with all the good memories! Merry Christmas to all my family and friends!”  My comment to her post was: “I know exactly what you mean. There are two homes in my mind. The one that I share with Frank and the kids, as an adult.  And the one I grew up in with my parents and siblings, as a child.” 

That pretty much explains what I was feeling in Walmart…four days AFTER Christmas…after looking at pictures of my cousin’s family Christmas.  I wanted to be able to go home for Christmas, to my parent’s home, where I grew up.  I wanted my mom and dad there, with all my siblings and all their kids.  I wanted my kids to go back to my childhood home and feel the wonder, the excitement, the magic and the love that was overflowing in my parent’s house.  I wanted to share old stories with my siblings and watch my kid’s eyes light up when they saw Grandpa’s outside Christmas lights and Grandma’s house full of Christmas decorations.  I wanted it the way it used to be…I wanted to feel like the kid again.

I haven’t been back to my childhood home since my mom’s funeral.  My family could still have Christmas in the home I grew up in, because my older brother still lives there.  But he has done some remodeling that needed to be done, so it won’t look the same.  Plus, my dad and his new wife go down South for the winter, so they would probably not be there for Christmas.  My sister would have loved to have all of her kids at her home for Christmas this year, however, some of her older kids have moved out of state and weren’t able to come “home” for Christmas.  Yet, my oldest brother was fortunate enough to spend his Christmas with all of his family, even though one of his daughters lives out-of-state now.  So who’s to say that all of us could make it back to our hometown for a Christmas reunion?  Then there is the harsh fact that if we all could make it back to our childhood home for Christmas, my mom would still not be there.  God I miss her so much.

So you see it doesn’t matter if you can make it through your first Christmas without your dearly departed.  It doesn’t matter if you make it through the second year without your loved one.  I have a feeling that every Christmas is going to have moments where I wish I could crawl up into my momma’s lap and feel her hug me like she did when I was little.  I guess that is how I am supposed to feel, because it shows how much I loved her.  It just kind of sucks, knowing that I can never really go home again.  Yes, I can go back to the house I grew up in, but I can’t go home…because home is where my mom was. 

To all of you in this world that are fortunate enough to have all your family members still alive, I hope you realize the precious gift of time that you have.  Don’t let quarrels, distance or money keep you apart; especially during the holidays.  There will come a time when you will wish to God that you could spend just one more holiday, one more day for that matter, with the one that has passed away. 

To all of you in this world that have lost a loved one, whether it was this year…last year…5, 10 or 20 years ago; I feel your pain.  I know that your heart breaks the same way that mine does and I’m afraid I don’t have any idea of how to make that pain go away.  All I can tell you is that one day I hope we will all be together again in Heaven.  I did have one thought this Christmas that might give you a little comfort.  Imagine what Christmas in Heaven must be like.  I bet the biggest Birthday party ever was held for Jesus, and along with his mother, Mary, his earthly father, Joseph, and his Heavenly Father, God, our loved ones are there too.  My mom, Frank’s Grandma, my friend Anita’s dad and my friend Amanda’s parents, plus so many more loved ones that have left this world attended Jesus’ birthday this year.  What do you suppose they gave him for a gift?  My guess would have to be…their love.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Everyone!

Sincerely – JoAnn

P.S.  I miss you Mom and I love you so much.    

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