The first of the holiday wars...
My sister called and said "I know you are not have Thanksgiving but I am cooking..."
Aly and Steve heard me talking to her and said "What we aren't having Thanksgiving? " Then they proceeded to let me know that they were taking Noah and going to my sisters house for Dinner.
Out of shock, hurt and confusion I said, "I guess I am the only one who is hurting this much, who doesn't feel like celebrating"
They yelled at me, I am selfish, I am denying my family Turkey and the comfort of family.
It bothers me that no one is concerned that I will be home alone with the memory of my daughters last day of being well. She had surgery last year the day after Thanksgiving, she was so afraid. Everyone was here and she was so afraid, she tried to be a good sport but she couldn't eat and she went into her room at the end of the night and cried. I was up with her all night. She knew it was the beginning of the end, and she was right in five months she would be dead.
How can I sit around a table in a holiday sweater and pass the gravy?
I will instead visit her body at the cemetery, spend an hour with her there, then I will invite her spirit to a movie, if I can find a place that is open. In the evening I will build a fire and talk to her about things we would have talked about if she was still here, like before, and I could hear her and see her.
My sister called back and apologized, she feels bad for stirring it up, she didn't intend to.
I am not sure what part of "I don't think I can survive the Holidays this year, it hurts too much, I just need to not be a part of it and heal" Is it too hard to understand.? My aunt J called wanting to talk about Christmas presents, why? Noah wants to be sure Santa will come, His school wants me to help with a Christmas party.
I didn't say "I don't want to celebrate but..."
I guess I am feeling hurt that they can not hear me, and do not understand. I guess I need to respect the fact that life goes on for them, that they do not have to stand still in this hurting place with me.
I want to tell myself to be stronger and not make such a big deal out of it, go with the program but I won't. Too many times in my life I have let myself feel like there was something wrong with me for feeling strongly about something. Too many times in my life I have had to fight for what I believed was right. Too many times I shut down and ignored my heart. I won't do it anymore.
I am going to take care of myself, my heart, my life. I will not celebrate this year, my daughter has died and a part of me has died. I have to heal so I can continue to live and if it means being home alone then I will be. This is not a time of celebration for me, this is a time of great sadness as it should be.
If I was the relative or friend and not the grieving mom I would respect that.
I know myself, I would show up with flowers, a pizza, a bottle of wine, a stupid movie and just be with that person. Just be there for them in anyway they needed without my own agenda, just available. If I couldn't do that I would send a card or a letter or make a phone call and say, "I am thinking of you, if you need me I am here"
I wouldn't push.
I don't know how Steve and Aly will be able to sit there and eat turkey but I won't judge them, they are were they are with this and there is no right or wrong way. I do wish they were here with me, but it has never been our way.
I will be with Stevie, holding a hand I can not see, talking to her hoping that she can hear me. I will cry and miss her and it is going to be hard but I can not imagine anything else right now.
It is hard to watch as the world keeps turning, as people fill shopping carts with cans of pumpkin, giant frozen birds and cranberries. It is hard to know that people will be sitting around a table giving thanks for all the blessings of the year, getting drunk, watching football and glad for the four day holiday from work.
There was a time when that was me, and somewhere out there was a mother mourning her child trying to be grateful for what she still had. Did I stop and worry, did I put my fork down and sit with her, did I remember her child? No I didn't.
So this is my year to be alone and I am fine with it. I won't have to apologize for my mood or my tears. I won't have to pretend.
I am not mad. I am not bitter. I am not a martyr. I just have a broken heart and I am trying to heal.
I will be giving thanks in my own way that Noah is healthy and Happy, that Aly has a job she likes and makes slow steps forward in her life as an adult. I am happy that Steve continues to support us, likes his job, has friends and outlets for his creativity. I am thankful for friends and family. I am grateful that I am stronger than I thought, that I do this thing everyday, that I havn't fallen apart. I am mostly thankful that I had 19 years with the most wonderful person I have ever known, that I was able to love and be loved by her. I am so honored to be her mother and her friend. I would take this pain, all of it and more to have that time. I would easily have given my life and taken her pain so that she could still be here.
I know my girl, if she were here she would be pissed if we killed a bird and ate it.