Friday, December 24, 2010

Thinking Of You On Christmas Eve . . .

While reading Facebook today I saw where one of Mike's nieces had written that she was loving having a houseful of people for Christmas.  She is young, has a sweet baby girl, an adoring husband and another baby on the way--in other words, she's just starting out in her adult life and is obviously loving having family and friends at her new home in Alabama. 

I started to get depressed--not because we weren't there, but because I realized (yet again) that I'm deep into my twilight years and there's not too much left to look forward to.  And then I thought, "Hey stupido--just look at all you've done in your life!  Look at your wonderful family, all your friends, all the freakin' memories!!!!"  These are our years to let the younger generations create their memories, and we get to savor what we did, who we knew, where we went.  Hopefully we, and our parents, were like my own father and photographed and videoed our every breath.  And hopefully those photographs and film haven't faded into blurry brown crackly blobs!

I found this photograph taken in 1961 of me (the 11-year old Miss Chubbette on the right) and my sisters--the youngest, Cynthia, then Susie and Sally.  Not sure if this was a Christmas photo since my mother used to dress us up like this whenever any kind of holiday came around or we were going to visit friends and/or family. 

If anyone ever asked me for advice (and no ever does, me being ME and all), I'd tell them to spend more time with their family.  Hard as that might be, you've got to make time for your parents and your siblings.  When you're young and starting out in life you don't think too much about the fact that one of these days your older family members are going to start dying and you may start to regret not including them in your life more.

My incredible Aunt Shirley (Dad's oldest sister).  She was my idol.  Over the years I kept telling myself that I'd get out to New Mexico to visit her.  We went in 2005.  She died a year later. 

I honestly can't remember when I spoke to Cynthia before she died.  It pains me to no end.

Mom left us in January of 2009.  I'm still trying to stop beating myself up over being so mean to her even though everyone tells me it's a normal reaction to someone suffering from Alzheimer's.   

I apologize for being so maudlin at this most joyous time of the year, and please believe me when I say I'm not depressed or feeling sorry for myself (well, not too much).  I guess I'm feeling mortal.  So just remember to give your Mom and/or your Dad and all your older friends and family members an extra big hug this Christmas. 

Of course, that's only if you get along with them.  For the true assholes in the family, give 'em a good kick in the shins and have another cup of eggnog.

Merry Christmas to all my family and friends!!!


  1. Ahhhh so glad to see, I am not the only one with these feelings too...

    I just edited my blog post too, because I mentioned similar stuff, and it sat there for like 2 hours with no response lol...

    Yeah, every day I am reminded how mortal I am too... I can relate. Spent so many years in this house caring for my folks with my late brother, it's really hard on the holidays. Hard to listen to the silence. It's deafening.

    Only remaining sibling is the prick. At least he's not stopping by to use the house as a free flop house while he goes off to exchnage gifts with his friends in the area (but not me).

    Ahh Christine, I am hoping my businesses will be busy today so I don't have to think about these things too. But I think, folks will be with their families.

    Yikes! What a downer I am! I guess I am trying to say, how much I feel the same way, today in particular.

  2. Darlin', I go through this daily.

    My oldest brother committed suicide the night I left town. He didn't come by to say good bye, so the last thing I said to him was "no, you can't come with me, I'm staying with a friend."

    I am more at peace with my dad, because we got time to say our goodbyes.

    My brother Jeff and I rarely speak at all, and when we do, it's formal or fat jokes. I don't know him at all, and kind of dread seeing him this time of year. He makes me angry because he accepts money from mom to do things around the house for her. He's her son. He should do it for free. Like 1950's said, Jeff is our prick.

    Clynt and I were at odds for years. Now I have no problem with his new, addled self.

    I agree, spend time with your family when you can, but sometimes life just gets in the way. You can't feel guilty all your life. You just have to muddle through the best you can.

    My life didn't turn out at all like I planned. I can be mad about it or I can accept it and make the best of it. But don't think I don't think about that time and again.

    Christmas does bug me - forced family occasions, and I have no children or anyone special to share it with. You do! Be glad of that.

    Anyway, another downer to add to your list! I hope you will have a Merry Christmas anyway!!

  3. Whew, I hear you Barbara about life not turning out the way I wanted. And like you, I don't sit around angry or upset or even thinking about it... Much...

    But for me, life continues to hand me the crappy end of the stick, so it's hard not to feel sorry for myself... At least on holidays lol...

    Merry Christmas anyways to all...

    I better get off the blogs before I bring everyone down! ha ha

  4. You are preachin' to the choir girlfriend. I would give up a year of my life for another day with my mom or dad. As I get older, the losses seem to mount and even the losses of my friends are beginning to mount up. It is a time to hold close those that we love.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  5. The dresses you and your sisters are wearing look so familiar. Those were the days.

  6. The santa in your header, the one on the far right, looks very similar to the one I used to have. He was in such bad shape that I got rid of him, and now I can't find any that are as good as the one I had (that aren't way over the top expensive).

    I'm sorry for all of the losses you've experienced. I think of my mother at this time of year, as I lost her when I was fifteen.

    I had no siblings, and my dad and I, well....I'm glad you have/had a family that you wanted to spend quality time with. I'm afraid I didn't have that kind of family life, but envy those who did/do. Cherish that. It's worth more than anything.

    Happy Holidays.

  7. Your post today made me realize how lucky I am to have the family I do and that they are still here to celebrate with. They are all getting extra hugs from me tonight..thanks.
    Merry Christmas Chris...and a big hug to you.

  8. Yes, there is much to contemplate as we have reached a time in our lives when we react to sadness with much more feeling than when we were young. Our own mortality is so real. Today, The Hub and I stopped by to offer condolences to some old friends whose 51 year old daughter died of a heart attack just yesterday, right before the happiest family time of year. It makes our own little brood so precious, and also makes us anxious for our future. No parent should have to bury a child. Yet, I look forward to the hugs and kisses that will come my way tomorrow, and before I fall asleep tonight I will thank God for all my blessings, family and friends.

    Merry Christmas, Chris! Hug them tightly and kiss them often!


  9. I had a whole bunch of stuff written but i deleted it.I'll just say I can definitely understand & empathise with what you are saying & send you some christmas hugs instead:) xxxxoooo

  10. I always get this free floating anxiety/dread around this time. It's expectations of what I wanted to do, the kind of Mom I want to be, how things should be...on and on. My son, his wife my two granddaughters and my daughter and boyfriend just left. I was so glad they came, but can't help but feel sad for those who aren't here. My younger son, his daughters who now live in Florida with their Mom, the usual. But, I learned that acceptance is the key to a lot of things in my life. And when I accept things how they are, life on life's terms, some of that anxiety leaves me and I can be a little more at peace and grateful. Zootsuitmama

  11. it brings out the sentimental in all of us - be it good... be it bad... hopefully good.
    ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY WITH Loved ones that are PRESENT Christine, and hold them dear Christine!! The past will always be there.

  12. Chris, I love your dialogue! You have hit on many feelings that families experience and always surface this time of year. I have so many mixed feelings with a few of my sibs and one in particular. I've tried to reconcile but it is very difficult when you are dealing with pure selfishness. Not my problem!
    Nice that you had an aunt that you enjoyed. Yes, it is a shame that our culture blocks out the older folks whereas other cultures look up to their elders and they have a central role to play.
    Thanks for this very touching post.

  13. I just got back from a trip to the Mid West to visit my Mon & sis. I'll tell ya its a looong trip, air travel is sucky these days and it costs an arm & a leg but boy is it nice to see my family. Now that I'm home its super nice to be here too. You are right, love your family while you can! Merry Late Christmas! :-)