A couple of weeks ago my aunt called and invited me to our annual family Christmas party at her house. You see, over the last several years, my mom had hosted the annual family Christmas party at her house, until this year, she died April 11, 2010. I was excited about going to the party until yesterday. As yesterday went on I became more and more withdrawn and sad. I finally began to cry and realized why. I was not ready to face my first Christmas without her, or our first family Christmas party without her.
My mom would always work hard to make sure everything was perfect for the party. The tree and the food had to be just so. She was always in the kitchen when everyone would get there with some kind of food show or food network blaring in the background and the fire would be going, even when it was warm. Mom said it made it feel “christmasy”. We would then eat and share what we had been up to the last year and catch everyone up on the last year’s happenings. When you have an extended family like mine it takes a while.
I felt I was not ready to face my family en mass and have them talking about her not being here, being at a family Christmas party not at her house, and I wasn’t ready to expose my still raw feelings about losing my mother. I have worked hard over the last few months to make sense of our relationship and the fact that she knew she was dying and decided not to tell anyone. I was very angry that she did not tell me, I would have done so many things differently, but she did not give me that chance.
My mom and I had a difficult relationship, as you have read in previous posts, but she was still my mom. It is Christmas time and I miss her. I feel guilty for not attending the party but I just wasn’t ready. I hope my family will understand one day, but it was just too soon.
If you are celebrating Christmas without someone you love this year my heart goes out to you. Merry Christmas to all of you. Merry Christmas mom, I love you.