Christmas and Our Loved Ones

I am sure some of you can relate to my post today. Christmas and our loved ones.

Christmas this year is certainly different for me. A new area to live in, strangers living all around me. The biggest thing though for me personally is Al, my brother is not here this year.

Last year he was there but he wasn’t. Mentally he wasn’t with me. Drugs were keeping him going. The lungs moved, the eyes fluttered, but he wasn’t there.

The selfish part of me wants that back. I could still go in his bedroom and hold his hand. I could read the Bible to him. I could decorate his room with his Christmas coke items. I could sit and watch TV with him. I could chatter away mindlessly. I could take care of every need he had.

This year, I have none of that. I have tried working with other patients but I just can’t do it. My insides want to roar from pain. I want to run in a corner and hide. I don’t want to deal with those volcano feelings, so caring for other patients isn’t for me, nor may it ever be again.

When I spent eight years either caring for my father or my brother, it is so hard to look at someone else and try to pretend your heart is in it.

My two sons and their families live back home in Indiana. My grandchildren are mainly back there also. I have a daughter here in town where I live now and along with her husband and their daughter, they help keep my smiles alive.

I told my daughter a couple of weeks ago there was no way I was going to be decorating this year. My heart is not into it. My son-in-law, who is so good to me piped up with some words, that I basically ignored; but the next time I went over to their home to visit, there were those words hanging on their living room wall. Those words were something to the tune of let the spirit of Christmas live within you. I have a pretty smart son-in-law. He knew what I needed, even though I didn’t get it at first.

I looked at it and my heart felt stabbed from the loss of Al. The words were beautiful, but my inner soul was not. Memories of my brother’s passing almost eight months ago come flooding back at Christmas.

No matter how hard I try to push them down, they rise to meet the tears in my eyes. Time marches on and for those of us who have lost loved ones, pain comes along with holidays.

I knew in my heart that although I miss my brother and my parents so much, I have, not had, I have children. Children with their own children. Giggles and smiles, babies taking their first crawl, proud parents, accomplishments that parents show by the gleam in their eye.

Living must continue. If for no other reason, then for my grown kids. I owe it to them. Life can’t stand still, which it has for me these past several months. The ache in my heart as I write this post is fresh, but I will get through this. I will laugh at the grandkids when they laugh.

I will listen to what my children and their children say. I will use my camera and make my own memories. I have to, what choice do I really have? I can sit here inside my home and cry and become more depressed, or I can live in the moment, in the season, and I know in my heart, Al will be in heaven smiling down upon me, for the fact I am trying to move on.

So for the end of this post I will show you that I am really trying. I drug my Christmas boxes out. I decorated my fireplace mantle. I stood back and looked at what I had done, and I quietly asked Al what he thought. I felt a peace inside. I know that I am doing the right thing for me, for Al and for my family.