Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm Not Trying to be the Grinch...Really

There is no Christmas tree at my house this year. There is no baking, there is no caroling, there is no deck the halls, or fa-la-la. I have been home all week until today….no shopping, no lunches out, no nothing. Well, some writing was done here on my diversion from housework and lesson planning. I did do a bit of shopping today, but only because it has gotten to be the last possible minute and even the Grinch had a heart in the end.

My family has been very supportive of my decision to not unpack Christmas and drag it about the house. It’s just not in me. The sheer thought of having to make Christmas is simply too overwhelming this year. I think I’ve finally reached the apex of my grieving and folks simply need to let me be. No more fending and fighting it off…..I need to wallow and flop about in it. I need to be messy with it and let it ooze from my pores.

When my father-in-law reacted with surprise and shock as we discussed our “no tree” Christmas I joked and told him I was attempting to revive the custom of mourning which of course, used to dictate what some could and couldn’t do for up to a year or more. No, I’m not going to do anything to that extreme, but I need a quiet Christmas.

If you are new to this blog then you may be unaware that my mother passed away after a very lengthy illness on July 15th. I posted about her here, here, here, and here. Many of you went out of your way to console me and believe me I was touched. This blog has saved my sanity more times than I can count. The week following Thanksgiving Dear Sister lost her mother-in-law. Can you imagine….loosing your mother and your mother-in-law within four months of each other? I guess you could say Dear Sister’s mother-in-law’s funeral sent my grief to the top of a pot ready to be skimmed. I’m attempting to skim as fast as I can but sometimes…..

I write to cope…Dear Sister makes the loveliest mongrammed purses you’d ever want to see (a picture will be forthcoming soon) and works practically 24/7 as her coping mechanism. Dear brother-in-law is just beginning the process.

Once again this past week a reader, a fellow educator, contacted me and wanted to send something my way. I had no idea what she wanted to send me. Here is what my wonderful colleage, my fellow blogosphere citizen, my lovely friend, Butterfly Angel, sent to me:

Dear EHT,
I remembered that you suffered the loss of your mother and I wanted you to know that I hadn’t forgotten. The attachment was given to me when my dad passed away two years ago, December 19th. He had Parkinson’s disease. I understand what you are or might be going through at this time of year. I am thankful that we have ‘met’ and it is a joy to know that the Internet can be used for good. God works in mysterious ways and I am glad He brought us together.

Butterfly Angel, thank you for your gift, and I agree…the Internet can be used for good.
If you know someone who has lost a loved one and might be having a difficult time this year please forward this poem to them.

My First Christmas in Heaven

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular please wipe away the tears
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many songs that people hold so dear
But the sound can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me; I see your tortured heart
But I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.
So rejoice for me my loved ones, you know I hold you dear
And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my all undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than ingots made of gold,
For I can’t count the blessings or love he has for you.
So have a merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year

(Author unknown)


CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

I suspect that in years to come, you and your family will look back on Christmas 2006--sans tree, sans baking, sans everything else associated with the season--as one of the best ever. Be blessed as you remember your mother, my blogger friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. My dad passed away in Sept. and my mom has flown out to spend the holidays with us. None of us are in a Christmassy mood and it's barely a blip on our radar this year as well.

I'm going to print out the poem and give it to my mom over breakfast this am.

Anonymous said...

I just joined this blog , so I haven't gotten to know you.

I lost several friends and business associates at the World Trade Center - as well as my job. Most of the world was grieving and I was in a state of great depression. I decided that although it was right to grieve, there has to be a time to end the grief and I needed to take ownership over it. I started to write random dates on a piece of paper and place them in a bowl with every intention of pulling one out as the first day after grief. Incredibly, the date I pulled out was Easter Sunday 2002.

I celebrated Easter sunrise service at St. paul's Church overlooking Ground Zero and literally the great burden I was carrying lifted.

You might consider doing something like that.


EHT said...

Thanks CTG. If anything I'm proving you don't need all the trimmings to remember Christ's birth.

She, I'm glad this might help you. I asked Butterfly Angel if I could post her gift and she gave me permission. It did give me a whole new perspective about the depression I was feeling.

Anonymous, welcome to my world. I'm sorry that you were so personally affected by the 9-11 tragedy. I think you method of overcoming grief is a valid one.

Judy Callarman, Scrabble Has-Been said...

Dear EHT,

I'm so glad you stopped by my Thursday Thirteen the other day so that I'd find your blog. You write wonderfully. I am an English teacher, myself, at the junior college level--which in many ways is often like the elemetary level! Mine are just bigger and less motivated.

I very much enjoyed Butterfly Angel's poem. My father died 18 years ago, and I still grieve for him at Christmas. My mother is 90 now; she's very precious to me. This Christmas I find myself grieving over her being 90 and not in good health. The poem lifted my spirits.

Thanks--oh, yes, and congratulations on your honor!

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

This was lovely. I, too, cannot make myself touch an ornament, although I have been willing to listen to Christmas music.

I keep you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers.