December is just a memory and with it a historic day. For the first time in the seven and half years since I moved out I had both of my children celebrate Christmas with me in my home. While my daughter has been here many times it was the first time for my son. He and I are still trying to figure out how to be with each other and move forward after many years of estrangement. He is working and seems to enjoy his job and learning how to ‘adult’. I can tell from the easy affection between my daughter, son in law and him that they spend time together and I’m grateful for that. He seemed to like the gifts I had gotten for him and all in all the evening went well. No need for them to know that I had been in knots for days and felt like I was auditioning for the role of ‘Mother’.
My darling boyfriend had been a huge source of support before the big feast but Christmas Day was difficult as he failed to give me even one gift. It was especially hurtful after multiple conversations about how problematic holidays and gift giving was with my Hex. The good thing is we don’t let issues fester and I was brave and let him know how disappointed I was and we started to move on. And I’ll just have to start shopping for myself at Christmas like I used to do when I was married.
I dragged my DH to my hometown this pasAt weekend with the promise of dinner with high school friends, a concert by a fourth grade pal and some time with my mom. He agreed and we drove north early Saturday morning with his bird latched into the back seat. The trip was changed barely an hour into the ride when my girlfriend and long, long time bestie called to tell me that her sister in law had died and that she was flying in immediately. Was it a coincidence that I was traveling north and the funeral would be early Monday morning-the day we were going to head home? That the synagogue was literally on the way back to Maryland and just across the river? That I had gone to Stacy’s brother’s funeral many years before because I just happened to be at my mother’s and heading home on the day of this funeral? As my late father would say; there are no coincidences but rather the quiet hand of God working anonymously in our lives. After we pulled back onto the highway the rest of the trip was uneventful.
Mom was great and had rushed to decorate the house for Christmas-she left soup for DH-vegan just for him! We all had plans for the evening; she to see Chris Botti at the Paramount Theater and us off to the BeanRunner Cafe to see Bob Baldwin in a rare Peekskill concert. We first met up with friends from high school and regaled each other with memories of growing up and marveled that we had turned out to be pretty amazing adults. The other wonder was that our little hometown had become a thriving center for live music, quirky places to eat and artists. That night alone there were three venues with live music!!
Sunday came and we helped my mom do chores around the house, installing Christmas lights, training a spotlight on the front door wreath and fixing the kitchen blind. After that we headed out for Indian food just minutes from where I grew up. Who knew? Driving home we detoured to look at twinkly lights and oooohhhh and ahhhhhhed and giggled like little kids. Once home we gazed at the super moon through the wintery trees……and all was well with the world.
Early Monday morning we left mom and went to the funeral for Stacy. A rollercoaster of emotion with DH by my side. I am so blessed.
Today is my ex’s birthday. He is 58. We have been apart for 7 years. He has been retired for three years and I have two more years to finish the bankruptcy his actions caused. I have zero contact with him and haven’t seen him in over three years. He is still the father of my children. I have known him since I was ten years old. I have a deep sadness that he is no longer any part of my life. A sadness that my daughter can’t understand. My son is estranged from me for 7 years and our meetings are few and awkward. He is essentially a stranger to me now.
This week is also the sixth anniversary of my lover’s death. A death I was not allowed to mourn and the loss still feels fresh and raw. He was the first man to tell me he loved me. I loved him too; then, now and always.
Friday my long distance lover will celebrate his birthday far across the ocean from me. It has been ten years since I have seen him but I still feel the connection strong and improbable as ever.
Thursday it will be Thanksgiving and my heart is full of gratitude for the love I have had in the past and the love I have now for my DH. How truly blessed I am to have him in my life now. I don’t know that I deserve this much happiness but I’m learning to accept I might just have done something right somewhere along the way.
*For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good
*Maria from The Sound of Music
Yesterday my love and I spent a rainy cool October Sunday afternoon carving up pumpkins and having fun being kids again. We dove into the guts and laughed and I realized it had probably been ten years since I had carved a pumpkin. He has embraced Halloween this year-his first in the new house and the lights are spooky, the skeletons are hung with care and I’m coming up after work to meet neighbors and hand out candy to the goblins and ghosties! I know it has been a long time since I saw trick or treaters and while I have to stop and get more candy to refill the cauldron of doom I am so excited. Finally a Happy Halloween!
Autumn has arrived in all ways but weather. It is unseasonably hot and I still am running the air conditioning which I typically hate to do this late in the game. But the weather has been bizarre lately with horrific hurricanes and storm surges and flooding all up and down the east coast. and Texas! I’m not sure whether being able to see the destruction as it is happening is a good idea but it made me glad of my second story apartment and having only a pretend ocean outside my window.
School began again and I am already weary and feeling overwhelmed. I think my heart is just not in it as I would hope. I’m feeling frustrated with a new IEP system and little or no training and my coping mechanism for “new” or “improved” is waning. I like my schools. I like my little room in the new building and all in all it is much better than last year. I just feel like I am spinning my wheels until I can retire and some of my anxiety is not knowing where I will end up or how much I will have to live on. Score one for uncertainty!