I’m crying a lot again lately…the Holidays, I assume…
the point of my post is not to gain pity from anyone reading this, it’s simply an observation that I’ve made over the past week about my own tears and the way that they seem to work.
I blew my nose this morning after a disgusting sneezing/coughing fit (yes, I have the creep and bronchitis still…), and was somehow given the cursedly magical flashback of a time during Boo’s earliest years alive – she was probably around 3 or so; she inherited her mother’s schedule-bending allergies, and I flashed upon the time she was learning how to blow her nose. I was overcome by the memory of holding a wad of tissues to her little button nose and directing her to blow from her “booger holes” as hard as she could – and the experience that followed my instruction – the one in which I learned how well my only child can mimic me; she blew with all her might into the tissues and never had a runny nose again, to my recollection. People always used to trip out about the way my toddler regularly retrieved a tissue and blew her little faucet nose, without being told to do so.
She was such a miniature adult, always….
I cried for about an hour after I finished blowing my nose.
Next, were the stupid Candy Corn Rocks in the box of Halloween decorations that I begrudgingly pulled out at my roommate’s out-of-character request (wtf???)
The year before she left my life, Boo and I painted some river rocks that we had started collecting right after I came home from the hospital; the collection had grown over the handful of years, and we spent a lot of time and attention on finding rocks that were specifically reminiscent of Candy Corns, because when we started out with it, she was too young to differentiate shapes very well and it was one she could easily identify. It had been her random idea to paint them in time for what would become our very last Halloween at home together. When I see them, I feel both endearment and bitterness; one of my hands wants to throw each rock as far away from me as I can manage; the other hand wants to somehow wrap each one up and protect it from anything and everything because it’s Boo.
As the “Dark Side of the Year” quickly approaches, my ‘psychological overdrive’ kicks into ‘Beast Mode’ – every year now, without fail.The holidays are especially difficult for me these days – it was the holidays last year that prompted me to begin a blog here, as a matter of fact – the pain and emptiness has gotten nearly unbearable.
When I was still a Mom, I was no different from most: I obnoxiously over-decorated the house and dressed up in micro-detailed costumes for Halloween with Boo every year since I came home from the hospital when she was almost five. At Christmas, we ALWAYS went and picked out whichever tree she chose (even if it was terribly hard on the eyes for any being with aesthetic ability) before decking it out beyond recognition with the shiniest and near-blinding ornaments and tinsels…some of them even flashed or blinked, it was insane. I spent hours and hours each year wrapping up her fuckloads of presents and stocking stuffers with the girliest wrap I could find (typically, waaaay overpriced stuff that I had spent an arm and a leg on during one of her previous school fundraisers), and baked so many cookies and treats for class parties that I couldn’t even try to count all of the batches in and out of the oven.
Christmastime was when I would finally get to buy Boo things that I had socked cash away for since the prior holiday season; it was always a chance for me to see her happy, even if that happiness was in the temporary form of watching her gaggle over a gift she had opened, and loved. I don’t know…I guess the holidays were the only time that she and I were ever able to feel close enough to one another to let go of the trauma between us, that defined both of us somehow. She always openly missed her Father at Christmas; some of her ONLY existing memories of him are enveloped by the holiday season and everything that’s associated with it. I always told her stories about what he was doing where he was – the most despicable piles of bullshit that I have ever uttered to my daughter – I would tell her about the way “he missed her so much and planned to have her with him again for Christmas someday”, even if it was without me, I assured her that he wished she were there with him. I have no idea if she bought those stories or not, but at the time it was all I could come up with in response to her queries about him. I didn’t even know where he was for a few of those first conversations.
Anyway, yeah…well now days – I’m alone every year. My isolation over the holidays is mostly because I choose to be solo; I prefer to be alone in solitude for whatever reason to endure, as opposed to attending any of the meals or celebrations that I am invited to by various people who probably feel sorry for me. I won’t even spend my holidays with Jack the EMT anymore; I am the wettest of wet blankets during this season – can never wait for it to come and go so that I can begin to recover once more. It’s a recurring wound – a reinfection – a rip down the seam of my mending soul…I know the hollowness and sense of loss that bleeds the brightest, freshest blood from my heart this time of year will never cease to reappear with the Harvest Moon, despite my efforts to ignore Christmas lights and Halloween parties and New Year’s fireworks; I can lie to myself all I want and pretend those things don’t exist anymore, but that hasn’t worked thus far because here I am.