11 Dec cold december mourning…
I’ve made it pretty obvious that I hate winter, but in case we haven’t met, let me tell you up front and as plainly as I can: I hate winter. I hate being cold. I don’t like the sound or feel of snow crunching under my boots. I cannot stand the freezing, dry, Vegas winds. I don’t like jackets, I feel claustrophobic in sweaters, and it really bothers me that jeans chafe my bootie in arctic weather. I will acknowledge that I’m moderately fond of tights, but I’d give them up forever if it meant no more winter for Holly. Clear?
I usually gain weight in winter. I eat my way through the depressing winter months, struggle to work out, and silently curse my friends for being boring and never coming up with any good plans. The point is it’s just too dang collllld to do anything. I know people who live in cold places manage to have lives and make things fun, but in Vegas we really haven’t mastered that. Well, I haven’t. It’s biting cold, my hands chap, and even if I wear a jacket, I want to rip it off every single time I’m indoors because the heat threatens to suffocate me. Okay? Rant over.
I’m a beach girl. Summer lover. Happy go lucky sunshine baby.
I do love me some holidays though. I love Thanksgiving, time with friends and fam, cooking, getting cozy under blankets and watching good movies. I love decorating for fall in September, then adding some Halloween pieces in October. I love replacing those with Thanksgiving decorations in November. When December hits, I strip it all away, and start from scratch. My home turns into a winter wonderland, with multiple trees, nutcrackers, ornaments, candles, and nativity sets (yes plural). Mason and I LOVE Christmas and get giddy each December as we prepare, shop, wrap, hide, hint about and open prezzies.
I have a huge advent house and used to hide candies inside each cupboard. Mase got to open it each night and eat the candy. As he aged, he lost interest so mama ate the candy. One of Mason’s favorite things about our little family of two was that we always did Christmas BIG. He enjoyed taking presents to his teachers and close friends. He loved how we got new pajamas every Christmas Eve. His favorite part was the decorating. He delighted in helping to decorate the tree and place the nutcrackers around the house. Even our bedrooms and bathrooms had Christmassy stuff in them. We are a little nuts, but when you love something, it’s okay to reaallllly love it, right?
The only thing that makes winter bearable is that all the best holidays are tucked inside. If you read the blog regularly, you’ve already read how well I handled Thanksgiving. Not well at all. And here I am, facing my first Christmas without Maseycakes. By the way, no fall décor ever made it out of the garage this year. Neither will any Christmassy stuff. I’ve been asked many times by concerned friends, “How are you doing?” and they’ve offered refuge in their homes for the holidays. They are concerned that all of my ‘firsts’ will be extremely difficult. My response is that every single day is extremely difficult. No one day is tougher than another. The 25th isn’t worse than the 10th or the 21st or the 3rd. It’s all excruciatingly painful. Every day takes my breath away and every day requires more from me than I think I possess.
If you have lost a child, you have an inkling of what I mean. If you haven’t, you just don’t. You can try, but you’ll never even scratch the surface of this kind of pain. You cannot imagine it. There is no frame of reference, no comparison, no equal. Please don’t worry any more for me on Christmas than you would any other day. It really isn’t that different. They all hurt.
Here is the plan: I’m outta here. I have this new thing I do when grief threatens to overwhelm and paralyze me: I run to my sister and her beaches. I’m off to see Sarah and Tyrhone for Christmas in Mexico! I cannot wait to feel the sunshine on my face, the sand between my toes, and the heat in my bones. I am dreaming of Ah Cacao coffees and sunscreen and a good book. I want to swim, and laugh, and think, and write. I want to be warm again. I’m over this cold December weather, and this frozen, empty feeling. When I am here, I don’t want to get out of bed. When I am there, I cannot wait to throw on a swimsuit and hit the waves. It’s like a drug. It’s healing and beneficial in ways I don’t have the ability to describe. I belong in summer, permanently.
The Christmas decorations can wait til next year, or the year after that. They are safely tucked away in storage bins and can sit tight ‘til I am ready to decorate again, if ever. I bought a new tree last year thinking, “This needs to last me another four years.” Once Mason went off to college, I was planning on downsizing and getting a travelling job somewhere. That tree can sit. I’m not concerned with setting it up this year. There won’t be any Christmas cards going out… I don’t want to sound ugly, but I’m not thinking about ornaments, or twinkling lights, or presents. I’m thinking about plane tickets, suitcases, and sundresses. I’m thinking about getting as far from this place as I can. I’m in mourning and I cannot take another five seconds of this cold, depressing, bootie chafing weather. I’m going to don my sundress, and smile into the sunshine, and pour my heart out to the Caribbean waters.
It’s just me this Christmas and my new motto is “I do what I want.” I’m trading in this cold, December mourning for something that will fill my heart and help me feel joy. I have a ton of silent nights. I need some noise. I miss my little drummer boy, and no amount of ‘decking the halls’ will ever help heal this wounded heart of mine. I need space. I need distance. I need jet fuel and wings. Sunshine and tacos. I want to take off the sad sweater that is choking me to death. I want to toss the gloves, because my hands need warmth. My heart needs warmth. I am practically aching for some warmth, to the point of making bad decisions. Nobody wants to see that. My heart craves healing and I am not getting it here, but I know just where it can be found.
Have yourselves a merry little Christmas, and please know that I love and appreciate every single one of you. Your support and encouraging words and loving messages have been the best gifts of my whole year. I couldn’t have survived the last six months without them. I’ll be writing again soon… next time from a beach somewhere far, far away from these fuzzy, winter socks. xoxo