I thought I was so clever.

I was all like "Oh, I can do this Christmas thing." "Look at how cool we are, we are donating to charity." "Yeah, Christmas--we got this one." "Look at me, I am doing good." It was nice, wasn't it?

Tonight, Christmas came up and bit me in the ass. Hard. With razor teeth.

Tonight, we saw a Christmas show that was fun and silly and personal and thinky at times and emotional at times. I enjoyed it. During the show, I was fine. I only got misty-eyed a few times. But after, when we parted company with our friends, I lost it. Completely broke down on the street and on the way home. Not because the show was so great, but because I am so confused about my feelings and relationship with Christmas and my family and my life and everything.

I haven't really allowed myself to feel Christmas for the last few years. Two years ago, we were with the in-laws, and it was lovely, but deep down, I was thinking of how sad it would be if it was Dad's last Christmas and I didn't get to share it with him (it was, and he had a great time visiting C's in-laws in NJ). Last year, we changed it up. We opened our presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning, and on Christmas Day we went to Waffle House for breakfast then to a nice movie theater not in our hometown and saw 2 movies. We needed to break the traditions--to give us something to think about other than the fact that we had lost Dad only a few weeks before. Perhaps this was denial and avoidance, yes, but it was also self-preservation. We said "Oh, Dad would love that we did this" but think really, we all wanted a day off from being so miserable and exhausted and worn down. We had some laughs, but it didn't feel like Christmas.

This year, we are still adjusting and figuring out what we are supposed to do and feel and think. For me, there is something missing. And I think it has been my heart. I have been going with the flow and doing our (amazing) Christmas show (which doesn't so much feel like Christmas from the inside) and enjoying avoiding all the holiday hullabaloo. But maybe what I need to do is submerge myself into it, in order to allow myself to feel something towards it. Figure out what it means to me now. It is terrifying, but I have God and my friends and family to help me through it.

A few weeks ago, we saw a delightful Christmas Nativity show at a local church. I had seen the show before a few years ago, and sobbed the whole time. This time was different--maybe it was because I had seen it before, or maybe it was because we had a clear shot of the technical difficulties of the actors behind the curtain, but I just sort of watched it as a casual observer. It wasn't until they invited the congregation to sing a Christmas song together at the end that I broke down. I wasn't able to sing, and so I didn't. I stood there silent, choking back tears. Looking back, I wish that I had sung full voice and sobbed huge horse sobs in public to get it all out. Because even if it is a difficult emotion, it is an emotion that I, as a human, am blessed to feel.

I also don't want to go about my day like everything is ok. It isn't ok--each day is a challenge in so many ways, and that is what life is. Struggle is a part of it. Relating to others and working together and feeling whatever we are feeling, no matter what it is, is the right thing to feel, because that is who we are at that moment and that moment is fleeting and helps define who we will be in the moments to come.

So much can change in a short period of time. Families change. Relationships change. People leave us. People join us. Such is life. It is a bit overwhelming if you ask me.

And it will be.

Cause if we had it all figured out, what would be the point of continuing?

Maybe Dad was just so brilliant that he had it figured out.

For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.--1st Corinthians 13:12


Just take a deep breath and what happens happens with the Holiday season. I feel we are all in God's hands one way or the other and yes I question alot in life but who am I to question? Merry Christmas Erica and I hope you do find some since of joy in the Christmas season.....*LOL* I am still working on that myself =)

Oh, Erica. I am praying for you and your family. This is going to be a really hard year. If you need to talk, just give me a call or email me.

Um... this is a long comment and I started to cry when I was writing it - so be for warned.
I heard a quote yesterday that reminded me of us "Grief is the heart's unwillingness to give up on love." This was in a documentary and given by an actual grief counselor. I suddenly felt relieved of all of my guilt over grieving for so long, of being sentimental and weird and sometimes unable to even think about certain days, or how it would have been. I was relieved because I suddenly knew, like a light bulb, that this was me still loving my father and never giving up on that love. Never putting it away because its wasted - because love is never wasted. Ever. So. Thats I guess what I have to say about that. If its Christmas for you, and it just may be - let it. I couldn't celebrate the fourth of July for the Longest time. And I always hear his voice when I sing "You are my Sunshine" and that's OK. Even if it makes me sob and sob... which it does, its okay because this is me not giving up on Love.

And you can feel the same way.