Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dreaming of a sane Christmas

I’ll explain the new format at a later time. At this time more pressing matters need to be examined.

I do not usually have a holly, jolly attitude over the December holidays, but I tend to look forward to them as a time for peace, respite, joy, and unity.

This year will be a lot different.

Christmas was my dad’s most anticipated and favorite holiday. He loved it since it reminded him of his youth in Colombia, and it would serve as his vacation time from work. Thus, he would always build ornate nativity scenes to go along with our Christmas tree. Villages would spring to life in a carnival of lights, porcelain buildings, figurines, and trains. Despite return from work bone tired he would dedicate several hours nightly to the design, construction, and transformation of half the living room into a veritable winter wonderland. After several weeks of laboring over the holiday scene he would enjoy every detail of the completed masterpiece. So much so that he would not take it down until late January and sometimes February.

This year marks the first time that my immediate family will not be spending the holidays in Colombia since dad passed away two years back. Even though we have had a reasonably good time the past three years we’ve been there, we just cannot afford to spend another couple of thousand dollars on the trip. In addition, time is not at a premium as it had been before since one of us working full-time while the rest are trying to sort our own odds and ends.

Over the summer I begged my mom to go alone to Colombia for two weeks in the autumn. I explained to her how therapeutic it would be for her and for our family there. It would definitely be affordable though my main concern was her mental well-being. I was worried that her being at home for the holidays would be too difficult for her to cope with. On a more selfish note, I was worried that she would become depressed and I would have to put up with it somehow.

Unfortunately despite my repeated requests she declined taking the trip alone.

She put up the Christmas tree last week and over the past few nights has tried to recreate as best as possible the nativity decorations my father so dearly cherished.

Tonight she broke down, cried, and wailed for approximately thirty minutes.

I will not try to pretend and comprehend the great pain she is going through. Her husband was truly her soul mate and nothing can replace the vast void in her heart.

However, I cannot help but feel a great sense of dread at imagining the difficulties of this holiday season. There are many times that I wish I could just break down and let all my emotions run free. Yet I learned long ago that I have to keep a brave face in order for her to be fairly happy. It would be easy to be honest and I wish it could be like that, but for her sake and stability I have learned to be two-faced.

I have no clue at how I will put up with the next few months. No matter how many times I visit my shrink or try to distract myself I am certain that the upcoming weeks will be yet another challenge I have to live up to. I don’t know how I’ll do it but I’m not looking forward to putting up with more suffering than I’ve lived with over the past 26 months. Its times like these that I wish life’s answers could come on a silver platter. Reality is much different.

This is too much to bear.

I don’t think I’ll ever like the holidays again.

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