Christmas Eve is one of my favorite nights of the year. Usually, and I mean usually to imply that this year has been markedly different, I can sit back and relax on this Holy Night. I light what seems to my kids to be too many candles, and just stare at the shimmering reflections and the glistening tree all through the night. I just love the silence of the night and the happy morning to follow.
I have two kids. The youngest is 18 and the oldest is 22. Both have been away from the house for college /work. If you’ve read an earlier post, you know that my eldest is with child and recently came home to visit as per usual during this time of year.
Every year, like many millions of households, we wake early and sit around making fun out of sharing gifts, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice and partaking in lazy lollygagging.
I knew that this year would be different. But I didn’t realize how it would impact me.
In typical fashion I submerged myself in non Christmas related activities, as if I could somehow postpone the birthday celebration of all birthday celebrations. I had new carpet installed, I baked, I ate, I binge-watched Netflix movies, I procrastinated Christmas shopping, and I even cleaned out cabinets.
This morning, I decided it was finally time to shop… and shop I did.
I returned home and decided I needed some fresh bread from the grocery store, and off I went. Suddenly I found myself crying in public when I ran across a friend who asked me about my daughter. Now I’m a big cry baby anyway, and I wont apologize for that, but I don’t usually let go after just one simple question.
We are at home on Christmas Eve for the first time without my daughter. This has never happened before and it shocks me. You see, we live about 300 miles away from our extended family. With perhaps just a couple of exceptions, our children have awoken in their own beds, in the only house they have ever known every Christmas morning since they were born. We always made it a point to start our celebration in our own home, and then visit family afterwards.
More importantly, we have been together every Christmas no matter what. This year, because of circumstances and commitments to employers, we are missing our daughter.
I know that there are millions of people going through the same thing, and that I need to deal with it. And I will.
I will light my little candles and sit in the quiet darkened room to stare at the decorations, but, just the same, I will miss her and wish she were home.
Merry Christmas to all…..