Monday, December 24, 2012

The Memories are Still Painful

It's Christmas Eve and I feel like I have been in my kitchen for the last month preparing for parties, making gifts, etc., etc. It has been good to be busy. However, I find myself this morning with a little bit of time on my hands and the need to put my thoughts on paper. Maybe it will help and I won't be an emotional basket case all day!
In so many ways, Christmas Eve holds more memories than Christmas Day. We always have friends over on Christmas Eve and for the last 16 years, my parents have always been here on Christmas Eve, with the exception of maybe a year or two. Last year was hard without them, but we changed up our routine a little, went to someone else's house for our Christmas Eve dinner, and skipped the candlelight service at church. It helped.
This year we are in our new house which helps a little, but I am still struggling. My inlaws are on their way here now and our house will be filled with wonderful friends in just a few short hours. I'm so thankful for each one of them and how they have helped to ease the pain of losing my parents. My mom used to always say that "you've got five minutes to feel sorry for yourself and then you need to pull up your big girl panties and get on with it". I'm taking my five minutes now.
Memories are a wonderful thing, but so many of them are still so painful. I remember so many Christmas Eves with the Hyders and our family, exchanging  crazy gifts, eating, and playing games. I remember so many mornings getting up and seeing my dad in the living room in our old green chair drinking his coffee and waiting for everyone to get up. I remember my mom crying over so many gifts. We always said she cried easier than she peed! It was true! I remember her putting garlic powder in the apple pie by mistake and trying to rinse off the apples, trying to give her the easy jobs in the kitchen that didn't involve knives because she would always cut herself. I remember years of making Christmas cookies. Maybe one of the most painful, yet strangely enjoyable memories for this year has been the ugly big colored bulbs that my dad used to put on the house every year. I used to pick at him all the time and tell him how horribe they were and he kept telling me he was going to wrap them up for me and give them to me for Christmas. Well, he wasn't lying. I found them in the bottom of their Christmas tub. They have now been covered in glitter and are the centerpiece on my dining room table. He would be so proud of how well they turned out. My dad was a man of few compliments, but every Christmas he would compliment me on how good everything was. Last, but not least, I have been using these two yellow tupperware measuring cups all week. These things are older than dirt people, and my mother has had them forever. Every time I measure something with them I can't help but think of her. Strange, maybe, but it is the little things.
What I have found on this journey is that I must allow myself to feel everything as it comes. This is where I am today. It's not pretty, but it's honest. In a few minutes, I will get up, dust myself off, reapply the makeup that I have cried off, and go and do what I need to do today. I will pull up my big girl panties and get on with it because my mother told me to.


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you!!! I will always miss your mama and your dad. I will miss your mama's big smile and loud laugh! And your dad mumbling and me just smiling because I couldn't hear a word he said. I am very glad we were able to spend the many years with you and your family during the Christmas holidays.