When I think about the holidays I think of the typical “jolly” spirit that we’d all like to embrace. There’s so much more lurking deeper inside all of us. We just don’t share it, and if we do we become a “Negative Nancy” or some sort of “Bah-Humbug” nuance that we all had hoped to avoid.
I can’t speak for everyone factually and I don’t want to sound like I am. So let me speak for myself.
My childhood wasn’t perfect. It also wasn’t entirely typical. I grew up in an upper middle class, mixed race, church-going, mixed family. My dad was my dad. My mom was my mom. My sister was my sister. Of course, I loved them all. My sister is technically my half-sister, though. We shared one parent in common. My mom and dad had me later in life. I could go on with details. We all had a loving life, or so I thought. I thought we all loved each other. I thought love would keep us together.
When I was coming into my teens, my mom was currently working as an esthetitian. She owned her own business and it became a family business between my parents. She had many customers. Many were repeat customers. She had one customer in particular that used many, if not all, of the services available. She tipped well and even brought her little dog in every once and awhile. She was also clinically deaf.
One day there was bad news going around the beauty salon my mom and dad owned together. This specific woman, this customer, had been hit by an oncoming train. She didn’t hear it coming because she was deaf. Her husband came into the salon to tell my mom what had happened days later, not saying much else. Little did I know this was just the beginning.
Over the period of a next few months there were times where my mom would get home from work and just sit at the computer. A computer that was not from our home. It was unusual because she would usually watch Sex and the City every night, or Ally McBeal. I found out later that the husband of the late woman bought my mom that computer. In a matter of time they were communicating in various ways through computer, phone calls, texts, the like. I suspected what was going on, as I was 14 at the time.
One day I woke up to goto school and I couldnt find my mom anywhere. My dad said she had left the house in the middle of the night to goto another man’s house. I was surprised it happened so fast but I was privy to it.
She left him. She left us, all of us, for him, for good.
I was shocked. I was saddened. My heart broke.
Fast forward to now, ten years later and I’m still not over it or accepting this man as neither my stepdad or family member. You could say I hold grudges or live in the past, but this is full-on grief. I’m in the stage where I’m learning to accept the change, ten years later.
The holidays for 2016 are rolling around and why am I stewing about this now? Because family and holidays will never be the same, and a holiday without the family you’ve ever known will never be the same. It’s a process of grieving.