The grief-stricken mind thinks the craziest thoughts…
As I look in the dryer for a clean pair of underwear and only see one left, well, it looks like I’ll be buying myself new underwear this Christmas instead of my mom.
Honey, what size do you wear this year?
Oh, I’d say an 8. I could maybe get away with a size 7, but I like them baggy.
I’ll be the only person to buy myself new underthings from now on and this strikes me as pathetically, heartbreakingly hilarious.
I show my brother a photo of our tree this year.
It’s like a tree-shrine, he says.
Yes, I agree with him. It feels right to us, the kid and I couldn’t seem to manage more than this.
My brother cocks his eyebrow and takes a swig of his beer.
We’re all discussing what to eat on Christmas. Nobody wants to do the traditional meal of ham, potato salad and my mom’s sweet potatoes this year.
Well, she’s not here to make them, obviously. The meal doesn’t add up anymore. It just doesn’t work.
Appetizers! Yes, I say, how about that? We all bring an appetizer to share.
Everyone agrees. It’s a far cry from eating ham, that’s for sure.
It’s a holly, jolly appetizer Christmas.
I don’t feel much like celebrating this holiday and here it is, right under our nose already. All there is now is to get the fuck through it and try not to cry too much.
I keep an hourly vigil on the clock. Tick away, Mr. Clock. Let’s do this shit already so that I can go back to my every day normal grief.
My phone no longer rings at 8 am every morning and after 7 months, I’m sort of getting used to it. But I know that tomorrow morning will be the worst, maybe even as bad as having no birthday call back in August.
Everyone tells me that the 1st of everything is the worst and so, like the little squirrel who starts gathering nuts for the winter, I have been preparing myself for this surreal Christmas.
Yet nothing that I’ve done is helping, I feel like an empty pitcher of beer, I feel like the last bits of foam resting on the bottom.
I received a letter last night, two days before Christmas. It’s from my condo association wanting me to pay $389.32 in legal fees.
They knew about it way back in March of this year when they finally took the lien off of my house.
They are charging me for it, of course. But the timing is just like them, big bullies that they are and one of the main reasons why I am selling the place.
Merry Christmas. Ho ho ho, screw you Mer.
I reach for my phone to call my mom, then my hand stops mid-air.
This happens rather often, usually when something totally awful (or less often, something great) happens to me.
I get a sickening lump in my throat with the understanding that NOBODY ELSE IN THIS GIANT WORLD GIVES A FUCK.
My mom always gave a fuck, you see. Even if she couldn’t help me, at least she gave a fuck.
I shut the house down and went to bed at 6:30 pm. I didn’t wake up until this morning and now it’s Christmas Eve day.
I knew that this time in my life would arrive one day, I just didn’t think it would be so soon.
I know, that sentence doesn’t make a lick of sense, does it??
I fear that nothing will ever feel right again in my world. Being strong, well, if I wasn’t strong, I wouldn’t even be here writing all of these words.
A writer writes, not for other people, but for themselves.
My mom told me a few times that God gave me a talent, a gift and that she thought I was a good writer. Her opinion mattered more to me than anyone else’s.
That I could make her proud of me, even though I never went to college, I had shitty taste in men, major mental illnesses and that I ended up disabled by the age of 37.
But she told me that God gave me a gift.
Now He has her with Him this Christmas.
And I know that she was the biggest gift that I’ve ever had.