Her absence was palpable at her home. There sat her husband, her daughter and her grandson – and it was Christmas Day. The one (me) who usually takes far too many photos on Christmas Day had an urgent need for SOMEONE to capture the three of us on film just sitting … the looks on our faces missing the magic that IS Christmas. And the quiet and awkward moment of us all missing her at once!! Because that picture would have captured the fierce, overwhelming importance of how we felt without her. And all I wanted for Christmas is for her to SEE how much she was. How much she means.
The Night Before Christmas:
I removed my arse from my comfort zone and RSVP’d via my son to attend Christmas Eve at his girlfriends home. I wasn’t feeling festive, I wasn’t feeling social, (well, I never really feel social lol) BUT, but, I wanted my son and his girlfriend Chelsea to see that I love what they have and was willing to be ‘part of.’
So I went.
I had the best time. My son’s girlfriend’s parents were lovely – and welcoming and so down to earth.
We had thought about riding, ok, I had mentioned I would love to. (I grew up riding and Chels has horses.) But it was SO cold!
We did visit the horses though, and in an attempt to kiss her moms horse on the nose, I ended up in a nostril. Handsome moved. Lol.
We chatted, hung out, ate an amazing homemade lasagna and then presents. Nic made out like a bandit.
And, I received a gift from both Chelsea, and her parents.
The gift from Chels?
It’s burning right now – I love it so much.
I’m also so socially awkward that I’m ‘That Girl’ that makes friends with the pets. No exception here.
No, they weren’t sequestered outside, this is just a good shot of them there.
The larger pup made the cutest sound and the little one, found on the side of the road, had the most adorable underbite. I couldn’t get over his teeth! I was obsessed! I was almost POE obsessed with those teeth (Berenice reference to those who haven’t read Poe.)
Dad called Mum. We all got to talk to her – it was amazing.
I was in tears after mum shared that Nannie can’t speak anymore. She tries, she tries! But, mum can’t understand it.
Yet, Christmas Eve, she said ‘clear as a bell’ “How is Amanda?”
I lost it. I absolutely lost it. How is that fucking possible?????? I love her so much.
And I didn’t even ask what mums answer was.
Then, in the most quiet, delicate way, tears ran down my cheeks (I didn’t want her upset, but I knew and she knew, we were both crying.) I found Nic upstairs for his turn to speak to his grandma.
Grandma asked if the tree was decorated. He said “Yes.” I could hear both sides as I sat on the bed he lay upon. “Who did it?” Nic said “Mom.” “Awwwwwww!” Came from the other end and I was cutting Nic with my eyeballs at the lie and loving him at the same time for doing it.
He wanted his grandma to imagine we were taking care of one another and celebrating – he wanted her to feel like Christmas was happening, because she loves us so much.
Meanwhile, she was in her new fleece P.J’s and had chocolate. (THANK YOU ENGLISH FRIENDS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)
SO! We’re done chatting and finally my dad get’s to see Star Wars. It’s Nic and I’s second time.
Nic was sure that George showed up lol!
After the movie, we had an AMAZING Christmas dinner … But, I felt awful for the people working.
Then I kinda didn’t. I thought about how after the presents are open … It’s such a downer. Which is why I love Christmas Eve so much. ANTICIPATION. So, if you get to work for double time, then come home and do a holiday? “MONEY! THAT’S SO MONEY!” (Sorry, watching “Swingers” right now)
I thought back to yesterday.
It’s ‘Boxing Day’ to us Brits.
The day we usually spend at my mums having prime rib and an open house.
The day we let loose and love everyone.
Everyone is invited. I’m not going explain ‘Boxing Day’ – Google it. Lol.
I miss her.
I have a new perspective.
I know I’ve GOT to get life insurance. Sorry to be a downer, but ya know, we’re ALL dying. And last check, just to be cremated and put in a ziplock cost $2,000!!!!!!!! (Wait, that DOES come with some death certificates.) I don’t want to lumber my son or any of my family with this. And I’d love to be a tree.
They have a thing where you can be a tree! Lol.
And now I finally get to share the conversation that’s been on my fridge a while (we have a dry erase board and I recorded the moment)
Me: You can take my ashes and do whatever
Nic: You’ll either be a tree or there’s this ocean thing …
Me: I’ll take the tree
Nic: I’ll make you a ficus
Me: I’ll only kill it.
LOL! Because I have SUCH a …. Um, NOT green thumb. He’s just gonna have to sprinkle me or keep me or do whatever he wants.
And I’m probably NOT going to know what he does – because, um, I’ll be dead.
The ‘after’ shite is for the living.
I just hope all of you remember me. I DO want to make a mark. Even if it’s silly. You look at something inanimate with a face THINK OF ME!
TA-DA! Life fulfilled!
Oh, and there was nothing under the tree for me this year … But this meant the WORLD;
A special Tuesday update for you – where I’ll share my blonde moment, my home inspection, my imminent matricide, my Cantina rock and my current non-merriness.
I rent. Today was my annual home inspection. I was to leave work @ noonish, herd Butters in order for the inspector to go about her work and then return to mine.
First things first, I removed a piece I wrote about my Nannie as it hurt a couple of people – but, it is fair to say I’m hurting too and needed an outlet. She’s currently in hospital and my mum is with her. Other than that being 90% of what I’m thinking about lately, comes the selfish: “I don’t have MY mum for Christmas” and “I don’t feel merry this Christmas.”
I called my dad tonight to tell him if he’s still in the country I would come over Christmas and cook dinner there.
“There’s nothing under the tree.” He said.
“That doesn’t matter. Mum would want this and we’re family.” I said.
He’s happy just grabbing a Christmas pizza, but I know for a fact my mum wants her pets and husband to have a family Christmas.
It’s all just creeping up in running shoes though.
Today I spoke to a work vendor who told me she was taking next week off.
“Oh! That’s nice!” I said.
“Yes,” she went on to say, “Christmas week off.”
Wait – WHAT?
Next week is Christmas week?!!
I have SO much to do – and everyday is filled with such uncertainty (as most days are I suppose.)
But trying to figure out who is going to be where and how to make the ones I love not feel so lonely on Christmas is driving me up a wall.
(Yeah, my first world problems again eh? Not knowing if we’ll be together – yet, I still have them. I have no room to complain.)
I DO have to go shopping. I DO have to get presents and put them under our tiny tree, and also my parents tree.
I love giving. Only wish I could give more. Feel useless here while my mum is living “Groundhogs Day” Get up. Go to hospital. Go to where she’s staying. Do it all over again.
SO! There’s that. All of that is just to make another point too – I certainly don’t feel with ANY spare time like making my ugly little vintage single wide into a castle for an inspector. So I hadn’t scrubbed every window cill or re-grouted anything. I honestly thought? “F*&% it, I’m one of the best tenants they have and this old thing is clean all the time. Take me or leave me.”
Let’s lighten it up a bit eh?
This morning – I was leaving for work and noticed it was 32 degrees outside. I actually noticed this BEFORE I decided “Oh my, my windshield is a tad dirty – I should wash it off.” And proceeded to spray and wipe.
I’m driving as I did this. And – hey, presto! I made ice! All by myself. And then felt foolish as other neighbors were pulling out of their driveways seeing my ice-pop of a windshield. And probably thinking, “How did we survive that ice storm?” *Sigh*
Onto the inspection. It went well. The lady has been the same one checking my cell (oops!) home for 5 years. She commented on Butters gaining weight – remembered the first inspection when Nic was making food in the kitchen (as he was today) and also told me (as Jim was still on the inspection card) “Oh honey, you’re so BEAUTIFUL, I can’t believe he would go.”
Insert lemon and salt here – because at the time, she was photographing my bathroom – yeah, that’s always fun, the intrusive photos – (I made sure this morning that my undies were not on the top of the laundry basket!) and I still have a photo of Jim and I on a shelf.
No, I’m not holding out hope of reuniting at this point, but I will always love him and the photo makes me happy.
But there’s that too. I miss him. This is a holiday where just – um – ‘suck!’ is happening. You can’t blame me for not sparking up the mini-tree at night.
Let’s skip straight to the ‘murder plan’. I’m back at work, and get an instant message from Nic:
Please know, I was only asking “For?” Because I wasn’t sure if he was just visiting – or spending the night – do I lock the door? Turn out the front porch light?
No, I’m really that nosey when it comes to Nic anymore.
Had an amazing weekend with him and his beautiful, wonderful, smart girlfriend … AND got to see Nic make her breakfast! Chocolate chip waffles and eggs (remember, this is the ‘kid’ I was terrified would outgrow me and how could I POSSIBLY live? lol)
One thing I AM excited about, especially with the few words I’m allowing myself to see about it – is Star Wars! I am avoiding ALL spoilers. Saturday I will be a quivering mess of nostalgia and excitement and at 10:30 my time, be sitting in a movie theater ready to have my mind blown by J.J. Abrams.
Back to the rock.
Here it is:
I instantly saw a certain Cantina band member in it. ^_^
So, life is bonkers. Life is odd. Life doesn’t take our plans into consideration – but … life is SO beautiful. And I’m so glad for the compassion my mum has, the job I have, the home I have, the things I see in rocks … the woman in my son’s life that isn’t me. I’m so grateful for forgetting to shop – because, the material side of Christmas is so … material. But, as I said, I’ll be doing it.
I’m grateful for my friends.
I’m grateful for all of you that take time to read this – and those who have told me I make a difference. And those who have encouraged me NOT to edit.
Just know, sometimes, it IS selfish to post something when others are hurting.
And I won’t forget that lesson.
xxxxxxxxxx Love you all.
Ah Christmas! It’s over. *sniff sniff* My favorite part of the day was spending it with those I love.
I’ll share some of those moments with you.
My comment regarding the Walking Dead figure on Facebook was: “Me and 10 inches of Rick Grimes!” Which was met with the expected ‘That’s what she said” comment from my fun friend Penny. LOL! I have to admit, I was eyeballing that ginormous box of candy when I was in the store selling it – but I don’t shop for me when I’m Christmas shopping – SO glad it caught the eye of my mom.
Here’s my future rock star son doing all manner of future rock star things – including snoozing after a meal.
I have to say – I do believe he actually tuned the damn thing!! He has an ear for music and I’m SO glad I got him the guitar. He brought it with us to my moms and found chords that actually sounded like chords etc!
The animals … it was REALLY hard to get a good photo of Butters in the morning (at 5:30, when Nic came into my room with our stockings, it’s hard to get a good photo of anything). She was so wiggly and excited – all I got were blurry shots. I did however love these two photos of some of my moms pets – and the last one is the best photo I managed to get of ‘Christmas Butters’.
Now – there’s a story behind that cat in a box.
When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told her (in complete earnestness) ‘Paper towels, toilet paper and those laundry sprinkle things!’
You know how expensive those items can make a trip to the store!! There’s barely enough cash left for food when you have run out of the main staples of the household. So there was this big box for me – and ta-da! Sure enough. I got my wish.
The cat (Plucky) then did the typical ‘oh there’s a box and I’m a cat’ thing.
The second cat is one whom I call ‘FOO’. (His name is Curry.) I’m fond of him. So I started saying to my mom – “Where’s fond of one?” F.O.O. The birth of a new name.
Oh my goodness. It’s been so long since I’ve had red meat – and yesterday, when there was prime rib on the table, I could have wept with joy. AND Yorkshire Pudding! I was in heaven.
Now … that bottom right photo has a story too. It was the tiniest brussel sprout ever! I shared it on Facebook and my mom, who should know better considering my affinity for inanimate objects, proceeded to write ‘stuff’.
Yeah … I get my humor from her. And I passed it like a disease to my son. LOL!
Speaking of the both of them … here’s some people shots. Nic will always bust out the ‘majestic’ pose for giggles. That’s what he’s doing in the fireplace room.
Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas if you celebrated it.
And NO! Boxing Day has nothing to do with boxing – and I’ll celebrate it after work.
Let me tell you a little about Boxing Day.
The day after Christmas, we used to have a ‘open house’ of sorts for all friends and family – pretty much anyone who wanted to come. Lots of food, drink and merriment. There was usually a gift in the tree for all who came.
Boxing day in the UK was the day the house servants received their boxes – after all, they were busy Christmas Day attending to the household they worked for right? Also the day you would acknowledge workers like your milkman, postman … a general ‘thank you’ and fun fun fun!
I’ve also heard it’s called Boxing Day because it’s the day all the Christmas boxes are put away. I think that was just a ploy on my moms behalf to get us to clean up.
Just think of it as the day those who were of service to you all year got THEIR Christmas boxes. 🙂
I have Nic for a short time tonight – so of course, I picked the moment I washed my face and was in my PJ’s to say:
“Will you do a Christmas video with me for my site??”
I know Christmas blog will be many, many shots of food and ‘artistic’ tree and discarded gift wrap (LOL!)
What you don’t know, is while Nic isn’t big on reading my posts himself, often I have him read them aloud so I can see how they come across. He is UBER talented at voice over – and so far (because we know plans and ambitions change during the teen and early twenty years) wants to pursue that avenue.
He imitates so many voices – and I’m going to try to include the video he made for college – his narration grabbed the attention of everyone I forced to watch it, and every one authentically said “He needs to do voice work.”
ANYWAY! 2 more sleeps! And I wanted to say to those who celebrate Christmas “Merry Christmas!
And I wanted to do it in person.
Because I appreciate every one of you that reads my humble little odd blog!
Here’s my video:
I donned the fedora, because Nic said he was slappin’ his Santa hat on.
I was not going to be lacking in the haberdashery department. He didn’t (obviously) end up wearing it.
Still rockin’ the fedora though – even in my PJs and no make up. LOL!
Here’s his Zombie movie he and his girlfriend made for college.
LOVE it! You’re going to love the music, and hopefully confirm that my boy is a natural when it comes to narration. 🙂 If it won’t let you see the video on iphone or ipad – please go to a PC and check this out.
yeah, I have a cameo, and my favorite part is the bloopers, so be sure to watch it to the end!!
(and yeah, I slapped North Korea into my tags – why not? I’ve watied two plus years to be pressed! LOL! Freedom of expression …. sorta fits. 😉 (IMO – I don’t think they were behind the Sony thing – and I don’t think we were behind their outage the other day … c’mon, their power goes out all the time. One of my favorite comments I read on the topic was “South Korea musta changed their WIFI password”. Ha!)
Nic asked me to wake him up this morning, so before I left for work I did just that and was rewarded with a tired hug.
For a moment – a fleeting moment – as I looked at his sleepy face and disheveled hair, I saw my boy.
It’s so odd.
Gone are the Christmas Eves peppered with ‘Can I open just one??’
Gone are the cookies and milk for Santa.
No more waiting for him to be asleep before tip toeing to his stocking.
No more biting carrots for reindeer and leaving remnants on the porch.
No more sprinkling glitter by a fireplace – leaving footprints in the carpet.
I miss that.
I miss wrapping Lego and Pokemon.
I miss small pajamas.
I miss the smell of his freshly washed hair – of “1,2, threeeee!” As I picked him up, wrapped in an impossibly big towel, out of the tub.
I miss story time and his heavy lids – minty yawns and ‘See you in the morning!’
Today I miss my boy.
But am oh so grateful for the young man who is my son this Christmas Eve.