This Christmas… is hard.


Christmas time is hard, like very hard. While it seems to me that others holidays are happy and filling and fun and easy- mine don’t feel that way. I have to work too hard, too often to enjoy myself and really be present in adventures. It seems silly to me that what was once easy, is now work. I often wonder which piece of missing am I feeling- is the missing child or the tiny family, is it living so far away from my family or wishing I could enjoy the traditions of when I grew up? I don’t really know…

It is hard to tread on these lines of grief, to know which line is which- or where a particular missing is coming from. Is it nostalgia, is it recognition of a missing human, is it missing what I thought my life would look like? I imagined for myself to be successful in a career, to stay married, to make many children… so that when my marriage was 50 years old we would be surrounded by grandkids. I am so far from so much of that… but it is good. Just because something is good right now, doesn’t mean we can’t miss a past chunk of life.

I really miss Madeline. I imagine her turning 11, and seeing her be who she was never able to be. I imagine that 11 year old girls like different gifts- but maybe, just maybe she would still like baby dolls like I did. I wish she were here to model her character to other children and be the big sister my girls deserve. I wish she were here to share in our adventures, I would still have my set of 3 to keep me busy. I even imagine this divorce would have been easier if I didn’t have to miss her, like if she were here my heart would be so much more healed and not scarred. It is so hard…

I have yet to buy the Hallmark ornaments I always get the girls, I need to. Something in me doesn’t want to get them this year… maybe a mechanism to wipe my brain’s slate clean for now. I don’t really understand it myself. I looked in 2 stores and saw nothing that shouted Amelia or Lucy- and their angels sucked. It is just so hard…

Christmas is hard, and this holiday season feels dark and exhausting. I wish the sun stayed up longer. I hate the dark. We burrow in this weather, some might think we are lazy, but it is our time. I feel that the burrowing, is a kind of like hibernation, it’s conserves our energy for when the light comes back. You know where to find us Musto Chicks from about 7pm on… burrowed under our snuggly blankets watching a Christmas movie or The Good Doctor. We are putting our energy on reserve for a time when there is light and spring. It is our way, or maybe it is my way- but those chicks follow suite.

I have shopped, mostly online, since I have had my girls A LOT the past few weeks. I tried to sneak some things at Target and failed… so Amazon it is. I miss when it was fun to shop, to look through flyers and spend a few days shopping. This year the couple times I had to run somewhere, I felt like I was on the edge of panic attack. I don’t enjoy being out in big groups of crazy shoppers… they are so annoying and rude (and I am old). It is hard…

There was an accident with our tree- and that lovely evergreen took a dive to the floor. There were ornaments and tree water everywhere… it was not a fun night. The tree is now permanently lopsided- and the ornaments aren’t where we put them and the pearls are all screwed up. Every time I look at the tree I feel some sad- not the normal at all. I usually find the humor in accidents but a bit of me just isn’t loving my tree anymore. I tell myself to let it go and enjoy this season and the light it brings into our room, but my heart is annoying me this year. It will.not.listen.

Christmas is hard- but I am trying. I am trying to see and build light where it is dark. I am trying to find humor in the broken. I am trying to remind myself that in all that is missing there is love- that it isn’t totally missing. I am trying to keep my chin up and just do my job- so that my girls have magic. I am trying, but it is hard. I thought now I would be used to it…

Christmas is hard, but I am thankful. Thankful for the 2 girls who chase me around listen to all my conversations, for the family that is waiting to celebrate with us when we go home, for this life and the friends I have… for the comfort we have here at the Musto Estate… and for my Great Angel who listens to me when I am most broken. I am grateful… yet I hurt. So is the world… broken next to healed, pain alongside joy and confusion standing with clarity… life integrated with grief.


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