photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ho Ho Holy CRAP My Head Hurts

'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Everyone tiptoed and whispered with care
Because mom had a migraine that hurt even her hair.

The day had broke sunny, the cat had been fed
And then BAM just like that, mom was back in the bed.

She downed 2 Tylenol ES, cold washrag applied
And burrowed under the covers, keeping light from her eyes.

A half-hour later she lurched from the room
Looking haggard and deadly- the house filled with doom.

"On Meloxicam! On Diphenatrop! Quick, where's the caffeine?"
And she cursed stupid laws against home IV's with morpheine.

And Gomez and Sparky were filled with concern
If Christmas dinner's on them, how bad would it burn?

For several long hours, time seemed frozen in place
Even the dogs knew to stay out of mom's face.

Then what to their wondering ears did they hear
But the soft clicking of keys on her laptop so near.

And they knew then she'd live and re-enter the fray!
Happy Christmas to's a wonderful day!

The story above is true- names have not been changed to protect the innocent.
I'm off to work and one. Last. Freaking. Errand.
Tylenol, Meloxicam, Diphenatrop and caffeine on board- my head is only throbbing at about a 5, instead of the 14 it was this morning on a "From zero to ten, how bad is the pain?" scale.

Sunny, calm and 50 degrees out...a perfect winter day. The garlic is up, the peas are up, the herbs are still hanging in there- oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro...all reseeded themselves for the umpteenth time.

The boys are wrapping gifts "Don't look, mom!!!" and tonight and tomorrow will be quiet affairs- I'll cook a big dinner tomorrow after doing some baking, and if everyone's feeling up to it, we'll have Joe and Edna over to eat.

I was thinking on Christmases past and how weird it is after several decades of being a kid on Christmas followed by several more decades of having kids on Christmas, that my very last baby (almost 14) announcing this year, "Mom? Just take me clothes shopping- I don't need anything to unwrap" filled me with several emotions.

Sadness of a deep and abiding sort- the sadness that comes when you know something is over. Really over, and won't be back. Ever.

Irritation because I'm not ready for that phase of life to be over yet. I still love the whole gifty wrappy Christmas morningy thing.

Relief that I'm done with letters to Santa, and trying to budget to fulfill the top 5 requests on that list, and the wonderment that my children were always careful to put the really expensive shit on Santa's list...because they knew we couldn't afford them.

Christmas and how we relate to it changes with age and circumstance, like everything else in life and that's not only OK, but it would be creepy if it didn't. It's a very tangible yardstick of how we're growing as humans, where we've been and where we are now.

It's one day of the year that is caught over and over again through the photographs of us as kids, then teens, then adults...the people in the photos changing from one bad hairdo to the next, one ugly holiday sweater to the next, one awkward human phase to the next. Grandparents grow older with each passing year of snapshots and then are simply not in them anymore. Babies suddenly appear and are linked in with the rest of the family chain.

And there you have it. The real reason for the season.

Because whatever mid-winter event brings your family together, THAT. That right there is the reason for the season.

Stop. Look at the people around you- even the ones who make you insane. This is your chain.

If you're alone, remember holidays past and how they were all different from each other if only microscopically- not to make you even more miserable, but to remind yourself that nothing lasts forever- there will be new chains to link into even if your old one is gone for good. I promise you that.

I spent one Christmas Eve alone in a crappy motel outside Lubbock Texas. My alcoholic abusive husband had knocked me around a little, screamed at me a lot, took the car keys, the car and all our money and disappeared into the night. This was before cell phones and I didn't even have a dime for a pay phone to call the nearest people I knew...400 miles away. I can safely say that was my worst Christmas ever.

I will never tell anyone to 'just' cheer up, get a grip, get out there and meet people, stop being depressed, stop being used or abused because no one else is in your head besides you, and no one else knows what living your life has been like or what your exact thought processes are.

Anyone who judges someone else for apparent lack of character or bad decision making is an asshole.

This is also the time of year for the highest rate of suicide.

I have no magic wand, no quick fixes for a heart so broken that it feels like it cannot beat one second longer.

All I can offer is this-

This, the darkest time of the year, the shortest day of the year comes every single year.

And every single year it's not only the darkest day of the year but it's the beginning of the light.

Light always comes after darkness, and we are every one of us stronger than we think we are.

I promise you that.

Just give it another day.

Merry Holiday to my entire human family. I love you all.

Even the ones who make me insane.