Today is Christmas. Per my divorce my decree this year it was my turn to have my children on Christmas Eve until 8pm. At the magic hour of eight pm, I would bring my children to their father. They spent the night with him last night, and I will get them back tomorrow morning.
Last year I answered the door at eight pm and woke up with my children on Christmas morning. Last year, I felt so very sorry for their father, and this year he feels so very sorry for me. I don't think we thought about the lonely feeling that would take over every Christmas as you are dropping your children off at each other's doors faced with extreme saddness that wells up in your throat until you let a sob and a scream so loud your neighbors call the police because they are sure that someone has just been stabbed.
No, when we were spewing venomous words at each other during the wars, and always trying not to end up in the bunker or be the person that displayed the white flag, we were not thinking about Christmas alone. Nor were we thinking the deep pain it would cause our children to have to say good-bye to one of us every Christmas Eve. Oh no, we were just concentrating on beating the enemy, me killing him, him killing me, and winning the war! The sad part is no one won the war, in the end we called a treuce. The losers of our battle were as always, the innocent, the children!
Last night on the way to their dad's I said, "well, one of the perks to divorce is you get two sets of everything; stockings, presents, candy, and great food." Jax, my eleven year old said, "mommy, there are no perks to divorce. If I could have my family together I would give away all of my presents. None of these presents mean anything to me. My family means everything to me."
Yes, of course I was sad. But then I was proud. For Jax might not know it, but he has learned a great lesson; life is not about materialistic things, life is about family, the beauty around you, God, and those you love and whom love you. My eleven year old got it! He wouldn't have gotten that lesson so early in his life if it wasn't for divorce.
Yes, I do look at the bright side of everything. I did look at the bright side of that statement. There is no use dwelling on something I cannot change. But what I can do, is take the good that comes of out of the bad, and that was some serious good.
We hugged before they left. I cried on my way to the sushi restaraunt where I would be eating Christmas Eve dinner alone. When I got there, I ate the most delicious sushi, read my paper, and smiled when I thought about my children. I could see people looking at me wondering why I was alone on Christmas Eve. I felt like screaming, "I am alone because I screwed up my marriage! Take a look at your marriages and love them, save them, and put them first!"
You might be wondering why I wasn't with my family. My whole entire family lives in Chicago, and I would never intrude on my friends. Honestly, I am great loner when need be!
After dinner I went to Border Books. I bought two books, a Robert Ludlum book and Deepak Chopra book. I am always buying spy novels and New Age/Self Help books that I already know what they are going to say books. That is the funny thing about self help, we all know the answers to our problems, we all know the right thing to do, we all know deep inside how to conquer our fears and demons, we all know how to find love, how to be a good person, but we don't want to do what we know we should do, we are always looking for the easy answer. I am here to tell you, there is no easy answer, all those books say the same things. But I am a sucker too, and have way too many books that say the same thing.
Ok, so here I am in Border Books. The lady asks me if she can wrap those for me. I said, "no thank you, Christmas is over." Of course she thought, "hmmm, it is 6pm on Christmas Eve, what is up with this chick." Then she looked to see what the hell I was reading. I am sure she was wondering if she needed to call the suicide hotline, I quickly, explained that I alread celebrated Christmas. I was happy to exit the store.
On to the movies. My movie, Seven Pounds, was to begin at 6:20 pm. I had fifteen minutes to read. I brought my books out. I started to read, and then had a feeling someone was staring at me. I looked up and realized there were about fifteen people staring at me. I am sure they were thinking the same thing as the people in the restaraunt, "why is this lady at a movie all alone on Christmas Eve." This time I wanted to scream out, "You know what I just read in the paper? There is an influx of newly homeless families due to our mortgage crisis in the United States. There are children in shelters right now, that four weeks ago, lived in a beautiful track house that their parents couldn't afford. SO WHO CARES WHY I AM HERE ALONE!"
The movie started, thank you God! But I had to leave Will Smith a bit early. I am sure it has a great ending, but, hello Heather, what was I thinking? I think maybe I needed a light hearted movie, not, suicidal and depressing. I will see that movie, with someone else, and not on Christmas Eve alone. Damnit, why didn't Marley and Me come out on Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day!
I came home, read my new books, and went to sleep. Happily I might add.
This morning when I woke up, I started taking down all the Christmas decorations. I only did it out of boredom. I called all my family in Chicago, lied about what I was doing, called my children, gathered the dogs,and went for a very long run.
On that run I realized how lucky I truly am. I thanked God, my whole run for all the gifts that He has given me. I thanked Him for sending His only Son to be our savior. I thanked Him for my strengths. I am a very strong woman. I was never phased by spending my Christmas Eve and Christmas day completely and utterly alone, because I am blessed, we all are. We have just take a moment and realize all the gifts around us!
I am now off to find a restaraunt that is serving dinner on Christmas evening, and yes I am going alone! You guessed it, happily! May you all have a Merry Christmas, and love every minute of it, I did!
Causes Heather Hogan Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Breast Cancer Awareness