Home > Family, holidays, Life, love > Christmas can be OK.

Christmas can be OK.

For a long time, Christmas sucked for my family. My brother was killed by a drunk driver on December 19, 1998. With the chaos of his funeral and talking non-stop with police and lawyers, I don’t think my parents and I would have even acknowledged Christmas if the police hadn’t come to our house with a decorated tree. I remember being so touched by the gesture, but also feeling like the tree was painful to look at.

Since my mother was Jewish and my dad is a disillusioned Catholic, Christmas became less important in my house as my brother and I got older. After Scott died though, the holiday season evolved into an unbearable time of year for my parents. Instead of celebrating together, my parents would go to some tiny Caribbean country and I would return home from college to have a quiet day at my grandmom’s with my uncle and his family. Throughout college, I didn’t even know why I left UMass to come home at all.

Then in the spring of 2006, my mom died. Months later when Christmas rolled around, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was living in Georgia with my ex-boyfriend at the time and after a 13+ hour drive, we got to my dad’s and I was surprised to find that he got a tree. He bought all new decorations. He put on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass at full volume and we decorated the tree. In that moment, I felt like my dad decided that we were going to keep going no matter what.

After that year, Christmas was OK. My dad found someone new and slowly her family and our family started to spend time together. This year, I spent eight hours with my dad and his girlfriend’s family, eating too much, sitting by the fire, getting slobbered on by dogs, making dumb jokes, and checking out different kinds of arm locks on YouTube. I’d forgotten what it felt like to spend a whole day feeling so relaxed and comfortable, knowing as the day unfolded that today will end up being one of my favorite memories.

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Categories: Family, holidays, Life, love
  1. Anna
    December 25, 2011 at 21:14

    That’s really wonderful to hear. 🙂 Thank you for sharing, Lori. I’m really glad that you’ve been able to have a day filled with good memories. Sending many happy holiday wishes to you!

  2. December 25, 2011 at 21:15

    Thanks for a meaningful post. My friend lost her sister much earlier in life and things were never the same again for her family. However, when one is aware that our consciousness survives death, things can heal slightly faster.

    I believe life creates many circumstances for our experiencing and our soul growth. We learn to live on despite whatever challenges are on our paths.

    Great to know you and your Dad are celebrating again!

    Best wishes for the New Year!

  3. December 25, 2011 at 23:30

    That’s great to hear Lori and fun to read too. For me, I had a pretty bad case of the blues this Christmas, but I got out of it as the day wore on and ended it quite happily with Don, Sara and my neighbor Jan. It was fun and we watched Horrible Bosses.

  4. December 26, 2011 at 09:01

    I’ll never forget that funeral. You, a floating pixie trying to comfort us all. But i looked into those soulful eyes of yours and saw your pain, uncertainty, sadness. I wondered who would help you?
    I am glad that the universe has brought you to this new, healing place. Despite the dog slobber, it is where you are meant to be. May your laughter grow this time of year and year round, may the decorations shine more brightly, may you feel Scott’s warmth with you. And may you continue to be a happy, floating pixie….xok

  5. December 26, 2011 at 09:53

    Pretty amazing journey, Lori. I’m glad things have come so far. Best for a Happy New Year and many more armlocks in the future.

  6. Jeannie
    December 26, 2011 at 15:01

    I’m so happy to hear this, Lori. I’m so glad we were all together and had such a good time tio I haven’t laughed and smiled ao much in a long time. Love you.

  7. December 26, 2011 at 23:30

    Thanks, everyone. I hope this time of year finds you well.

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