The past two Christmases have been difficult. Two years ago I was still reeling from Steele's death and last year my mom was terminally ill and I couldn't even see her at Christmas time because I had the flu.
This year also had all the hallmarks of being a lousy Christmas- it was my first without my mom and Belle, my beloved Aussie died a few weeks ago.
But do you know what?
I'm doing okay.
I miss my mom but she was ready to go and her life at the end was hard and painful for her. My brother and I were able to be there with her in last few hours. I loved Belle and she had a great life with us and died in my arms knowing she was loved.
Ed is being so incredibly careful with me this year- he's become Mr. Christmas and that is not his normal attitude towards this holiday (he doesn't like a lot of fuss). But he knows that I love Christmas. I always have. As I age it's not about the excitement or the presents but about spending time and finding love and laughter with my family. I think I got that from Mom. She loved Christmas too and tried to make it special for my brother and I even though we had very little. But I don't remember having little, I remember playing with my new toy horse and eating the tangerine in the bottom of my stocking. Trust me, it wasn't some Hallmark Movie- we squabbled, were annoyed and all that but that's not what I remember.
In fact I'm doing more than okay.
I came home on Thursday and I don't have to go back to work until Wednesday. Ed had a special surprise for me: he made a dinner of lobster, Caesar salad, bread and shrimp. We ate and had a glass of wine and talked about absolutely nothing special at all. It was the comfortable conversation of two people who have been together for most of their adult life. It was perfect.
I went out to the barn to do the evening chores. I contentedly picked out the stalls, topped up water, refilled hay racks and prepared the night feed. I wasn't hurrying -much to Miss Carmen's annoyance because she was literally starving (dramatic mare is dramatic). d'Arcy was supervising and generally making sure that everything was ship shape.
I slipped out the back barn doors and walked up to the top of my hill, d'Arcy at my side. I stood there looking out at my little farm and breathed in the quiet air and just let myself be still. d'Arcy sat with me, not understanding why I wasn't working but happy enough to keep me company and survey the property. I realize that being happy is not about the perfect life or family or freedom from grief and pain. It's about absorbing all of that and realizing that the imperfections and loss are because of connections made and love given freely.
Happiness at this point in my life is richer and deeper and has a resonance that wasn't possible 20 years ago.
I breathed in the air of home and it was good.
|I usually do a hat photo shoot but this year I was not ready for a photo without Belle|
so I am using this card again this year.