The SADNESS of a CHRISTMAS PAST reappears, but only briefly, not as a 6-week block of time. It’s likely triggered by a song on a playlist. It passes as quickly as it comes and it’s all okay.
“All okay” is the refrain of people like me. There was a character on Grey’s Anatomy who kept saying “I’m fine, I’m fine.” I try to be careful about that. (Meredith. It was Meredith.)
On Saturday, I attended a Christmas luncheon and stayed the whole time. Victory!
Last year I showed up, but left before it began. The mix-and-mingle time beforehand was too much of a freefall for me. Nobody did anything wrong. Everyone was lovely. There were just so many happy mother-sister-daughter/daughter-in-law combinations there that it made the big hole in the middle of my family seem more pronounced. I wore myself out smiling, wishing the program would begin. When the greeting time was being extended another 30 minutes, I knew I couldn’t do it. I had to get out of there. I needed some fresh air. Under pretense of making more room on the table, I picked up the large cheesecake I’d purchased at the bake sale and carried it out to my car. But when I got to the car, I just got in and drove off. I don’t think that was my plan when I stepped outside. It just came over me at the car. MAJOR FAIL!
Next day in church, I told the young woman who sits by me what I’d done.
“Next time, we’ll go together,” she said.
* * *
Two weeks ago, she came to me and said, “I bought my ticket for the luncheon, have you? Remember, we said we’d go together.”Golly, I can’t tell you how nice it was that she remembered!
So on Saturday I gave it another try AND I made it all the way through AND I was glad I went. One year is not the same as another, not unless we insist it be. A sadness that was once all-consuming is now fleeting. Give it another year and it will be a distant speck, there but not dominating.
I do think there’s something in at least trying.
I got a do-over on a major fail and things turned out differently.
Courage is important. Also, knowing when you’re at your limit. Also, having a friend to tell and then telling.