“You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” Alice in Wonderland
It was six years ago I lost my mom. 1…2…3…4…5…6!!! And yesterday as my husband brought out the Christmas decorations, it hit me once again like a ton of bricks, she is not here.
Why did it come at me from out of the blue? This year has not been an incredibly festive one all around. Yes there have been moments of great joy, however big change and my reaction to it has made it even more of a challenge. So, where we would normally celebrate and bring out decorations for each holiday from Valentines to Thanksgiving, we took a pass because I did not have it in me to add one more thing to my plate. Putting up the backdrop to a creative holiday seemed more work than joy, so our hearts, pumpkins, leprechauns, ghouls and witches stayed behind as we zipped through the year. We even spent Thanksgiving away from home in a very non-traditional setting this year, so I am not sure that we missed it.
However, this year, even with the malaise of the ongoings in the world, natural disasters and the stress, we look forward to the glitter and the lights of Christmas as it has always been a time where hearts are lighter, the sharing of love is more prevalent and there is a certain magic in the air. How could we let it slip by without the holiday decorative cheer to match. So, when my husband brought up the boxes and boxes of ornaments and Christmas flare that we had collected over the course of our 20 year relationship, the smell from the mold that covered the majority of each beautiful memory hit us by surprise. It seems that Hurricane Irma did in fact do damage to our storage unit and 2 1/2 months later on a would be happy Sunday, we ended up throwing out each homemade ornament, each symbol of our time together as a couple, each gift given to me by my mom, one by one. So many flashbacks to when my mother was alive, the hope and excitement that we had starting out and when my children were very young. All the energy came at me literally like a wave that threatened to suffocate me if I did not let it out through my tsunami of tears. And I cried. I cried like I have not cried in a long time.
And for most of us who have experienced significant loss, it seems that this is the way it often goes as the healing continues, even after a lot of time goes by. And it feels like those who have not been affected can never truly understand until they walk through it themselves. It never really ends, the missing. I think this year was particularly difficult for me in that I needed her physical presence more than ever, as a sounding board, for support, for love. A lot of change, a lot of transformation, I was overwhelmed to say the least. Not knowing what comes next, dazed by the real understanding that life is precious, time is passing. But awakened to the consciousness that when “things” are ripped away dramatically, change is all that you can count on and it can be a good thing if you allow it. And maybe what I needed more than anything was to let out all the disappointment and sad of the past broken promises for my life to make room for the spark of the unknown that will allow my dreams to find me.
I stood over the garbage bin heartbroken, not because of the material items that lay at the bottom, but because of the pain that accompanied the letting go of how I thought my life would be, growing older with my mother by my side. And knowing that some dreams must be laid to rest as things do not always happen as we wish them to unfold, I free myself to the great and endless possibilities that await. To start over again!
New memories made with those who are still in my life, new decorations purchased to bring light to my surroundings, and new directions to follow as it makes sense that I would end the year of transformation by starting with new beginnings all around. Doesn’t mean that it does not hurt in the process, just means that this too shall pass into something even better if I allow it. And then the realization comes, my mother probably has her loving hands in all of this anyway! Let the magic begin!