God’s been pushing me to write about this for weeks, so here we go…
Usually I post some funny story about my mom around this time of year, but I am just not in the mood. I feel like to do so is covering up how I honestly feel.
The faster December goes by, the better. I want to crawl under the covers and wake up on January 1st. It’s silly, but it’s honest.
I hate that I feel this way because the holiday is supposed to be about Jesus. It’s supposed to be about God’s promise to us, a savior. It’s supposed to be a day to celebrate his birth with our families and the wonderful gift that God gave the world. I’ve been reading a lot of Luke to remind myself of this, to remind myself of what it’s really all about.
All I can think about is how much I miss my mother and wish she were here.
Christmas was her holiday. She LOVED Christmas and she went all out for it every year. Even on her last Christmas here, she was all smiles despite the pain she was in from cancer.
Everything about this holiday makes me long for her. There are so many awesome things going on in my life right now, and all I can think is “God, why couldn’t she stay? Can I borrow her for a bit? I know Heaven is awesome and all, but can she visit for just a day?”
There are so many things I wish she could be here for right now. Christmas is definitely one of those things.
It’s small things that I miss. We would spend nights visiting neighborhoods just to see Christmas lights. We went to all the holiday lighting events. We’d watch them on TV. She’d buy tons and TONS of lights each year to add to the already massive ball of lights we had from previous years. Did those lights from previous years actually work? Not at all. Half of them lit up, but she still held on to them and put them up every year.
Me: Mom, these lights don’t work.
Mom: Okay then, we’ll go to Walmart and pick up some more.”
Me: Can we throw out the ones that aren’t working?”
Mom: No, I can put those up outdoors.
Me: But they don’t work. Only half of them light up.
Mom: They still light up don’t they? We’ll put them up outdoors…
Me: Mom, that’s really ghetto.
Mom: No it’s not. It’d be ghetto to put them on the tree.
Me: Fine. But I am not going to untangle that ball of lights.
When I went through my moms house after she passed, there was a massive box of christmas lights. MASSIVE. It was a tangled, crazy ball of lights that would have taken ages to untangle. And less than half of them lit up. I threw them out. I may get smacked by mom when I get to Heaven, but not even Jesus could save those lights (nor would he want to).
As much as she loved Christmas lights, she loved Christmas trees even more. We ALWAYS had a tree (a REAL one) every Christmas. She would keep the tree up well past Christmas to the point the thing was not only a fire hazard, it was a weapon.
There were numerous times my sister and I would be found on the floor, whimpering because we stepped on a dry christmas needle.
The funny thing about my mom is that she never used the same ornaments. NEVER. Each year our tree had a new theme or color. We’d have a huge discussion on what colors should be on the tree that year and then we’d go out and shop for ornaments for the theme we selected.
One year, my mom wanted to dabble in Kwanzaa, so she made these handmade ornaments out of Kente cloth. They were pretty cool. When she realized that Kwanzaa was a week long and involved handmade gifts for each day, she said that having a christmas tree with african print ornaments on it was Kwanzaa enough.
Even when she could not afford it, somehow we always had a tree. One year, she could not afford to get us a tree in time, so she decorated this random palm tree she had with lights and ornaments. I was six, my sister was three, and I remember her telling us that Santa brought us a tree from Florida this year. We accepted the palm tree, but she could tell that we wanted a real one. I don’t remember how she pulled it off, but she brought in a christmas tree later than evening. We were thrilled. I knew my mom had no money but she got that tree.
We did not have a lot of money at all growing up, but my mom made miracles happen on Christmas. We never lacked. We always had food. We always had something under the tree. We always had fun or had something funny happening. We were always together. Even if she went without, we never did.
That’s how much she loved us and Christmas.
I visit Christmas tree lane, I see Christmas tree lights and decorations, and I fight back tears. I do Christmas related activities with friends, coworkers and pray that I don’t turn into a sobbing mess. It’s been over four years and this holiday STILL hurts. I’m relatively okay on Mother’s day and her birthday. But December…Christmas hurts.
I go back to Psalms 147:3 and read:
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Well Lord, brokenhearted. Wound. Heal please.