This month starts the months of holidays, beginning with this weekend’s Labor Day, progressing through my birthday, then on to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, then into the hardest months of his birthday, the anniversary of his death, and Valentine’s Day.
Most people would think that by now, three and a half year’s later, it would either be easier or I’d have found a “new normal”. And in many ways, I have. This year, I’ve decided to throw myself a birthday party. When it comes down to it, I’m tired of missing out, tired of crying, and tired of waiting for or thinking others will care or do anything.
That probably sounds harsh, and I know in some ways it is, but it boils down to that I’m not anyone else’s responsibility, nor should I be. But you know what makes it all so difficult? That after 25 years of belonging to someone, I no longer belong to anyone. Oh, sure, I’m still my son’s mother, but my job for him is to be his soft place to land, not his responsibility. That will happen in another 25 or 30 years.
Of all these holidays, my birthday will probably be the easiest. We always did holidays up big, even Halloween. We’d plan our costumes, go to a party, and have fun giving out candy. The other holidays have become non-events. Thanksgiving has gone from a huge celebration with parents, siblings, and a table surrounded by people to just me with a turkey leg watching movies. Christmas is quiet now, and of course, I buy my own gifts.
It makes for a difficult reality and pulls between memories of special times, what should have been, and what life is now. Most of the time I feel like a giant bulldozer, just powering through. Even now, after three and a half years, I can’t help thinking that if I just make it past this date, then the next stretch will be easier. The reality is that it will never be the same. And while I’m waiting for whatever it will become, it’s still just a time to get through. The one saving grace (pun intended) has been my faith. At least with each of these holidays, there’s a holy day associated, and I can put my focus on that.
Again, I’m not posting this for sympathy or to beg invitations or suggestions. This is just reality. For now. And for now, I have a party to plan! If I want things to change, then I know I have to instigate the change.