It’s Tough This Time of Year

Blue Heron
Blue Heron

For the last week or so, I’ve been tired and sad. At first I couldn’t figure out what was going on, then it dawned on me… This is my semi-annual down-in-the-dumps event… Two years ago, my parents came to visit. My mom was sick – she had breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones and she was in constant pain and in decline. They spent November and December with us. The last Thanksgiving and Christmas I would spend with my mom.

She bought so many things for my son (not just for Christmas) that there are things he still uses and clothes he hasn’t even grown into yet. It’s a nice reminder that she thought about so many little details.

I’ll never forget watching my mom play with my son back in 2013, he was barely 7 months old when they arrived… She was so frail, but she insisted on picking him up and hugging him one day. I panicked that she might get hurt. She didn’t care – it was something she needed to do. Truly needed. I understand that now.

My mom collapsed early on Christmas day, went to the emergency room, and insisted on coming home later that day because it was Christmas and she didn’t want to mess with her grandson’s big day! I don’t even remember what happened… It is such a blur. We put dinner together, we did presents, but I don’t know how. It was definitely for her. We later found out that there were more issues and I insisted that she have a doctor make sure she could fly home. They left in early January (2014).

That was the last time my son saw my mom/his grandmother. She died a few months later. I joke that it’s me and a bunch of dudes, but it’s really true. My son, my husband, my dad, and my father-in-law. My husband’s mother died in 2000. My son has missed out on grandmothers.

Soon, I’ll get myself out of the dumps and rally for my son. We’ll have a good holiday season, like we did last year. Me and the boys! But, for me, it starts out sad. My dad moved close to us – it’s good for him and for me. It’s definitely good for my son. He loves his Pop Pop!

What does any of this have to do with the picture at the top? We look for connections in this world, and I’ve created the weirdest one yet… My mom loved Blue Herons, and I occasionally see one when I go out for morning runs. Every time I see that bird, I think of my mom and it makes me smile. Then, one day, I saw the bird and said to myself, “Hi, mom.” I like to imagine that if you can see anything from the beyond, he is her vessel and she is keeping an eye on me. I know it’s weird, but I’m ok with that. I tried to get a picture one day… It’s hard to see, but that dark spot in the water (above the rocks) is him. Ah, well.


One thought on “It’s Tough This Time of Year

  1. Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful story. I am so very sorry for your great loss and emptiness during this time. I hope, as the years go on and your son gets older and starts to love the holidays, that you too are able to find a new-found joy in this time of year. I still won’t tell my son at 11yo that there isn’t a Santa Claus even when he asks because as far as I’m concerned, I AM Santa and he will always exist, :D. God bless.

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