Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Carol

I guess you could say, it started right after Thanksgiving this year.  I knew that Christmas was coming.  Well, I always know it's coming, but I knew that this year was going to be difficult.  So, I decided, unconsciously mind you, to run.  To run and run and run as fast as I could.  In retrospect, I don't know if I thought I could out run it or not.  All I know is I was running a lot. 

Dad came down for Thanksgiving.  My relationship with Dad is awesome.  We can talk about everything and nothing.  We can sit and be quiet and not talk too.  There's never any pressure.  We are just us and it's wonderful.  His visit flew by.  But then, I got ready for my Mom's visit.  Her first visit here in four years.  The first time I was going to see her (minus two hours last August).  In the midst of getting ready for her visit, I worked nine glorious days this month.  Totally awesome.  I booked myself choc full of activities.  Before Mom's visit, I had dinner with some of my chrp sisters and also attended our church's annual Christmas luncheon.  Again, it was beautiful.  It's something that my friend Tina and I do every year.  Then, my Mom came.

Her visit was awesome.  It was bittersweet.  My Mema was missing.  My Mom brought lots of pictures and things that belonged to my Mema.  My favorite being her afghan that's older than I am.  I have had many childhood naps under.  The first few days of her visit were full of stuff, friends of mine to introduce her too, cookie exchanges and lunches.  I was bound and determined that she was going to meet as many of my friends as she possibly could.  All the ones that I talk about to her all the time.  The thing about running is when I run, I really don't realize I am running till I'm like in the middle of a marathon and look up at an aww crap moment.  And, of course, this marathon was no different.  At one of my lunches, I turned into the worst version of myself.  It was like it was an out of body experience and I could only watch in horror as it happened.  I inadvertently insulted one of my very close friends.  Who to make matters worse was having a bad day herself.  Of course, when I do something, I go all out, whether it's good, or in this case, amazingly bad.  In addition to insulting my friend I mortified two other of my closest friends.  It was a banner day for me.  The insulted friend and I were okay almost immediately.  I cried for two days.  Straight.  For two whole days I was in my tent and not even George, God, or chocolate and beer could bring me out.  I was so far in my tent that it worried George.  Which usually, when I go in my tent doesn't worry him too much.  However, this time, he was really worried.  He'd look into my eyes and see that I wasn't in there, that I was somewhere else.   I was the one who was mortified that I acted so unkind and so unlike me.  I was terribly afraid that I hurt the other two friends beyond all reason and that the devil was right all along, they were too good to be true, and God, like I always said, realized that I truly don't deserve them.   After two days, I came out of my tent.  After all Mom was here.  I'm so good, I could spend time with her and talk about everything and never leave my tent.  Then, only after I came out did I talk to her about it. 

While she was here, it was the third anniversary of my Mom Carol's death.  Then, there were more parties and shopping and going and going and going.  Then, the next thing you know, it was time for her to go.  That was really gut wrenching.  She left on Wednesday.  Christmas was coming in only four days.  I couldn't run for much longer.  My whole season of advent whet to you know where in a beautifully wrapped Christmas box.  Our nightly Advent   prayers only lasted two and a half weeks.  My three teenage monkey's were going all bananas.  I was barely holding it together.

Then, last night was the beginning or our Annual Guffey/Schafer Christmas spectacular.  We went over to my Carol's house before Mass for dinner.  Then, we went to Mass.  Our entire Guffey/Schafer family takes up one whole row!  Mass was so hard.  I can't really tell you what Fr. Tuan's homily was about.  I will tell you it seemed like he droned on for 25 minutes.  Mass was running so late they cut down some of the prayers.  It was weird.  I was sitting next to my niece Elizabeth whose 8 and my George.  I would look over at George and he knew I wasn't okay.  Then, I'd look down at Elizabeth and she'd just lean on me and give me hugs.  I think she might have known I needed them.  Then, when I got home from Mass last night, I called my Mom.  I just cried and cried and cried.  All the running I did.  All the avoiding.  All the going and going and going, didn't stop Christmas eve from coming.  I was missing Mema so much I could barely breathe.  Then, late, late last night, my sister texted me.  She was missing Mema too.  We spent some time commiserating.  It was truly comforting. 

Then today, we had our Guffey/Schafer Christmas dinner and invited our friends the Jones'.  They're awesome.  At one point, My Carol looks directly into my eyes and says, "are you walking?"  I tell her 'No.  I'm firmly planted afraid to go anywhere".  It's really is comforting having her know me so well.  Sometimes, even better than George.

So, George and I went to bed at O'dark thirty only to be woken up at the buttcrack of dawn by the kids.  I couldn't fall asleep for the longest time.  So, I talked to God.  I was going to tell Him what I wanted for Christmas.  But then, I asked Him for things for my friends.  I know what my friends deepest desires are and I asked for them by name.  And then, for all the ones that I couldn't remember I asked Him to give them what He knew they needed.  And, then I told Him, I'd be perfectly alright if He would give one of my very closest friends their deepest desires this year instead of anything for me for Christmas.  Then, I told Him how much I love Him.  How I'm glad He was born and that to tell Mema how much I love her and how very much I truly miss her.

Now, the presents are all opened, friends and family have come and gone.  The sugar crashes have happened and the kids are blissfully quiet and I am in a food coma.  This month has gone by in a blur.  I am thoroughly exhausted from all the cooking and shopping and wrapping and especially the running.  All of the running.  I can't sit still you see.  For if I do, then I think, and that is just no good for anyone.  Especially me and my heart.  Which is actually funny b/c this month has been ridden with anxiety.  Maybe next year won't be so bad.  Maybe some day I realize I can't outrun anything and just go back to walking.  A new year is only a week away and miracles can happen.

Until next time,
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of blessings and love.  I love you all dearly and Thank God for each of you <3


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