Christmas is just a few days away, and holiday travels have already commenced. For me, its just another reminder that my family is gone. I’m actually lucky, in that I have a friends that I will be spending the holidays with, and that makes me happy.
Holidays have been especially tough for me, not just the Christmas/New Years time, but Thanksgiving, my birthday, July 4th… All of those days we did something special, either as a family, or just my ex and me. For instance, for many years while my son was at summer camp, the ex and I would travel to Valley View Hot Springs near Villa Grove, Colorado. This natural area is a very peaceful place, with several places to soak in natural hot springs, or enjoy the giant natural water warm swimming pool. There is also a giant bat cave (tours available), and photographic opportunities abound! I have one photo I took of my ex that was so good (at least to me) that I contracted an artist to make a rendition of it… unfortunately, I’ve never received the portrait, and it looks like I never will. I’ve only been back to VVHS one time since she left, and it was just too painful to stay.
Add to the pain of the holidays is the fact that I have rented my house, and am moving out this weekend. I will stay with my friends family as long as they will have me, and if they kick me out, I will find a small apartment near my work. Renting the house allows me to get away from the memories, and gives me time for the economy to improve so I can eventually sell the house. And it gives me the impetus to finally get rid of a lot of junk. But its very painful to know that I won’t be staying in the house that I have had for the past 15 years. It was a happy time when we bought the house, but those times are in the past.
I guess this is the final transition out of my married life, and I’m not very happy about it. I still think about what I could have done differently to keep my ex with me. I know there are things I did that were not good, and I wish I could take them back, but alas, that is not going to happen. I have apologized to her for most of the things I did, but it was obviously not enough.
So, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year… whatever the holiday you are celebrating, I hope it is a good one. And please remember those who have had transitions in their lives, no matter what time of year, as this season they are hurting… even if they say they aren’t.
When I was married, my ex would make goodie baskets for all my co-workers. There were snacks, candy, and usually a cute trinket or candle included. I always got a kick out of giving those baskets away. I also remember the great foods we had for Christmas at whoever’s home was hosting that year. Her grandmother made the absolute best fudge in the world. I still salivate when I think about it. There will be fudge again this year, but I won’t be around to sample it. The kids would all go caroling after sunset on Christmas Eve, and while they were gone, Santa would magically appear, and leave lots of goodies. It was always fun getting stuff ready to go. Then we would eat, open presents, visit, and then head to bed. Christmas Day was a time of more food, more fellowship, and maybe some football on TV.
But I haven’t had any of that in many years now. This will be the third Christmas since the divorce. Sure, I will be a part of my new family’s celebration, but I will still feel a bit outside. I’m pretty sure that my girlfriend’s daughter doesn’t want me around to spoil the day, and I can’t blame her for that.
I’m trying to convince my son that he needs to make the trip down to see his mom and the rest of the family, but he is very reluctant to go. He still feels abandoned by his mother, and unfortunately, he is letting that feeling affect how he interacts with the rest of the family, and I’m very sad about that. I just don’t know what to tell him so it will be okay.