What a roller coaster week……….I’ve been busy planning and packing for our trip up to Canada for Christmas. So many feelings have been coming over me…..joy, excitement, anxiousness, sadness and even a bit of fear trying to sneak in. Yep, I said it!
When I called to tell my sister and brother I was coming for Christmas, they were really surprised and excited. My sister even told me that deep down she felt she needed and wanted me there with them but she would never tell me that and put pressure on me, she’s too sweet and kindhearted. Telling her and then her sharing with me how she felt, made me know for sure I had made the right decision to go. Again, I have to thank my husband that sees how much I need to be with my family and puts everything aside and supports me and loves me and makes my heart so happy.
With this being the first Christmas without my mom, I think it would be easier if all of us kids were together as I’m sure there are parts that will be very hard. As much as I’m excited to see my family, my niece and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, there’s one special person I won’t be seeing this trip, for the first time ever……my mom. And for the first time ever, the boys won’t be seeing nona……
My heart aches when I think of what will happen once we get there. Will they ask to go see Nona? Will they remember that she passed away in April? Will they want to go see her apartment, or go see where she is in the mausoleum? Will I have to explain all over again what happened to her and why she is not there? Those are all the hard parts that make me feel sadness and where fear tries to creep in. The unknown of how the boys will act and react and this is where I’ve been praying a lot for God to give me an abundance of wisdom, strength and His perfect peace.
Part of me is so full of emotion just thinking of Christmas Eve and no Mama Gemma – where she would make buckala (no idea how to spell it!!!) white spaghetti and tell us not to eat meat that day…..yet, I always did! Then Christmas Eve Mass and back to open Christmas presents while listening to “Boney M Christmas” – CLASSIC! All of us goofing around, sometimes having small food fights with peanuts (it made her act like Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond!) and just being silly, having fun and loving every minute of it! Then Christmas Day having dinner at 1pm and she would put out some Italian food, to represent her, some Ukrainian food to represent my dad, then all the turkey fixings to boot! I LOVE the way we ate and it’s really amazing that I’m not 200lbs!
I hold on to all of these fond memories and I wonder how this Christmas will be. My brother and sister will be at their in laws on Christmas Eve, so we will be alone with the boys……..right there is tradition done………ended…….and I’m crying as I write it because I guess I’m just not ready for things to change so drastically. Even though I know my mama is no longer in pain and no longer suffering, there’s just a part of me that wasn’t ready to say good bye and let her go. I miss her more then I probably say and there’s times I still get in the shower and cry so no one sees. My heart longs for her to say “Hi Michy” one last time. Losing my Papa Smurf was so hard and now they are both gone and there is a spot in my heart that aches for them although I know deep down that they are in a better place then being here suffering from cancer. It’s just the selfish part of me that wants one last hug…….
So my eyes turn to my husband and my boys…….and I want to make it a loving and memorable Christmas for them. Will there be tears? Probably…..but they need to see how much I love my mom and dad and that it’s okay to miss someone and it’s okay to cry. It’s just not okay to stop everything and dwell on what could have been and what you are not getting. I am blessed to have parents that I loved so much that I still miss them and cry because they were just that good to me. I am blessed to have an amazing husband who supports me and loves me through everything I’ve been going through this year and has such patience for it all. I am beyond blessed to have three healthy, active, loving boys that instinctively know when to hug me when I’m feeling emotional. That right there is a true gift from God.
So as hard as it is knowing there will be pain to deal with when I get to Canada, I also know that there will be so much joy to see all my family and friends and know that we can grieve together and also celebrate together. Writing this has helped me deal with what is coming. Today is also my Papa Smurfs birthday and I still miss him every year and think of him fondly and all his wonderful quirks that made me smile. Today I felt that maybe “speaking it” out in words how I’m feeling will now take away that fear……after all it does stand for False Evidence Appearing Real………..so why should I ever let that creep in.