Today was the day.
We had a few errands to run, as we do most weekends, and while we were out we asked our youngest, Shawn Michael, to “bring up Christmas” from the basement.
Six bins. Four trees. Several small boxes. It filled more than half our living room. Then we put on a Christmas music playlist and started working.
I don’t know whether it was the fluffing of the trees, or the placement of the ornaments that got me first. Maybe it was Shawn Michael asking me what my favourite Christmas song is (Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, the Judy Garland version) but I was not surprisingly hit with emotion and nostalgia.
The kids tree, as we’ve affectionally called it for years, is the one that has all the ornaments the kids have ever made from pre-k on. And I realized that one day not too far away, it would also be the grand kids tree. That it would be Shawn and I decorating alone as we waited for our kids to come home with their families. Suddenly I was missing my daughter Keisha so keenly that my breath caught. And then I thought, what if Shawn hadn’t survived those heart attacks? Would we still be here, in this house? Would I even want to celebrate this holiday which to me, is all about my family, every year?
I was fully crying. Standing in my living room, Judy’s rich voice filling the air and grateful for those I have in my life.
My husband came in and hugged me without another word. He knows me well enough to know that some days I will just be filled with emotions that I can’t contain and I just have to feel them. Christmas being high season for this for me.
I have no regrets now about my life. The good and the bad. It’s all brought me here. Regrets were all well and good in my earlier years but I’ve finally learned at 41 to live in the present. To live my truth every day and to truly appreciate the ones I love. If that love leaks out my eyes more than usual, so be it.
I wish you all the same love which today fills my heart. This season, and all the year through.