Christmas Eve To The New Year

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog but I’ve been feeling rather uninspired and have had trouble getting my thoughts together. I spent most of today reading though, so I feel like I can possibly post something worth reading today. 

Where to start….ah christmas eve. 

Part One: Christmas Eve

Every year my family (mom’s side of the family) has a get-together with the grandparents and the aunts and uncles and whatnot. We all met up at my uncle’s house and we had dinner as usual and enjoyed each other’s company. At these family get-togethers there are two tables: the large dining room table and the small foldable card table. You guessed it, the smaller table is the table for the kids, we always refer to it as “The Little Table.” For my entire life I have always been seated at The Little Table. I was always the youngest grandchild until I was ten years old and my cousin, Christian was born. Then three years after him, his sister heather was born. You would think that now that I am considerably older than the two youngest grandchildren, I would be promoted to The Big Table. Nope. I am still seated at The Little Table, making sure the kids eat all their vegetables and listening to their imaginative stories. Every time we have a family get-together, I think that maybe I’ll sit at The Big Table with all the adults (especially this past year since I finally  turned 18 last June) and become slightly disappointed when I realize I’ve been mistaken. But always after sitting with the kids for a while, I am glad to still be seated at The Little Table. It gives me a chance to see what’s going on with the little ones and to see how they’ve grown. I especially appreciated it this year. You see, my late mother adored children. She loved children more than pirates love treasure. She especially loved those children. She played with them, she took care of them, she taught them, and she pretty much helped raise them until she died. When she was alive, I always knew what was going on with the kids because she would always get updates from my aunt and pass all the news on to me, or she would go babysit them and tell me all the cute things they said and did. 
      So, on christmas eve this year, as I filled my plate with christmas dinner hoping to sit at The Big Table, I glanced at my little cousin, Heather and she smiled and eager smile and said “Andrea! Sit by me!” as she tapped her hand on the place setting next to hers. I smiled back at her, while inside I was a bit frustrated. But as I sat down, I remembered my mother. Well, it’s not like I had forgotten her or anything, but I remembered her…more. I remembered specifics. I remembered how thrilled she would be to sit there next to that little five-year-old girl. I remembered all the time she invested in her, and in me. I sat there and conversed with Heather, listening to her small voice as she talked about princesses and her school friends. And in that moment I felt that I was in the place of my mother. I felt her loving emotions, I thought her caring thoughts, I listened intently just as she did. It was such a peaceful feeling. 
     We finished our plates and the children ran off in a hyper excitement, staring at the presents under the tree. I walked over to The Big Table and sat next to my great aunt. We all watched as the kids opened their gifts. Then it was the adults’ turn. One of my aunts had given some presents that were to multiple persons and one of those was to my father and I, so I moved to a seat next to him which was more toward the back. We opened the present at the same time that everyone else opened it (we all got the same thing from her). It was an ornament with a poem. It was supposed to be like a letter from my mom to us from heaven. I found it to be extremely depressing and cried for a while. That night, it seemed that most my presents had to do with my mom. It was like they thought I had forgotten and wanted to put it all back in my face. I know the intentions were good ones, but I think their way of dealing with things are different from mine. To me it seems that they keep dwelling and drowning in their sorrow, while I am just doing my best to keep moving forward. While I do like to remember her, I don’t think it is a good idea to constantly morn for her.
     While we were finishing up with the presents and talking to each other, my phone rang. It was my brother! If you didn’t know, my brother is a marine and he is in Japan right now. It was so good to talk to him! I passed the phone around so everyone else got to talk to him too. So it was kind of like he was there for a little bit. 
     When all the relatives had left except my father and I (and of course my aunt, uncle and little cousins who lived there), my dad went outside with my uncle to have a cigar with him, my aunt went to her room to get ready for bed and I stayed and played with the kids. Heather and I played Barbies while Christian used his action figures to “attack” us. It had been so long since I had really gotten to spend time with them. I don’t think I’ve actually played with them since my mother died. Here and there, Christian would mention my mom and it made me feel good. I’m so glad that they remember her.

Part Two: Christmas

On Christmas day my dad had to work at the fire station. He works out in the desert so it’s about an hour and a half drive. When he works at the fire station he works 48 hours straight, so he leaves early in the morning and spends the night and whatnot. He worked last christmas too, so last year it was just me and my mom on christmas morning (my brother was in Japan then too). Since this was my first christmas without my mom, I decided to go to the fire station with my dad so I could be with him for christmas. I originally planned on following him there when he left for work at around 5:00 a.m. but when he woke me up I was exhausted so I decided to just drive there myself later on in the morning (mind you, I went to bed at 1 a.m. prior). I left the house at around 9:30 a.m. The drive was a long one for me as I usually only have to drive to places 15 to 30 minutes from my house. The weather was horrible too; the winds were strong and the rains were hard. I had to really focus. I listened to Sufjan Stevens christmas music the whole way there, I think that really kept me going. When I finally arrived at the station my dad walked me around and introduced me to people I already knew (haha). I talked with some of them for a while then watched them do their gift exchange. When they finished, my dad and I went into his room and gave each other the gifts we got for each other and just talked for a little bit. Then two of the firemen’s wives came and we all had dinner together. It was a rather odd christmas. It really didn’t feel like christmas at all; it just felt like I was visiting my dad at work for no particular reason. I started the drive home at around 4:30 p.m. The weather had gotten a lot worse. I struggled to keep my vehicle in my lane. I had to drive slow in order to keep control. I got home at around 6:20. That drive was ridiculously long. When I got home I felt like I never wanted to drive ever again (the feeling wore off in a couple of days, thankfully).
      I had planned on visiting my friends Sarah and Miguel after I got back from my dad’s work. They wanted to go to the movies and, much to my relief, they said they would drive me. It was so nice to see them again. So we went to the movies and saw Bedtime Stories. It was a cute movie. Then when we got out of the movie, I was feeling extremely tired even though it was only about 10:00 p.m. I felt like an old lady when I told them I was tired and wanted to go home for the night. 

Part Three: New Years eve

I didn’t really have much planned for new years. A lot of my friends were going to church, but my friend Jen had to work and got off at around 8:00 p.m. So I decided I’d just go to her house after she got off work so we would both have someone to hang out with for new years. We basically just stayed in her room and talked the whole time and didn’t even really celebrate the new year when it came. But it was nice to talk to her and whatnot. My other friend, Karen (Jen’s sister) came home sometime after midnight and the three of us just clowned around until I decided to come home. 
      I don’t really understand all the excitement about new years. It has no real meaning, it’s just a marker in time. We don’t celebrate new months or new weeks, so why do we celebrate new years? Some people say it’s a fresh new start, but I don’t see how that could be. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean the last year is erased. The new year is just a continuation of time. And by the end of this year, you’re going to be hoping for another “fresh start” in the year after that. So what is the point? We get all excited for a new year when we have no idea what the new year will hold. I certainly didn’t expect all the trials that came with this year. I hate to be a downer, but I really don’t get it. …..Happy New Year! lol

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