It's traditional for us to take down the Christmas lights and tree on New Year's Day. I will miss the lights and the tree, but I have to say that I'm glad Christmas is over. It was relatively free of pain, except for Christmas day.
On Christmas morning, we fixed a nice breakfast and my wife unwrapped her gifts. I surprised her with a few things this year, even though we had agreed not to buy each other anything. I simply had to get her some things for her stocking and a few other odds and ends. All of that was happy.
The sad part came when we visited her parents. Her mother didn't recognize either of us. She talked a bit but was pretty much focused on not eating her lunch. We didn't stay long. Then we drove to the nursing home to visit C.'s dad. He was in bed and wasn't feeling well. So we left his presents there for him.
No matter how hard I try, the expectation of Christmas day seems to get to me. Both of us were sad about the parents. We know that there is nothing that can be done, but it is still hard to see them in such decline. On Christmas night, I felt so very sad.
I thought about my parents who were married near Christmas. And that my mother used to show me an old perfume bottle that held Nuit de Noel (Christmas Night) which was a gift from my father to her. I had thoughts of my parents, missing them, and wondering what it is like to be over 90 years old, sick in body and demented as my wife's parents are. And I wondered how I would get through hosting a party the next day.
Even though the day after Christmas was rainy and windy, both of us felt better as if the weight of previous day was past. By the afternoon, the rain had stopped, and the day turned clear and sunny. We had a great time at the party, enjoyed seeing others have a good time, and were happy for so many friends in recovery. I think that filling the house with people is a good idea. Their presence chases away the memories of past Christmases that this year seem too much.
So on this eve of New Year's eve, I feel content. The lights are still up. It's cold outside but a warm fire is burning in the house. I have had a good weekend of reading and relaxing. I went to a couple of meetings, including an open AA speaker meeting. I feel back in balance.
One of the important things that I've learned in recovery is that if I feel sad, I can share it because someone out there will know exactly what I am talking about and will be feeling just as sad/lost/alone as I do. The friends that I have now were strangers to me at one time. Who knows what friends I will have tomorrow.