I used to love this time of year. I would always look forward to the family get-togethers, the food made with loving hands, the warmth of memories and memories being made. In my youngest years, I didn’t understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas, but of course, as I grew older, I began to understand more and appreciate the real reasons for celebrating the holidays.
I would even get excited about going shopping, seeing all the people out, the festive lights and trees, decorations everywhere you looked, Christmas music playing in every store. If it was snowing just a little bit during those trips, that made it even better, especially at night.
After I got married the first time and Jordan came along, we would hop in the car after dark and go to different places and look at the all the houses lit up with lights and yard decorations.
The day after Thanksgiving, the Christmas tree would go up and get decorated, much to the delight of Jordan and our cat. After it was up and all decorated, I would light the gas logs in the fireplace, cut the lights off, turn the tree lights on and just sit there and stare at it, feeling the warmth from the fire on the outside and the warmth of love and family on the inside.
Over the intervening years up to now, all of that has drastically changed. I no longer look forward to the holidays, I dread them. They are an especially dark time of the year for me. Somehow, the darkness that has taken root in my heart and soul somehow gets darker, deeper and colder.
This is the first Thanksgiving in I don’t know how many years that I’m not going to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Well, not one like I usually make anyway. I did buy a turkey breast at the beginning of the month and a few things to make a dinner, but as the month has progressed, so has my depression, now to the point of I just don’t care.
Don’t get me wrong, I AM thankful for what I DO have, it’s what I don’t have, or have lost is a better way to put it, just overwhelms everything else. Not long ago, just last week in fact, I lost yet another very loved and cherished Aunt. Although I didn’t get to see her very often I loved her with all my heart and have many special and sweet memories of her.
I sit here day in and day out and watch my sweet momma recede further and further away from me, and knowing there is nothing I can do about it, other than to make sure she is well taken care of, just adds to an already spiraling out of control depression.
When I walk out on the porch and look around me, all I see is death. Above me, my cousin Jim, whom I depended on for a lot of things and he depended on me. Just out the road, my Uncle and Aunt, both of whom were always there, where I grew up, the man that taught me practically everything, gone.
Just down the road, my oldest brother, whom mom and I both depended on, loved and cherished, gone. A little further out the road, another loved cousin, gone.
The brutal sting of betrayal and divorce still bears heavily on my mind and heart. It was truly said that if it had to be, it is better to lose a spouse to death than to divorce, for to lose one to death, you don’t have to see them again in this life, especially if there is a child involved. You don’t have to be constantly reminded of that past life, a life that was lost, one that you believed would never end.
I scroll through Facebook at all the posts, the well wishes, the happy this or that’s and a small part of me smiles inside. I see all the pictures of family get-togethers, friends out and about, having a good time and being happy and I remember a time that that was me.
But that Me is no more. That Me started to fade away on November 11th, 2001 and has now pretty much faded completely away, gone for all time. All that is left is this shell of a once happy man, the light inside consumed by the darkness of depression, and anxiety. My capacity to trust forever broken and my ambition completely destroyed.
I’m a dad to two sons and a granddad to one grandson. One son and my grandson I never get to see, but that’s understandable and I place no blame on them at all. I just miss them terribly. The other son I get to see every other week and of course I place no blame on him, but when he’s not here I miss him terribly as well.
I feel alone and lonely. I feel as if I have no place to call my own or where I truly belong. I guess I just don’t feel like I belong. I know momma needs me, I know my sons love me and need me, but even knowing this isn’t enough to break through this impenetrable wall of despair I find myself trapped behind.
Am I feeling sorry for myself? I don’t think so, but maybe I am. Am I looking for attention? Definitely not. Am I throwing a pity party? Nope.
I have this storm of emotions raging inside of me and the only way I can prevent them from totally consuming me is to write about it.
I DO want all my family and friends to have the best holiday season ever, and keep us in your thoughts and prayers.