Change · Christmas · grief · Life · loss · Relationships · Thoughts · Words

A Not So Merry Christmas

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Sometimes holidays aren’t joyous. There is no anticipation of seeing parents, relatives, family. There’s no visiting people who love you and know you because they raised you. 

Sometimes holidays aren’t households full of families, long tables set for dinner where love is emulated over food and stacks of presents await opening under a lit tree. 

Sometimes holidays aren’t anything but empty days that remind you of all that you don’t have. As you look around you see and hear about other people’s plans and you feel like you have just experienced a great loss all over again. 

You envy the excitement, laughter, fullness of being loved by so many and you wonder what that would even feel like. To be surrounded so that you didn’t feel so lonely. To be noticed so that you didn’t feel so invisible. To be loved so that you didn’t feel so worthless. 

Every year, the holidays come and every year they take another piece of my heart. Especially when I see the sadness in my children’s faces as they too wonder why it is only us when others have so many.  I try to give them all of me but I know that it isn’t enough. They will grow up never knowing the love of extended family. If I could give them one thing it would be that. 

Instead we make do with our own little family. We put up the tree, decorate cookies, wrap presents and listen to Christmas songs. We do our best to make the best of what we do have, all the while knowing exactly what we’re missing.

Change · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Starting over · Thoughts · Words

That Road Trip

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Our trip started off perfect.

We traveled across the world and experienced a sort of freedom I’d only dreamed about.

We stopped at state lines to pose for pictures and stayed in dingy motels to sleep away the nights.

We had our whole lives ahead of us.

We were young and had no idea what we wanted out of life.

We thought we knew but isn’t that how most young people feel?

I cared about you so much but as the miles passed, so, it seemed, did our future together.

Instead of music blaring from the radio, the sound of happiness, the car began to fill with the noise of us yelling at each other in angry, bitter tones.

I suddenly felt trapped, like I’d rather be anywhere than here, next to you, on these strange roads, in this car.

Maybe if we would’ve just stayed friends… but I guess we thought that we could have more.

We used to have so much fun together, laughing ourselves into tears.

Staying out late, not in any hurry to get home.

Our friendship suddenly caught fire.

Those times, those memories, are faraway.

They seem like a lifetime ago.

By the time we reached our final destination, we tried to smooth things over but some things can’t be ironed out.

I ended up leaving you in the cold, as the snow fell.

Taking a flight back home.

We never really spoke again, although I’ve seen through social media that you are doing well, still living in the place where we last saw each other.

You were once a giant part of my days and now I hardly know you.

It’s strange how life ends up,

Someone you knew so intimately now a total stranger.

That road trip took us downturns we never saw coming and left us at a dead-end,

but I guess that was the plan all along,

or else I wouldn’t have met him, my now-husband.

You were just a part of my life where he is now my whole life.

You were just passing through, where he will stay a lifetime.

I sometimes think about you and the good times we had.

I hope you are out there, still doing great.

And in case you didn’t know I really once, cared a lot about you.

What we had…it was once something real to me.