Author Topic: Christmas shopping mood swings  (Read 2970 times)

barb0617

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Christmas shopping mood swings
« on: December 22, 2007, 12:54:30 PM »
Hi All - Yesterday I decided I was ready to handle starting ( yes - I know it's 12/22...) some Christmas shopping.  One good thing about the present state of my life is that no one anywhere expects anything of me, so anything i'm able to put together is unexpected and especially appreciated.  All that pressure and stress of creating the perfect Christmas - not that i ever completely succeeded in the olden days of yore - well, i sure don't feel those pressures anymore.  So my daughters 27 and 24 - the younger moved home in July - were supposed to meet me for girls' night:  shopping at the mall , dinner, more shopping.  I rushed home from work and learned that they were out for a drink and conversation with Debbie's colleagues.  By the time they got home 2 1/2 hours after me I was like a deflated balloon, my strength and energy done for the day.  I had bolstered myself up to try to have a good time with them, but the delay did me in.  We went, had dinner, split up for some shopping, and i just wandered around leaking tears.  No shopping.  Still, I wasn't mad at them - i was just happy that they'd had some respite from their own grief.  Tomorrow a couple of Jimmy's fraternity brothers will visit for a while.  Those guys and their wives are so great to us - they're driving quite a distance from out of state to spend some time here.  And now each couple has a little baby, so it will be a happy time.  Fraternities get such bad press but it's nearly nine years since Jim was killed in the car accident (he was alone in the car, fell asleep at the wheel), but so many of his fraternity brothers are still very present in our lives.  Anyway, with company coming in tomorrow, I knew I had to get my act together today, now or never, and guess what - I did!  I actually got into it!  My Tom, when he was manic, liked to play with words and would greet everyone with "Cherry Mismas."  So I went to a kiosk and got ornaments personalized with Cherry Mismas.  Expensive but worth it.   The lady said, there must be a story to this, tell me.  I declined: umm, no, that's a story you don't want to hear.  She asked again, and I was proud of myself that I didn't tell her that Tommy's not around any more to say Cherry Mismas.   There's that piece inside me that wants to make others share my suffering.  And then there's the kind piece that says no, don't ruin her day.  I never know which one will prevail, and I'm pretty happy with myself that I was able to leave her smiling not reeling.  Then - I went to TJ Maxx and found a three foot mini skinny tree decorated with cherries!  I think they're really oversized cranberries, but it's close enough to me.  And then I found a wreath with the words "let's be jolly" so I bought that too.  The first Christmas without Jimmy I bought in a crafter's store a wooden wall hanging that said "No Pouting Zone."    You know, in the middle of this surprisingly productive shopping trip this morning, I thought to myself - what if something happened to one of us in the next year?  What kind of memories would we/they have of this Christmas?  I really don't mean that in a morbid fearful way, but as a means of strengthening and empowering.  After Jimmy died I wasn't much of a mother to my youngest who was only 15.  I know I did the best I could,  but I also know that for a while there, my best was not enough for her.  I remember that I read a post from a young woman who had lost a sibling years before.  She wrote to say that she never got her parents back after that.  She said she was writing to give a surviving sibling's point of view and hoped we would try to be present to our surviving children if we were blessed enough to have other children.  I remember that her words hit me hard and helped me to push myself a little harder along this journey we all share.   I've been walking the walk for nearly nine years and then went back to square one when Tommy ended his life in February.  I know full well that 10 minutes from now something could set me off and smash me down flat of my face sobbing again.  I'm grateful that this morning I had a few hours filled with happy moments.  I hope that you, my companions on the road, will be able to find a few moments of relief over the next week or so.  I'm glad we have each other.
Barb, mom of Jim (9/8/77-4/2/99) and Tom (1/11/76-2/16/07) and two beautiful daughters

Karen Paul

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Re: Christmas shopping mood swings
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 08:18:09 AM »
Barb - I agree with Judy - wonderful post and thank you so much for sharing it with us...

Cherry Mismas to you too ...

luv and hugs, Karen
Chris' aunt

Debh

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Re: Christmas shopping mood swings
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 08:33:36 AM »
Barb thank you for sharing I agree with the others wonderful post and cherish the good moments.

love
Deb

Jeanneb

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Re: Christmas shopping mood swings
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2007, 12:01:42 PM »
Barb,

I have to agree...great post and something to think about.  We take the good moments where they come and know all to well how they can change on a dime.

Holding you close to my heart,
Jeanne
Philip's mom

lainie

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Re: Christmas shopping mood swings
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 11:27:49 AM »
Cherry Mismas,
Elaine - Brynn's mom
My beautiful Brynn
Dec. 14/94 - Jan. 2/07