I thought I had reconciled myself to losing my Mom this past September 16th. However, this Christmas season has brought back the depth of the loss all over again.
Christmas season was always my Mom's time of the year. Her birthday was on December 24th. On of my earliest memories is of my Mom asking me not to combine her Christmas presents with her birthday presents. Which is ironic because she never wanted me to buy her presents anyway.
But each year I would buy her many Christmas presents and a birthday present. I would always make sure to wrap her birthday present in birthday wrapping paper. None of this taking a short cut and pulling out one of her Christmas presents, wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper, and saying "Here, this ONE is for your birthday."
A few weeks ago I was strolling around the Dover Shopping Mall while I was waiting for a satellite radio to be installed in my new Subaru at the dealer in Dover. I usually migrate to J. C. Penney whenever I'm in a mall and this time was no exception. So there I am wandering through the Ladies section looking for a new warm bathrobe or nightgown for Mom. I always made sure to get her a nightgown that didn't have one of those lace trim collars. She said they irritated her neck. She also didn't want a nightgown with a plunging neckline because she said she could keep warm with her top half exposed. Do you know how hard it is to find such a nightgown? It's hard, believe me. Thus this was my annual challenge which I didn't mind at all because it was for my Mom.
So here I was, making the rounds through the aisles of the Women's department of J.C. Penney when I was jolted back into reality that my Mom is no longer here. This is hard for me. This is the first time in my adult life that I am not Christmas shopping for my Mom.
Many years ago I opted out of the Mandatory Christmas Shopping ritual. The only person I continued to shop for was my Mom. She told me over and over again "Don't buy me anything this year Ronnie because I don't need anything." Of course I always ignored her plea because this was my Mom after all.
Now I think of all those sweaters, nightgowns, bathrobes, jewelry, and other items that I bought for Mom that is now at Goodwill and the Salvation Army. The only things my brothers and I didn't give to charity that was my Mom's jewelry. That I will distribute to her nieces and grandnieces this spring when Bill and I visit South Carolina where they live.
I was feeling pretty sad after my visit to the mall so I called my brothers John and Isaac and told them. They told me they had similar feelings. Something would remind them of Mom and then they would realize how much they missed her. She was such a part of our lives, much more so than our father ever was.
Mom lived with Isaac at her home for ten years until she moved to John's place in South Carolina last October. John used to look forward to coming home and stopping in and spending time with Mom. Over the last thirty years or so he had seen or spent little time with her since he moved to Greenville, SC. Although Mom needed more care, John was appreciative that he could spend this time with her. He had almost a year with Mom. Now he says when he comes home and sees the empty room where she used to stay, he feels so sad. Probably sadder than he would have been if she hadn't moved in with him at all.
I guess there will be other times when it hits us especially hard that Mom isn't around anymore. This season seems to be the hardest though.