This year will mark my forty-eighth Christmas during which time there have been numberless memories created. In many ways, it is a blur of memories from childhood and motherhood.
As much excitement as it has been receiving gifts, there has been so much more joy in being able to give to those I love…with this year being the exception.
It is strange actually. Alyssa and I have had such a hard and unhappy two years that we don’t feel any Christmas spirit at all.
Lights, trees and music have not spurred the usual emotions. Actually, we both feel a bit hollowed out inside.
I had started to feel guilty about it all until last night after Alyssa got home.
As we sat together in our pajamas keeping Bella and the eight-week old pup I have been dog sitting away from each other, the conversation was light and easy. Even without words, we were sharing the same feelings in many ways.
While we both puttered on our computers, I played music. For a long time, I kept clicking different YouTube videos of Michael Bublé – first Christmas music and then his just regular songs. When we had exhausted all the Michael Bublé music at quite an elevated volume, I put on my regular playlist of non-holiday songs which starts out with about ten Kenny G easy flowing saxophone arrangements.
Alyssa thinks his music is beautiful too and so we surfed, chatted and listened.
Well, that’s what we did until the silliness set in…
When Ambrosia started singing “How Much I Feel,” the mood suddenly changed.
I don’t know how this whole business started
Of you thinkin’ that I had been untrue
But if you think that we’d be better parted
It’s gonna hurt me but I’ll break away from you
Well, just give me the sign and I will be gone, yeahh
And that’s when Alyssa, the girl with the gorgeous singing voice, started to sing like a crazy girl with a terrible voice…
That’s how much I fe-e-e-e-el
Fee-e-e-e-el for you, ba-a-aby
Okay, she totally ruined the song and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Alyssa couldn’t keep singing either because she was laughing so hard. My “old” music wasn’t cutting the mustard.
While both of us laughed without breathing, I looked at this beautiful young woman and once again, like millions of times before, felt a surge of love and gratefulness that I am her mother. I am the one that has been able to watch her grow and share all these moments of life.
Every minute that I have lived being her mother has been the greatest moments of my life.
Alyssa has made me a better and happier person.
Although we didn’t do decorations and all the gifts she wanted probably won’t get here before Christmas tomorrow, we have made peace with our lack of emotions.
I don’t feel guilty any longer and Alyssa doesn’t either.
Instead, I am very grateful that we are both alive to share another holiday together and hopefully the rest of our family will feel the same way.
Tomorrow’s festivities and lack of “spirit” will become a blur and a small blip in our memories in comparison to many of those we’ve experienced in the past, but that’s fine. The most important thing of all is that I love Alyssa and my family and they love me back. It doesn’t take Christmas, gifts, decorations and lights to make those feelings validated.
This year it will be the love, compassion and shared moments that count.
It will be the breathless moments when I realize that Alyssa is alive and I’m also alive and that we are able to enjoy the day together. That memory and those feelings will always be strong and never blur.