A former teenage author turned twenty and her stabs at writing life and living to write.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Seventh Year of Christmas

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.
But there's a smile, a laugh, a voice missing there.

I may cry the day I take the tree down, but then again; I cry when I stand it up and decorate it too. So how am I to be trusted? Christmas is just one of those times of year, a time when I'm not in full control of the way I lash out or of the tears that fall at the most inconvenient of times. And this season now marks the seventh Christmas I've had to spend without my mom; the woman whose eyes twinkled brighter than any light around the holidays.

And it's funny to look back at the shattered thirteen-year-old girl I was seven Christmases ago. I refused to look at the Christmas tree, locked myself in my room sobbing for hours on end; I couldn't hear a Christmas song without breaking into tears and shrieking at anyone within an audible range. All I wanted to was to lock myself away from my family and anyone who had the audacity to smile or say anything pleasant. I mean, how dare they? I even tried to focus on the selfish nature of what presents I would receive. And I tried to fixate on that and forget everything about what Christmas had always meant to me. But even as I waited for my turn to unwrap a gift, there was nothing exciting or anticipatory about it. All I felt was pain... and emptiness.

I listen to Christmas music now, almost as a religion. I take any chance to wander around looking at Christmas lights. I spent hours decorating the house until it's aglow in twinkling lights and garland. I've been cooking and planning for a straight week to prepare a true Christmas dinner for my 12 family members who are attending this year. And I do it all for her; I do it because if she were here, she would be cooking and decorating and blasting Christmas music all over the house. I do it because taking on her responsibilities brings me closer to her than I ever thought I could be after her death; closer than I'd ever dared to hope.

I sit on the couch, staring up at the tree. It's been a long day of shopping and running from store to store maniacally. The ham and pies wait patiently to be baked; the presents to be wrapped. But I only stare into the ethereal glow from the Christmas lights. A heaviness in my chest almost brings tears to my eyes, but something stops it. It's a numb kind of fuzziness that warms my veins and tingles the ends of my fingers. Almost as if someone unbeknownst to me is wrapping their arms around me; someone I can almost feel.

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