This goes out to the divorced moms. You moms who might not have your kids this Christmas are especially in my heart today.
I’ve been there. I know the panic-rising, throat-constricting pain that really cannot be explained or understood. I am sorry you are going through this. You will make it, girl, you will. You can still have Christmas. You can still have family. It won’t look the same, but it can still be good. Really and truly, it can still be a beautiful Christmas.
This week, next week, for a day or an hour or a weekend, whatever time you get, make memories, make them, and make them good.
My first year alone, I only had my son for Christmas Eve Day. We went out sledding, he and I. Down a tiny little hill at a park we could walk to. And then we came home and made hot chocolate with marshmallows, which I never let him have. Our noses were red and the marshmallows were melty and we laughed. I treasure that memory. Treasure it. My marriage had dissolved that August. It was our first Christmas on our own. I still ACHED that I’d miss Christmas morning with my baby, but, Mamma, we built a beautiful memory that day and we will have that forever.
The next year, Dad had Christmas Eve, and I had Christmas Day. On my way to pick up kiddo, I stopped by a convenience store to get I don’t even remember what, and locked my keys in my car, car running. And my kid waiting for me to pick him up. On Christmas Eve. I had a hysterical, howling, tears-and-snot-running-down-my-face-losing-it-melt-down right there at the Gas-n-Sip. By some miracle (and I mean that in the most literal way) some guy who just happened to be at the store had a thing in his car to break into my car, and just like that I was on my way again. And when I got there, my little guy was peeking out the window, watching for me with bright, happy eyes. And we went to my cousins’ for Christmas dinner that night and they wrapped up a package of Peanut M&M’s for my son (who hadn’t been part of their Thanksgiving gift exchange) and I loved them profoundly for it.
There is pain, there is joy. There is loss, there is something new.
And yes, you will need to be relentlessly positive to not slide into the too easy mourning for what cannot be. There will be time to mourn when you are alone. When you are with your kids, make memories.
I am sorry for your pain. You will survive. You will. I encourage you to find the strength to build your new thing, whatever it is. Sledding, listening to Christmas carols by the light of the tree, baking cookies,…it can be good, Mamma. It will be good.
That first Christmas Eve alone, I met my mom at Church for the midnight service. I’d been crying for several hours, was wearing snow boots over pajama pants and I looked remarkably like a bag lady who happened to walk in. My mom comforted me that night. And I survived. And you will too.
I love you, girl. Make your new Christmas. Make your new life.