I had a hard time putting up a tree this year. I usually am so excited….and it goes up either Thanksgiving weekend or the next weekend. I get such a warm fuzzy feeling when I unwrap each ornament and the manger scene. But this year my tree did not go up until the Tuesday of Christmas week. I almost did not put one up at all. Even when I put it up I did not have that warm fuzzy feeling. I did not put on Christmas C.D.’s. I did not drink hot chocolate. It was a chore. I did, however, sit in front of it and was amazed at the beauty of the lights and the ornaments….but only briefly. We were leaving the next day to go to Ft. Walton Beach to see Frank’s nephew Alan because his wife died and we could not go down for the funeral. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were going to be spent on the road and dealing with death one more time this year. I was going to miss the Communion Service at my church for the first time in forever. I felt my icy heart just get icier and I found myself wondering if 2009 was ever going to end? It did….and I found myself facing another chore. It is the one ritual I absolutely despise about the holidays: can you guess what it is? Yep…I knew you could. I hate taking down the tree. Even in a good year I hate taking it down…and this year was not going to make it any better. I decided to wait until after the Epiphany….so I stalled for some time thinking it would make it less painful…..no matter how much I stalled and procrastinated….I have to say…. Taking down the tree is one sad job, because for me it marks an end. And it's messy—back in the day when I had real trees, before I discovered I was allergic to pine and cedar, pine needles would be discovered in April! So I did the self-preservation thing….and got an artificial tree….that looks lifelike….so lifelike in fact that ….guess what….I STILL find pine needles in April. But…the saddest part of taking down my tree is that it leaves the house with this big empty hole along the front wall of the living room. I run to the spare bedroom and find the chair and ottoman that claimed that space prior to Christmas….but they just look out of place. So, On Epiphany…I took down my tree, felt sad because there was a bald spot in my living room….and I had stepped on a needle….yet again. Some rituals never change. January is a new beginning….and for me it was going to be. I had planned to shake off the sadness and reach out into the light….and then….when I thought I had it under control….I got a phone call telling me an old friend had lost her battle to cancer. Was 2010 going to be just like 2009? Letting go is tough I have found out this year. Even when it is something old and bad, like junk and weight….we feel loss. The concept is…what is known (good or bad) is gone. And any loss brings sadness. Cleaning up can be messy, as it shakes loose a load of emotional Christmas tree needles in our lives; usually they are ones that can show up later in strange places we didn't expect. My emotional needles were sticking me. I had a lot of unfinished things that in 2009 I let slide….I found a hole and here I sat not sure how to fill it. If I let go of anger, for example, what was I going to put in its place? At least angry….I know who I am….I am MAD. Cleaning up my parents house has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. I have found things that opened up new wounds and healed old ones. I have really dealt with my brothers death (from back in 1963), and discovered many things about my parents I never knew. I have been angry because my mom was a Hoarder….and yes, if you watch the show on TV…that was my mom. I have pictures to prove it…but that will be a chapter in my book. Anyways…If I let go of my hurt feelings, my sadness and all the other needles….who could I become. Who could I help? I had a tough year. I hope no one ever goes through a year like that…I learned all I ever want to know about cancer, bolo’s, Silver alerts, what it is like to having missing parents, and death! Good grief…some of those I had a crash course in. 2010 brings dealing with dementia and believe you me….loss to cancer….I understand that. Loss to dementia, well it.baffles me completely. I found out this year…that I truly do have a story to tell you….I realized that there are people….who need to read my blog But….back to my original thought…hard as it was, I am very glad I put up the tree…and took down the tree. Sure I have been finding loads of needles to sweep and I will have to reinstate furniture to its old domain. But if I had not taken down the tree, then where would I find room for the 2010 tree?...and the next year’s? Yeppers, I truly believe….that for every heartache I experience in 2010….there will be some joy thrown in for good measure. So, let the blogging begin….and Happy New Year. I am back!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.