Disappointment is the muck I drag myself through. It eats my days into brown sludge. I am mired in the cloying, pervasive debris as it washes over me and search as I might, sometimes I can’t find my way clear of it. For many, the Holiday Season is cloaked in it. What might be a time of Joy is a quagmire of dusty dreams and disappointed disheartenment.
The days to come bring dollar signs and an unconscious acknowledgement the coming days will bring low lights, not highlights. Even though my family and friends love me, they are wrapped in their own dynasties and can’t make time to comprehend my place in their worlds. The wet blanket covering me is off putting. I need to remember that. They are a reflection of what they see in me. They glance at me and their eyes slide away. I’m barely there or perhaps too much there, soaking in their perceived rejection, whether real or not.
As the leaves dance merrily as they flit down to the road I am driving, I have to give homage to the day when life glowed. Although always the quiet, guarded one, I once found joy in the Holidays. Thanksgiving meant the “Macy’s Parade”, “Babes in Toyland”, and finally “Miracle on 42nd Street” as a child. Then I would join my people for a feast. Mom would always invite others in need to join us. I’d help with the mountain of dishes. Night would bring a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwich before bed. Some years we would pile into the car and head over to my Aunt’s. One year my sister and I were in the back of the station wagon. I had on a peasant dress I loved. Dawn got car sick and threw up all over my front. I jerked back, falling into the pies. As a Mother myself, I took pleasure in fulfilling some of those memories with my own family.
Christmas had a magic of its own. On Christmas Eve Dad would read the miracle of Christ’s Birth from the Bible after Church. One year I woke extremely early and tried to go downstairs but my Father made me come into their room and sleep next to them . . . when I tried to slip out, he put his leg over mine and went back to sleep. Another year as I was a teenager, he was drunk and fell into the tree. But most of the time it was precious. We would excitedly open presents, although some years my parents had to make some last-minute changes since my sister would have switched the labels on mine and hers if she liked mine better. There would be another feast and we’d loll away the rest of the day. I delighted in bringing Christmas to my own family. One year my husband and the kids fell asleep in the living room as I watched “The Nutcracker” and I felt such peace.
Now, older, living alone, and more tired, I don’t take pleasure in the Holidays as I used to. I cook my side dishes and head over to my sister’s house and try to watch the Parade. Sometimes I have to work instead of celebrating. The Magic of the Holidays has faded under the mantle of my Depression. Going through the motions would be a more accurate description. Pleasure is rare for me, laughter even more. The days are chores to be done gotten over, to fade into Disappointment. I wish I could change my attitude but it is likely to end up as it has for some time now. I have to accept my reality and go with the flow so I am not making waves.