Christmas Time

Today, I turned another year older. It was a good day. I got some wonderful gifts and enjoyed a lovely dinner out with friends, which I desparately needed. Not the dinner, but the fun with friends.

Since losing Dori at the end of May, I’ve basically been running on fumes. Well, that and food. I’ve gained so much weight. Maybe I thought if I comforted myself with comfort food, it would some how makes things feel better. I think the only void food has filled is my waistline, hips and thighs. It certainly hasn’t had any kind of “healing” per say, but it helped at that moment I guess.

Now that I’m finally getting some time off of work, it’s all hitting me. Everything reminds me of Dori. Just as it was that first Christmas after we lost Kim, there are so many memories and items that trigger those memories…the only difference is that I knew Dori all of my life, where I had only known Kim the last 10 years of her life. Still a long time to miss her horribly, but not nearly the number of memories I have with Dori.

Childhood memories of Christmas’s spend with Dori in our bedroom we shared growing up and of singing carols later in life to shared moments of joy and sadness within our own family over the years. We lost our father in 1994…my brother-in-law was killed two months before Christmas and a month before his daughter was to become a year old. All very bittersweet holidays, but we got through them.

Each Christmas card we receive this year is filled with the usual holiday greetings of peace and good health, then I’m thrown by a mention of Dori. It’s not that I’m trying to forget her, it’s just taking me by surprise in these cards and it brings up the sad reminder that she’s no longer with us and reminds me especially, that it was a damn brain aneurysm that caused it.

I won’t be able to watch A CHRISTMAS STORY this year. Too many memories of watching that and making references to it. Maybe next year. I won’t be watching LOVE ACTUALLY either. Amongst all the funny story lines in the moving, there is also one that is quite sad and I’m not sure I want to deal with it just now. Maybe next year. I’m not even sure about National Lampoon’s CHRISTMAS VACATION. Dori and I saw that in the movie theater when it first came out. We weren’t that old, but found ourselves extremely annoyed by all the rude teenagers in the sold-out theater. LOL

I AM listening to Christmas carols and enjoying that. I know Dori loved carols and it doesn’t make me sad, except to hear THE BELL THAT COULDN’T JINGLE because I know she loved that song and JESU is hard to listen to because she used to play that on the piano.

Dave and I are not going to NY for Christmas this year, like we did last year. The family Christmas I craved last year was wonderful and a memory I’ll always cherise because it was the last time I saw Dori in person. The gifts for family back in NY were packed and sent back home. I usually made all of those arrangements with Dori and we always shared a ton of emails back and forth on what to get everyone and sending lists back and forth. Not much list swapping going on this year and we’re all fine with that. It will be a simple, quiet Christmas this year. It just has to be.

As I was helping Dave find some gift bags, I ran across many of the gift bags we were given last year and saw many bags with Dori’s handwriting on them. Again…another sad, and unexpecteed reminder. I know the day will come when that sort of thing will make me smile rather than feel sad, but for this year, the sadness will prevail. It has to….we’re all still greiving. It’s a part of the damn process. Another loss…another brain aneurysm.

I keep waiting for a sign from Dori to snap out of it, stop eating crap, and take better care of myself, but she and I both know that it’s hard to lose a loved one and it’s harder for those left behind to adjust to life again. Perhaps the new year will yield better results for my health and there will be no more issues with my own brain aneurysms. I still have to live with those on a daily basis. Lately, I don’t want anything to do with aneurysms, or talking about them, but I know opening up about the strain, stress and ordeals with others is helpful. I’m not sure how helpful this blog entry will be for anyone  but I needed to get it out, so thank you for allowing me the space and bandwidth to do so.

My hope for anyone whose life has been effected by a brain aneurysm finds comfort, guidance, and strength for the New Year. I know I’ll be asking God for all of the above for my own family. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

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