My parents died seven years ago. One of the most gut-wrenching and life-changing events of my life (divorce included). Regardless, I decided to see if mom had any decorations I could use. What do you know? I found a few boxes tucked way in the back of a closet marked "birds" I pulled the boxes out and found some beautiful ornaments with different birds painted onto the fragile glass. I imagined my mother's hands gently placing these on her tree. I imagined her listening to her favorite music and signing alone; I could see her smile again and hear her soft laugh. I imagined my father sitting close by directing where the ornaments should be placed and then giving in and joining in with her. That was his way; it was their way I suppose. They had a love that I doubt exists anymore. I sat on the floor and went through each box, finding memories long forgotten and found myself smiling, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying but I had an overwhelming sense of things being ok. For the first time, in a long time, I knew that for this holiday I would celebrate what I DO have instead of being reminded of what has been lost. My mother and my father both loved the holidays. I've had one wish going through this time of life; that my parents were here for me to talk to and give me advice. My divorce has been the most isolating experience of my life thus far and I sometimes physically ACHE for my parents.
Now, as I write this I look at my pretty little tree with the lights full of beautiful wonder, and I see the ornaments with the birds that my mother adored. Today I will enjoy those as she did and smile knowing that my parents are still with me. Maybe not how I wish, but they are with me, they have been with me regardless of the holidays. Their love and advice live on, and even when I'm lonely and feel alone, I am reminded today that life has a way of working out. I will work this coming Christmas Day, and I'm agreeable to that plan, but I also will be happy to get off work, come back to my place and sit with a nice glass of wine, watch my pretty tree and listen to some beautiful Christmas music. Maybe I'll have a few friends over to visit. It doesn't matter because I've decided to enjoy the season. I realize that I am in control of what I experience this season. I choose happiness and wonder. The new year is almost here, and I don't make resolutions, but this year I will claim my happiness. My way. For me. This must be what healing feels like? I know I have a long way to go, and I have hard times ahead as well, but I also know that, like the little birds on my tree, I have a purpose too.