Traditions are strong at this time of the year. Do I have a tree? Is it real or fake? Do I buy presents or not? Do I visit family or not? Do I go to any the events around this holiday or am I one to stay home and not participate? What is this all about anyway?
Jim and I were not ones to get too excited about the holidays. We did buy presents and visit family until we wearied of it. It went from gifts for everyone to one Pollyanna gift to none. It was hard as all of us grew older to know what each other wanted. We decided it was more fun to just be with the people we loved and who loved us.
We did have one tradition. Here is probably a little known fact about Jim and myself. We are or were, Star Trek fans from way back, before we knew each other. Several years ago Hallmark started to make Star Trek ornaments, a new one each Christmas. Every year Jim would come home with the new ornament. We hung them all from several strings over my desk in the main part of the house. Some blinked, some made sounds. My two favorites are the Borg Cube that says “Merry Christmas, resistance is futile” and Mr Spock saying “Shuttle craft to Enterprise, shuttle craft to Enterprise, Spock here, Happy Holidays, live long and prosper”. It was a tradition that suited us both and I loved it.
Since Jim’s death I have not felt too much like celebrating Christmas. It is not sadness or depression that makes me feel this way. More than likely it is part of the grief process. It just feels like too much effort. Often the holidays go by without too much notice. This year I did think about getting the ornaments out but then decided, once again, it wasn’t worth the effort. I don’t feel bad about this. I do hope though that one day I might feel festive about the holidays and see the lights blinking again and here the Borg and Mr Spock expressing their own brand of holiday wishes.
This Christmas I will be going to Jim’s family for a couple of nights. They have continued to be a presence in my life. They follow my adventures and call or e-mail. I don’t see them in person very often. The night Jim died I asked them if I would ever hear from them again. I know it sounds awful but when awful things happen the mind plays incredible tricks. They immediately reminded me that no matter what I am family. I am so thankful for them. I needed their stability three years ago. I still need it now.
Dotty, Jim’s mom, is now in her early 90’s. She is stalwart and delightful. Although she has health issues she remains in her own home and does her life. Her two daughters, Pat and Judy are nearby and support and love her. They are a good family and I am very happy to be a part of them. I have two sisters on the east coast and two sisters on the west coast. Two are by blood and two are by marriage. I see no difference.
Even though I am still defining my “new Life”, there are certain things I am thankful for every day. This week I am thankful for open loving arms that are anxious for me to arrive and for traditions, even when they aren’t celebrated. I believe this helps define and shape me.
I am also grateful for you, all my readers. Elsie the Cat and I wish you the best of holiday traditions. Celebrate the long standing traditions and create new ones.
Live Long and Prosper.