It’s nearly the end of November and the world is getting ready for Christmas. The store where I work is blaring jolly tunes and the lights are going up around town. Everyone is getting into the spirit of the mad dash for the perfect gift, the perfect Christmas.
Tonight I’m feeling something that I knew was coming. It crept up on me slowly, casting it’s shadow over me slowly, as if I wouldn’t notice. Tonight I feel the weight of the decisons I’ve made and the life I live.
I won’t be spending the holidays with the man I love.
I’ve been reminding myself that it’s not really a big deal. It’s a series of days thst I’ve always spent with my family and that I should be thankful to spend with them again this year. I’ll still be able to talk to him, to spend time with him in the same ways we always do. It’s not a big deal.
Yet every three hours when the store cd player gears up for another rendition of ‘All I Want for Christmas is You” I’m filled with the temptation to rip the stereo system from whatever designated cubbyhole it resides in. How dare they look into the cracks in my emotional cement walls like that? Every single time it wears a little more away, chipping at my resolve like an artist chipping away at marble.
I’m reminded of last Christmas, our first Christmas together and his first North American holiday. The look on his face on Christmas morning, the way he fell in love with snow and detested the cold. The way he laughed during his first sledding adventure and the sheer disbelief as we dug my car out after a snowstorm. I remember all of this and it brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.
It’s been nearly three months since my return to Canada. We do good and we get by. We’re happy to have each other, even at such a distance. We know that planning for our future means sacrifice. It means knowing we could be together for Christmas and saying no, in order to say yes to a life together in the future. This year, I will spend my time gathering my strength to face Christmas with the cheer it deserves. For me, the greatest gift will be to handle it all with an uncharacteristic patience and grace. Christmas is all about getting miracles, afterall.