Christmas last year was painful. No one invited me anywhere. I wound up finding a place to go, but I was a not great fit and it was almost worse than having nowhere to go at all. (Again, PSA – if you know someone whose life changed in 2018, *please* ask if they have somewhere to go for Christmas. Seriously. I’m begging you on their behalf.)
This year? It’s been less painful and more. Like all big losses, there’s the first terrible year, and then, well, there’s the next year.
This year, without school, with a bit more time behind me, I could make plans. A friend and I are swapping stockings, which takes care of the present issue. I ordered Christmas cards with my grad photo and wrote a Christmas letter. I’ve volunteered to host some international students from the University, so I’ll have company and know that someone is less alone. The minion is coming to help me put up my outdoor Christmas lights. This year I put up both Christmas trees.
This year I opened the box I store all my ornaments in.
The ones I’ve collected for most of my life. The ones I collected while married. I took a deep breath and told myself it was time. I paused over the ornaments I bought that say “First Christmas”, “First House”. Vacations. Our honeymoon. Tucked them back in the box. I don’t know what to do with them. Something will present itself.
And at the very end, I grabbed the step stool, stood on the top, reached up and put the star on the top of my tree.
I’m not back. Not all the way.
But it’s better.