It snowed today. I found some pretty moments. A creek nearby, my dog sitting in the snow calmly, and then tree branch shadows on the gold glittery snow.
I love snow.
I took this picture of my mom last Friday on our day out. She kept ducking out of photo ops. I got mad at her and told her I don’t have enough pictures of her. One day we will both regret that. But then I caught her in the children’s garden and got this one. She hates it, I love it. She asked me not to post it on Facebook because thinks she looks old. well, this isn’t Facebook and I think she looks happy. I think she looks cute as a button. My mom is fucking adorable:
I love my mom. I wish she could see herself the way I see her.
We spent the rest of the weekend cooking. The gift I asked her for was to learn how to make Grandma’s Veggie Beef Barley Soup, mom’s Matzo Ball Soup, and the combined mom/grandma baked macaroni recipe. We spent Friday at Longwood Gardens (where the above picture was taken) and then spent Saturday and Sunday cooking, watching Twilight movies, painting our nails, and laughing our asses off.
It was the best gift I could have asked for.
For reasons I won’t get into, my dad and I drove grandma back to Ohio from his house in Virginia after she’d been in North Carolina with my aunt for an extended stay.
It was a long weekend.
20 hours in the car with my dad. Frustrating conversations that went nowhere. White-knuckle driving through snow/ice/sleet. Face to face with the shell of a woman my grandma is now due to her brain failing her on a few levels. 14th anniversary of my brother dying. Catching a cold from hell. Late night conversations over a bottle of wine with my aunt who is quite possibly my favorite person on earth. Making last minute decisions. Letting go of my pride and asking for money so I could come back to see them all at Christmas.
Watching. Observing. Laughing. Loving.
The only way to move forward is to forgive even if that’s only ever done internally. They’ll never know what I’ve forgiven or what I’ve let go. They’ll just see that I’m calm, fun to be around, and that I’m very happy. And just letting myself be happy made it easier to ignore the opinions, block out the bullshit, and just focus on each person’s goodness. I disagree with so much they say it’s not even funny, but under that exterior fountain of bullshit, there are genuinely good people and I’m related to them.
In the course of 48 hours I let go of the hurt, anger, and sadness I’ve held about my family. I washed the resentment out of my hair and scrubbed the drama out of my skin. I moved forward.
I let go and I feel amazing.
I was panicked and worried that my complete and utter lack of money this year would lead to judgement and arguments from family members. Then I realized that we’re trying to get pregnant, pull our separate lives together into one life, and figure out what order baby/marriage/living together will go in. Money I would have spent on chintzy gifts will instead go to ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, medication copays, and saving for baby furniture.
I decided mom and Dean are going to get gifts and the family is getting baked goods. That’s what I can afford and that’s something everyone loves. It also takes time and effort because you can’t bake without love.
Then I found out the majority of my family is in the same boat I’m in and no one is expecting anything. We’re just going to have dinner, share a few things, and celebrate the holiday.
Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about anyway? Aren’t you supposed to embrace the love, be happy about your good health and roof over your head, and be a family on the holidays? It’s not about material items, it’s about being together.
This year I have an amazing man who loves me more than words can explain and I love him just as much. That’s all I need.
Dean’s kidney stone has really thrown a wrench in the plans in more ways than one, but whatever, we’re dealing with it as things progress. Tomorrow he gets it broken up and then Friday the stint and the broken pieces of stone come out. The stone will be examined and that will tell him what diet changes he needs to make.
Unfortunately while he’s in the hospital dealing with this, I have to work. By the time he’s released and home, I will be home as well and if I were not leaving for Ohio the very next morning, I’d go straight to him. I need to go to bed early and catch up on sleep because we’re leaving at the ass crack of dawn on Saturday. Dean on the other hand, is going to work the next morning and then when he leaves work he’s coming to my house to take care of the furballs. Like two ships passing in the night.
Monday Dean will go back to work and I will be driving home from Ohio. I go back to work the next day, but Dean has the day off since WoW has some big expansion being released and he’s a nerd and has had the day off for like 6 months.
Friday I’m heading out of town for the day with my mom for our now annual tradition of going up to Longwood Gardens and seeing their Christmas display for her birthday gift from me. Saturday/Sunday I’m giving Dean his first Christmas gift: a weekend alone to play his WoW expansion non-stop with zero interruption from me. I’m going to spend the weekend with my mom learning treasured family recipes I’ve been denied learning until now. That was the big gift I asked from her and she agreed.
My company’s holiday party is on the 15th… that’s the next time I’ll see Dean. He’ll battle beltway traffic to come out to this party and then we’ll come home exhausted.
Dad and I are taking grandma for our own reasons. Initially I saw this as a bonding experience. I said yes to driving her back in my car because I figured the drive home would be beneficial to my strained relationship with my father. I now have no idea how I feel about this.
In total, we’ll be apart 17 days and it’s already hitting me. I realize this is nothing to some people. It used to be nothing to me. Yet here I sit feeling the exact opposite. I only get part of the weekend to see him and that’s hard enough as it is, but now I’ve got to postpone that short amount of time even further. Bah fucking humbug.
On the plus side, after this time apart we’re gonna spend the holidays together.
And then it’s our first real shot at babymaking time. Woohoo!