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When the weather begins to change, like it is now, the memories of fall flood my mind. The vibrant colored leaves, the feel of the crisp wind against my face, and the cold chill that sneaks up my back and sends shivers all over my body. The days get shorter, the nights are too long and the sadness, yes, the sadness...that unwelcomed guest, when did that slither in?
Spring, with it's new beginnings, turned to the dreams of summer, when all things seemed possible, but the dreams abrubtly died.
Halloween, then Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, then New Year's Eve; all happy festive holidays. Bright lights, warm, vibrant colors, pleasant smells, pungent and sweet tastes...people, laughter, food, music, singing, drink and dancing. Oh and gifts, let's not forget the gifts! Should be fun, but I'm not so sure it ever was. If it was, then that was the exception, not the rule.
Here comes that feeling again, sadness. I notice as I get older and reflect back on my life; which I guess in the "guide to seniors book" (page 46, I believe) is what the collective "we" are supposed to do as we get older; but I digress. As I get older and reflect I see things as they really were, and how I really felt about them, not how I pretended to feel about them.
Perhaps that is what the sadness is all about, a life spent never saying what I needed to say, to the people I needed to say it to. A life spent swallowing the words, sentences, and questions I never asked.
I was the foster child, being sent to the next home. I always wondered why I couldn't stay. I always wanted to ask why I couldn't stay. I wanted to ask if "they" wanted me to stay, but I was afraid of the answer. I wasn't a real child, I was just a "foster". I had no rights, no right to ask questions and no right to expect to be treated like a real child. No surprise, my favorite book was The Velvetine Rabbit, what's it like to be real, I wondered.
My motto was: smile, never let them see you cry, wish them well as you go, you can always cry later when you are alone.....never break down in front of them...never break down...never break..
In the end, all I ever said to them was, "Goodbye".
Tis the season of goodbye's...........
Whenever I see the words "tis the season", my mind immediately thinks of Christmas. I have experienced so many of them in so many different ways. When I was a child, I remember the breathless waiting to fall asleep so morning would come quicker. It seemed to take forever and then I would wake in the dark and just couldn't go to sleep. My sister would wake also and we would tiptoe down the stairs to see what Santa had brought us. What a wonderland would meet our eyes.
I think of the times when I was a parent of young children myself and the joy I had of choosing the best for each child and trying to make sure they all got equal amounts of treasures that they would enjoy until the next Christmas came. The joys of their laughter and smiles on their faces. I also remember the one when they were all so ill, they didn't even want to open their presents, let alone play with them. It broke my heart.
The family get togethers were always so full of laughter and games and reminiscing and food, food, food. I have been so blessed by my family. The families have all grown and we all still get together when we can, but we are spread all over the place now. Still, even without everyone, there is still quite a crowd.
The one Christmas I will always remember every year was in 1995. I lived in Florida, alone. My children were in three different states, my parents in another. My oldest daughter came with her new baby who was almost six months old. My youngest came with his new wife. My parents came. My friends I had known for almost my entire life came. It was a joyous occasion. I will always remember it. It was the last time I ever saw my oldest daughter and granddaughter. They were killed by a drunk driver the next month.
So, now I remember the good old days every time I hear "tis the season" and they were good days. They still are. When you have wonderful memories, life is grand. Making wonderful new memories makes it grander still. Now I am enjoying watching my children with their children. Hoping they all realize how wonderful families are to have and that even when some are gone, they are never really gone. My next granddaughter was named after the two of them and she is so much like them. They all are. They are family.