Monday, December 21, 2009

My heart goes out to those who have lost someone


Christmas time when I was growing up was never a good time. Oh don't get me wrong. We had joyous fun. My dad decorated the house with Christmas lights. In fact, one year he even won an award. His father used to decorate every year. We had tons and tons of presents. A lot of that had to do with my mother.

But I never really talk about the part that I always worried about. You see my dad obviously didn't enjoy the holiday and every year he did something to show us. Holidays were always upset by him at some point. When my parents split up, we saw even less of him during the holidays which didn't make sense since all of us kids were grown up and had kids. The five of us kids had pretty much mutually decided that my father simply didn't like the holidays for personal reasons. As a small child that is a very hard thing.



Last night as my father and his girlfriend, Fran (or as my kids call her Granny Fran) came over. We were sitting just talking when dad started talking about how he stayed out of his kids’ lives. The personal issues between each of us as well as any marital relationships that he believed that he didn’t have the right to say anything. Now he has said this throughout the years over and over so it wasn’t anything new. The new part came when he shared something about himself that I never knew. I’m 44 years old and never had this been spoken in front of me. My dad told me that he had just learned something new about himself. He told me that he now knew that us five kids believed that Christmas was a bad time for him. I quietly agreed with that. He told me that he was sorry that we felt that way but that the holidays are very hard on him. He was 17 years old when his brother died and sixteen months later, his father passed on as well. I watched as we spoke my father’s eyes fill with tears. My dad hardly ever shows emotion so it was very shocking for me. Yes he will hug you and tell you he loves you but it is very rare occasions. You simply know that he loves you.



My Grandpa

But it started me to thinking. My dad held all of this inside himself for all these years. I can name on one hand how many times he spoke of his brother or his father. He never got over it. He admitted that as much last night as I have ever seen. So I offered to have Christmas in July with him instead. We can go camping or fishing. We don’t need to do the holidays and hurt him more or maybe we do need to do them so that he remembers how much we love him as well.




My dad and Uncle Phil (Not sure about the others)

To those of you who have lost someone, either recently or in the past, please try to share your stories.  Please try to remember them with good memories.  I talk freely of my first husband, Michael.  Even though it hurts me.  By sharing these memories with others, you allow your loved one to live on in the hearts of others.

My heart goes out to you all.  God bless you all.

Photobucket

11 comments:

Menopausal New Mom said...

Tami, that was a beautiful story and one that probably rings true in many families. We never consider what secret pain our parents are carrying that we never hear about and it makes it even more difficult when we are children. My best memories are of all the things my mom did for us at Christmas when we were little (I actually posted that today) although I omitted that my father would spend it drunk in a chair.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I have been very blessed in my life that I have not lost too many people in my life, and none who were really dear to me. I don't really know what will happen when that time comes.

yonca said...

So true. I have a lot of memories with my dad. I share them with my hubby very often. When I tell about him i feel like he is around me.Thanks for sharing your memories Tami. I enjoyed to read your beautiful post as always. Have a great holiday!

Midday Escapades said...

Wow, what a powerful revelation and moment for your family. My heart also goes out to those how have lost someone.

Amy said...

this is a good post. Thanks for sharing and I agree that you should talk to everyone and keep those memories close.

Vodka Logic said...

What a touching story. I wonder sometimes why parents hold so much back. How much easier it would be for the adult children to know what makes/made them tick.

Thanks for sharing what has to have been a painful story

Mighty M said...

Beautifully written and I am so very glad you were able to connect with your dad and have that moment with him.

kcgirlgeek said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing this. It helped me on a personal level. Our family pretty much just quit "doing" the fall and winter holidays about 15 years ago when my grandfather passed away. It hasn't been the same at all since then. I mean, we still get together, but...it's just not the same. I tried not to let that affect my son, so did my parents. But when I look at the Christmas seasons he had as a child, in comparison to the ones I had when Poppa was still with us....

I feel a little guilty about it. And I wish I could change it.

Offering to have Christmas in July was brilliant and SO sweet. What a great blog post. Again...thank you.

Sandi said...

I haven't yet....but my dad is dying now. He has cancer and really things don't look that hopeful at the moment. I hate that this is happening at all, but at Christmas....it's so hard. I don't want to relate this to Christmas time. It's making it hard on my kids too. They think it's Pancreatic so we are all devastated. However I remember all the wonderful things my dad did over the years to make Christmas special. He made gift bags up for all the kids at church every year. He'd make up 100 bag full of candy, nuts, an orange and apple....we all looked forward to it each year.

kys said...

The holidays are so hard for so many people. I think that bottling up all that pain and loss compounds the issues. And sometimes passes them on to the next generation. I'm glad your dad opened up to you.

Frugal Vicki said...

I'm sorry it took me so long to get back here and read this post. How painful for your dad. So many people are carrying pain that they never speak of, that they pretend that they don't have. I always try to remember that when I get angry or frustrated, or I wish I had what someone else does.
Thank you for sharing that, it is an important message.