Went grocery shopping about five hours ago then stopped and got something to eat. Sitting there at the coney island and of course Christmas music was playing over the speakers when suddenly I found my eyes welling up listening to in my opinion what was the saddest Christmas song ever written. I’ll Be Home For Christmas.
At the age of 54 and a half all I could think of as I’ve done now for numerous years is about how Christmas was once upon a time when young. My Dad and all of his side are gone and that was a big family. My Mom thankfully is still here but going on 81 and the rest of her side is gone.
When you are young as in kids you just think your grandparents, aunts, uncles and your own parents will always be here. And to anybody who is a youth, teen or still in your 20s I tell you to treasure those relatives because as you get older time really does fly, it’s not just a saying. I didn’t think so then, but there are times when I feel my God it’s Christmas again like it was just here. It’s bizarre in many respects, but it just feels like a year has flown by in one single moment.
The songs of course that really get to me are those of my parents generation when I was very young, Andy Williams singing Christmas time is the best time of the year. But to those who can only relive in our minds what used to be but no more because everyone is gone, it’s the most depressing time of the year. Between health issues, present living arrangement that is from out of hell and an almost entire family of deceased relatives I sat crying while eating my dinner listening to a song I absolutely hate. Because the people I miss so much can’t come home for Christmas and never will again.
I dread this time of year and only can long for what use to be when Christmas Eve meant an entire household packed on the east side of Detroit. With a grandmother, 5 uncles, 7 aunts and 16 cousins. My one aunt who was the baker of the family made every Italian cookie, pastry and cake known. Homemade macaroni’s, Baccala ( which I never ate lol ) Vino (the kids were given two drops in Grilli’s orange or strawberry pop) and my aunt also made the best fudge on the earth.
Midnight mass was at the family’s church that sat at Rivard & Brewster down by the Italian section the eastern market, San Francesco now in Clinton Township..way to far to go now. Then it was back to the house to eat more. Reality it was just everyone together. Then Christmas day it was my other grandmother’s house on the west side.
These family’s ate, laughed, argued, yelled and us kids ran around, played and got away with what we could until our parents batted us across the room, then we sat and didn’t move. And I would give anything to just be able to hear those voices once again. But it just can’t be so I sat with tears flowing. I never did that out in public before but what can I say? For the last three years I’ve also suffered with perimenopause madness and I think everything has finally caught up with me. One atop of the other like the weight of cement on my head and mind.
I can’t sleep these days (never really could) and when I do I seem to dream of them.
I’m not alone with these thoughts or feelings which doesn’t exactly comfort me, I only wish I for one could shake the depression. I wish all who are going through the same could shake it. But reality is unless our dead loved ones come back to life and rise up to join us (and if they do I will seek a mental hospital while driving at 100 mph) to bring back what was once a festive mood, we are just going to have to get through it the best way we can. Then look forward to an equally depressing New Years Eve when we keep saying Happy New Year when it never is.
In this day in age how could it be.
Back when I was a kid any toy would make us happy, now days the parents spend $200 on crap and the brats still aren’t satisfied. If they only knew what a 54-year-old knows. That as long as your parents, grandparents and all the other relations and your friends are still here with you. You have gained the best gift you can ever receive and if I were you I’d treasure it while you still have them.
But save the Christmas songs. They have way too many happy memories of people attached to them that are no longer here. I only hope that when I go to buy my moms gift I don’t break out in tears at the cash register with people standing there staring at me with me screaming they’re all dead, they’re all dead. Be glad when this is all over.
I might end up with a net over my head being sedated. Never cried eating a coney island before, God I must be getting old.
Just don’t go getting any notions to go off yourself, the Christmas depression passes when it’s over. Death is permanent. I just wish I had some of my grandmother’s homemade vino again. Drank enough of that and you would forget that you have a brain to get depressed.
She stood outside one winter day in 196? while my Dad, aunt & uncle shoveled 10 inches of snow. With only her house dress on, I said Grandma aren’t you cold and she said with a smile on her face,
I’m a No Cold!
Yep, it had to have been that wine! Got to love it.
Thank God for the memories for they also put smiles on our faces to offset the tears.
May all have a great Christmas anyway you can.