One of my goals for the holidays this year has been to help my mother in anyway possible, because I know it’s going to be hard for her. Whether it’s a day out shopping with no complaints, offering to help wrap gifts or bake an extra batch of cookies, or just a simple phone call to let her know I’m thinking of her…I just feel the need to connect with her even more since Aunt Madlyn passed. Because, you see – that person, the one who makes Christmas so special every year? For me, it’s always been my mom.
Sometimes during the work day, my mother and I will email back and forth just to talk about what we’re up to, what’s going on this weekend, or what have you. Closer to holidays or family get-togethers the emails fly fast and furious as we talk about plans, menus, gifts bought, and the various ways in which my grandmother is pissing her off (again).
This morning I sent my mother an email asking about a new address for a family member who recently moved, and the exchange continued into how each others’ Christmas preparations were coming along. They’re supposedly calling for plenty of snow in eastern PA this weekend, and we’ve both planned on taking advantage of being house bound by baking cookies and finishing up gift wrapping.
I mentioned as an aside that while going over my list of Christmas card recipients, I realized that I no longer needed to include my Aunt Madlyn & Uncle Bob on that list, and started to cry. She replied that she’d “been a mess all morning. Even though I know there is no one there & the phone no longer works, I want to call. I just want to call that number. Have been bawling all morning.” And then my heart broke.
It’s so easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the season those we miss the most. The ones who shaped our fondest holiday memories & who in many ways, make us remember why this season is so special. For my mother, Aunt Madlyn is that person, and I know the pain from losing her combined with the joy of the holidays will make this a bittersweet season.