Wednesday, November 30

My flight Home

The other night I was on an airplane flying back from a work trip and my co-worker handed me the Oprahs Favourite things December magazine. It was a nice thing to flip through, light reading, for the last hour or so of our trip.

When we were about 30 minutes till landing,  I got to the part of the magazine that asked what are some things you want to pass along, Christmas tradition wise, and the woman who was telling her story was talking about her first Christmas without her mother. Then it happened.

The waves of emotion washed over me so unexpectedly and the flood gates opened.
Sometimes these emotions literally strike out of nowhere. Now just to be clear, and to explain, of course you'd expect emotions while reading something like that, even if you hadn't lost your mother 6 months ago you'd feel something. No, the emotion I am talking about is this immediate eruption that explodes out of me, blind siding me really. It hits hard and it is swift. It's how I imagine being punched in the face would feel if you didn't see it coming.

I quickly put the magazine down and reached for the light above my head to turn it off to hid the tears. My throat constricts and I try not to gag or make a scene.

I unsuccessfully attempted to gain my composure as another wave hits.  They come one after another after another.

This Christmas will be without my mommy. The first one in 38 years I will have ever had without her.

My chest started to get tight thinking about everything she would do during the holidays for us as kids and that now those have become traditions that I have to pass along to my kids. I was thinking about everything that she did to make Christmas special and how some of it I laughed at, even teased her about and now would give anything to have one more time.

It was a hard moment to have felt.

So, what happens now? I thought about this the entire drive home that night after I left the airport. Do I just go the rest of my life getting side swiped with feelings or, can I harness them at all?

That's when I decided, in the spirit of the holidays and as a gift to my Children (and to myself) I am going to do an advent style blog for the month of December with all of my Christmas memories of my mom.
The holidays are already so hard, trying to manoeuvre them with this extra emotion not in check might be down right impossible. This way at least I can direct it. Well... try to anyway.

Day one will be tomorrow, I am excited, I think.

Today:

I am grateful for the dentist who fixed my teeth yesterday. I am grateful for health care and benefits and painkillers!

I am grateful for resolve and memories and feelings, even the crazy ones.

J







4 comments:

Heather Allan said...

I'm on year 6 without my dad, and it will always hurt a little bit. The first year is really the hardest, and every year it gets a bit easier. The pain never truly goes away, but it does get easier to bare. I'm so sorry for your loss Joelle. Know that your mom is always with you no matter what.

Shari Filipionek said...

As I read this waves of emotion came over me as well. I understand how you are feeling. This will be the first Christmas without my mom too:... hugs and love Joelle. ❤️❤️

Rachel Schultz said...

This will be another Christmas without my dad who passed away Dec.25th 2004. It is hard but my husband and I take some time alone on Xmas day to let me cry and get emotions out before we face all the family for dinner. Love ya Joelle you will find strength. Rachel from Spruce Grove

leslie bloedel said...

The first Christmas with out my dad was hard. This will be 4th Christmas with out him and I still cry every year and on the first real good snow falls... but those years are just happy memories rolling down my checks. Leslie west edmonton