Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Family at Christmas!
I've struggled with whether or not to write this post, it's like a fight inside me but I feel that the need to put it all out there for the world is something that I can't control, it's almost like the Lord is pushing me to do this and I don't know why, but who am I to question right?
It's going to be a long one, a lot of venting so I apologize in advance, and if you're still here reading at the end, then Bless you.
Christmas for me used to be absolutely magical and it still is to some extent, but I've noticed as I've grown older and as family members have passed away, it's become one of the most difficult times of the year. One I look forward to for the sake of my children and for myself too in a way, but mostly, one that I cringe about and find myself fighting back tears constantly. It's hard being thousands of miles away from family and having just the memories of what it used to be like with me and my brothers running around, laughing and playing together, everything seemed perfect.
So here I sit today at 34 years old, reminiscing about family Christmases where my grandfather Julio was present, he was such a joy, he made everyone laugh and was just that light in the family. He is no longer with us and I miss him terribly during the holidays.
My greatgrandmother Ema, oh where do I begin? This amazing little lady was the rock in the family, the one constant there for me.....she lived with us and when both my parents used to work, it was her that got us up for school in time, fed us, took care of us, cooked and cleaned and did it all. I remember sitting in the kitchen with a cup of tea while she told me stories of how life was for her as a child born in 1906, the struggles she went through, the death of her mother when she was 4 years old, the suicide of her father when she was 13 years old and how she found him, and all the other little things. I sat fascinated by her stories. Unfortunately she is also no longer with us and the pain of not having her around is just more than I can say.
Same goes for my other grandfather Antonio and my Uncle Carlos, both wonderful men who unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy as much as I would have liked because they lived overseas.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that at this time of the year, my eyes fill with tears and I yearn to be with them, to see them one last time, to laugh with them and enjoy their company. It's hard, it's extremely hard.
The reason I'm bringing this up is because the past two days I've been feeling really down, it seems to hit me around the 22nd of December and goes right through until the day after Christmas, it's a tough couple of days where I smile and put on a brave face while inside my heart is breaking.
But they're not the only people I miss, I miss my family in South Africa and after having the joy of spending a month with them back in May, it just hurts even more, it's like an old wound was reopened. I got to embrace my brothers again and my little nieces and nephews. I would give ANYTHING to be near them today.
I know, this post is all soppy and miserable, not at all my usual blogging style is it?
One of the reasons I felt the need to post this is because on Sunday night I lay in bed watching the movie "Click", it's about Michael (Adam Sandler) who is so busy with work that he neglects his family, he doesn't have time for them. He goes to Bath Bed and Beyond and gets a Universal Remote for his home but what he doesn't know is that it actually controls his life. He can pause, he can fast forward, he can go back in time. With all the fast forwarding he does to just get through his days he ends up missing a whole year of his life with his family and in a sense looses them. He misses the death of his father which really devastates him, watching him trying desperately to deal with the fact that he wasted so much time and never told his family how much he loves them, was sad, to say the least.
I watched the movie and it hit me hard that we are so busy with stupid things nowadays that a lot of times we push aside our families, we take it for granted that they'll be there everyday. But what if they aren't? What if you wake up tomorrow and they're gone? What then?
My emotions were still raw from watching this movie and last night I again was watching tv, the Season Finale of "Little People, Big World" when Mike, their family friend suddenly dies of a heart attack. I cried.....no actually I bawled, that ugly cry where your face contorts and you look absolutely horrible. I felt like a friend of mine had passed away, you get so used to seeing someone on TV, it's hard when they die. But I sat there and wondered, why am I crying? I don't know these people personally, it shouldn't affect me that much.
But it does, because it makes me think of my own family and how devastating it would be to me if they passed away.
It's so easy to get caught up in the here and now and the smallest insignificant things that we allow into our lives, that make us fight and say harsh words, that make us do stupid things and make horrible choices. The kind of things that we allow to fester, to cloud our judgement, to make us forget that the people we are fighting with are the same ones that we love unconditionally, that we spent our whole lives loving and laughing with, the same people we would do ANYTHING for.
We push all that deep inside and in it's place we allow the bad, the unimportant stuff to stay.
Something like this is happening in my family right now, my brothers aren't speaking and it absolutely breaks my heart and brings me heartache like you'll never know and there's nothing I can do about it. I can only sit by and pray and hope that they remember the love and not the hurt, that they realize that family is more important than anything else, that the same happy and loving little boys that loved each other, are STILL there, they grew up, they didn't change.
Deep down we're all still the same brothers and sisters that used to run around being naughty, that played hide and seek and hospitals and cars, that slid down stairs with sleeping bags, that played video games and board games, that skipped school, that got run over by bycicles and then chased the guy to beat him up, that built little go karts and sped down the street, that camped out at the Kruger National Park and sat up and chatted and laughed until our sides hurt.
It's all still there and I hope that soon it will all resurface, before it's too late.
I'm sorry for venting, I know this was a super long post. If you have a similar problem in the family I know you will completely understand where I'm coming from, and if you don't, consider yourself lucky and Blessed. Bottom line, love each other and enjoy each other TODAY, never let a moment go by without telling someone just how much they mean to you.