Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I am being haunted. Haunted by memories of Mom. When I go for my massage, I think of the many times that Mom and I went there for her haircuts and perms. Pier 1 was one of her favorite stores; thus whenever I cross the threshold into that store I think of her and I smile. Places and things cause memories to come flooding back. In my dreams, Mom and/or Dad are usually there and I fight to stay asleep so that I can spend time with them. I lie in bed at night and see the walls that Mom saw every night, and I listen to the stillness of our house knowing that Mom felt that stillness for hours day after day while I was at work and she was stuck at home. I remember her anger about this, but I know that it was best that she not be out driving on her own in the early stages. My greatest fear was that she would become confused and get lost. Or worse. This time is especially hard.

My Mom loved the holiday season. She would bake cut out sugar cookies and we would decorate them. She would make rock candy and we kids would cut the hot candy into pieces that we first rolled in powdered sugar. I remember the burned finger tips we all had from this, year after year. Mom would put the brightly colored candy into glass jars that she decorated and give them as presents to teachers, relatives and friends. She also would make candle holders using broken green and clear glass. Our house was decorated inside and out. Christmas mini lights were strung on our fir tree (which the neighbor kids ripped down every year) and my grandfather's ten dollars would be used to purchase a lovely Douglas fir tree at the local tree lot. Many times I went with Mom to pick out the tree. Later, when we moved to Minnesota, we would go as a family to a tree farm and cut our own tree, hauling it back to the car and bringing it home where it inevitably had to be cut smaller because we had overestimated the size of our living room. Each year we vowed that 'next year we'll pick a smaller tree' but of course we never did. Christmas Eve meant a candlelight service at church around midnight preceded by a party with friends. On Christmas morning we would be surprised by the gifts that Mom and Dad had purchased for us. My brother would search the house for weeks beforehand trying to find the unwrapped presents. At first he succeeded, but Mom was wise to his ways; she would hide his presents at the neighbor's.

May the memories of the holiday season fill you heart with peace and joy.


Debbie's Garden said...

I don't think there's any getting around having those memories and feelings pop up, especially over the holidays.
Do like your Mom did, and go back in time and remember the good ones.

J said...

BitterSweet (((Robyn)))
I know it's hard but while remembering how much she loved this time of year, she also loved you. Try to have the Holiday the way she would want for you. Full of the JOY she found in all she did for the Season.

jutka said...

During the holiday season my memories are haunting me also, and sometimes that hurts. But then I feel that my dear husband is still with me, his love is all around me, and I'm not alone. He would not want me to be sad. And I just think about the happy memories.

rilera said...

Thanks everyone for your posts and advice. By the time I finished this posting I had lifted my spirits, thinking about all of the wonderful Christmases with my family. I am lucky to be going to my sister's for Christmas this year.

Cinnamin said...

Thinking of you Robyn and sharing (understanding) and hugs.

As I was reading your post I too recall the many happy Holidays that I was blessed to share with my parents. I miss them so. This month, on the 27th will be two years for my mom. I so much understand the "looking at the same wall" sentence. I spend quite a bit of time with these same thoughts. Dad loved to decorate for ANY Holiday and when I hung the lights outside (I've been adding a string or two in the past two years) I told my son that this year we decorate to celebrate for Grandpa too. I keep waiting for it to "get easier" as that is what everyone says. I think that it is easier to remember the good times as the time goes by...But easier to go on and keep on missing them? I'm not sure.

Sorry - I'm just going on and on.

Anyway, I wish you love, joy and the making of new memories and special remembering of the old this Holiday season. Merry Christmas!

rilera said...

Thanks Ruthie, I remember too well your vigil with your mom and my heart goes out to you. I can't believe it's been 2 years for you. It will be 1 year for me. And even though it's part of life, it doesn't get easier, it just hurts a little less with each passing year.

nancy said...

reading your post brought back a lot of memories for me and Chritmas with gene and russ. i keep waiting for it to get easier too, but i guess it already has in some small ways.

thinking of you and wishing you the very best. i'm glad you will be spending Christmas with your sister. take care.

rilera said...

Thanks nancy. Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with wonderful memories and new ones to boot!

Nine Years and Counting

Mom has been gone for a little over nine years. This blog was a huge mechanism for helping me cope with her illness and daily downfall. I...