The Christmas season starts off just okay for me. My neighbor took me to lunch at The Mable House and we got to shop the artists’ market there. The weather was still warmish and no one is sick of Christmas yet.
The guy manning the cake station, set up in the middle of the tea room, was cutting giant slabs of cake. In the past, women have done that job, giving smallish slices. “What do you do for your day job?” I asked him, grateful for his heavy-handed slicing. So grateful that my neighbor and I both decided to take an extra piece home.
“I’m an engineer,” he said. I told him Bob had been an engineer. Turns out this man went to Georgia Tech just like Bob.
I came home with some yummy homemade candies and a couple of pieces of handmade jewelry. Soon enough, the weather will turn downright cold and I will begin to overdo the sweet-eating. No one is immune from this. “Just one piece. Just one cup of eggnog.” And before you know it, anything goes.
The string of anniversaries begins to be counted off. Bob’s birthday, Dec. 12. His death, Dec 20. His funeral, Dec. 23, Christmas, Dec. 25, our anniversary, Dec. 28. By New Year’s Eve I am pretty much wiped out emotionally. There are no big dramas around any of these events. It’s just that they are stacked up for me to experience like planes on the tarmac at Hartsfield International Airport.
I begin to feel alone and blue. Like grief has gobsmacked me yet again. And as strong as I am, I will go on. Only now I am older and wiser. I am treating myself with more kindness. Yeah, really.
I don’t drag out a lot of decorations because they don’t do it for me. I am just not a celebratory personality. I like peace and quiet most of the time. I am looking forward to kirtan on Dec. 20, which happens to be the anniversary of Bob’s death. I like that. I am still in love with him. After all, love is forever and you don’t need a diamond to say that.