I'm having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. It's not just being in a different place. I think it's part of my grieving process.
My husband, Steve, and I used to do a huge thing for Christmas - outlined the house in multi-colored lights, put up a huge tree and 4 little ones, midnight services at church, prime rib for dinner Christmas day, family gatherings all over, the whole thing. Then he was diagnosed with cancer in October 2005. Christmas that year was wonderful - all the family came over, my step-daughter was flown home from Afghanistan early, it was heartwarming and homey and made wonderful memories.
Then my dad passed away January 13, 2006. On Christmas Eve day 2006, we called Hospice for my husband. They did the intake on Christmas Day. He lasted until January 3, 2007. I haven't really done Christmas at my house since then. I did put up a couple of the small trees, but it's not to the extent we decorated in the past. Strangely enough, doing only a little is almost worse than doing nothing at all. This year, I'm doing nothing - because my Christmas stuff is still at my old house. Another snafu. My mover didn't finish the job, and now is not responding to my emails and calls. Great. At least I know where my stuff is - I just can't afford to pay extra to get it up here right now, because...
On Thursday of this week, I was laid off/ terminated/ fired. Whatever you want to call it. My boss called it "terminating our association." Totally blindsided me. Threw me for a loop. I really did not see this coming. I usually have some sort of idea about this kind of thing, but this time, nothing. Totally out of the blue. That's, I think, the hardest part of this. If I hadn't been hearing "good job" about my work, if he hadn't given me a letter three days before, listing assignments for the next few weeks and outlining the next few months, I would have had some sort of idea.
However, as I have had to say so many times before, what is simply is what is. I'm treating myself to extra time with my darling children - my son and daughter-in-law in NJ - and while I'm there, I'll send out resumes all over, looking for temporary work. The hardest part is going to be the economic reality - I won't be able to afford the money or time to pay for a bar review course, now, so I have to put off the bar exam again, until next July. On the other hand, I will have time to get more integrated into the legal community here, to make contacts, and to work off some of my law school debt, so that's a positive thing. Now I just have to find a job to enable me to do those things!
I will have a good Christmas anyway. It's impossible not to, with my daughter-in-law's mother taking charge of the holiday! She's a Christmas nut, the way I used to be, and they are a loving, giving, welcoming family. I'm very, very blessed to have all of them in my life. I'll be there Thursday, and I can't wait. I hope everyone has a good Christmas, too. My prayers this season are for peace on earth. True peace, that comes from within.
Steve at his last Christmas, 2006