ONCE UPON A TIME
Once upon a time there was a Christmas filled with all the trimmings and trappings of the holiday. The tree was decorated with bows and candy canes while the sounds of the holiday were heard through the many ornaments and decorations that were strewn throughout the house. This is but one of them
The Christmas village scenes were set up painstakingly and lit on Christmas eve to the delight of the young one who waited patiently for their appearance. Trudging through the cold and snow to embrace more holiday cheer on the sidewalks of New York. Visiting the tree at Rockefeller center and the windows at Saks. Strolling fifth avenue and taking in the transformation from mean city streets to holiday lanes filled with throngs of holiday crowds.
Many Christmases ago there were nights spent baking and decorating all manner of cookies and cakes the home filled with the smells of freshly baked goodies The radio played all the holiday tunes and was only interrupted momentarily by having to trek outside and string up the Christmas lights outside on the house.
Some years presents were optional, many years they were few and far between, but the feeling of being together at that time more than made up for it. Teaching how to wrap presents and scrambling to clear up all evidence that a marathon gift wrapping session had taken place. All these scenes of all those Christmases long, long ago.
The once upon a time Christmas no longer is extant and the Christmas of the here and now via life’s myriad turns and twists almost seems like it doesn’t belong with the Christmases that came before. Sitting alone in an apartment, with no tree, and no Christmas lights, no outward signs of the holiday to be found. No Christmas music playing on the radio – no radio. No laughter and scrambling to put the tree together and decorate. No anxious eyes waiting for the bowl and watching to see when they can swipe a taste of the cookie or cake batter contained therein.
There are no Christmas bells ringing through the house, no wassail song or three ships sailing. Instead there is silence. Broken only momentarily by the sound of fingers hitting the keyboard. This accompanied by the soft plunk of the tears that fall every so often, most choosing instead to just run down.
While all around is festive and filled with holiday cheer, there is none to be found here. Not on this day. The construct under which the holiday was memorable and filled with activities that would lead to memories no longer exists.
There are no memories to replace those with should I even want to forget….
The work now comes from the effort expended in trying to keep my spirits up. To staunch the tears for a time – so as not to spend the entire time bawling. It becomes difficult as I grow weary of wracking my brain trying to find things to do to keep my mind occupied and away from things that will invariably lead to tears.
I am told that the this holiday season is a time for joy and merriness. I am told that it is a time for families to be together and peace love and joy. These things told are nowhere in evidence in the Christmas of today. There is no family, no friends coming by, there is little peace and joy can only be counted in the successful attempts at stopping the flow of tears. Then I remember there is no love either…and as I sit in silence I wonder if I will ever have a once upon a time Christmas again. The thought itself fights to spring free but after a brief struggle it is forced back into the box with all the other tear invoking things that threaten to overwhelm but must be contained.
The joy and the love are the hardest ones of all it is usually those two which will find their way to starting the tears back again. It is that sore that burns the most, the wound that is the deepest with no indication as to any ease or end. Now stopping to grab those thoughts and with all the strength I can muster, force them too back into the box and place them even deeper in the hope that it will be harder for them to get out next time. Realizing with the thought that there is no sure way to keep them there reliably.
If I was a wolf right now, I would sit outside under a clear sky and a full moon and howl….
Since that is not an option the next best thing is a long bath….with a candle or two. There at least the tears will fall into the bathwater and be drained away with no evidence of their having been in the first place.
The mask firmly back in place, back to pretending.