I'm so glad Christmas is over.
We had a great time catching up with family and friends a few hours north. My Davey had some quality time with blokey cousins in their 20's, and they enjoyed his company too. Some of the time they were doing work on Grandpa's little farm together, other quality time was spent in lounge chairs watching the Boxing Day Cricket Test. I really enjoy seeing my Davey having good bloke time.
I caught up with some dear friends and had some relaxed time that may have involved champagne, and that was really lovely.
There were no family frictions, because the factious members didn't show.
A favourite Aunt (I'm actually named after her) shared the news on Boxing Day that she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has only a short time to live. This Aunt lives some distance from me, but encouraged and supported me greatly when my Rob died. However, her attitude in the face of this is that at 85 she knows her time is ending and will be able to tie up many loose ends and say the farewells she most wants to. My father commented that she is facing it well, and that her husband (his brother) served in the war and won't let this worry him. I let the comment slide, but inside I wanted to tell him what a foolish, idiotic, unempathic comment this was. Serving in the war does not prepare anyone for the loss of their loving partner after 60 plus years of marriage! Grrrrrrr! Thankfully Dad doesn't live any where near my uncle, so his lack of understanding should have a minimal effect.
As usual I didn't really have time to think of my Rob on Christmas Day. It's just darn hectic. There were moments though, and those moments were as heart piercingly poignant as ever. He should have been 51. He should have been there to help me navigate the foibles of my parents, but I had to be grown up all by myself. Then the moment of thought would be overtaken by busyness and lost. Now that Christmas and his birthday have passed, I feel less stressed and the feeling of the world being out of kilter and having to consciously make an effort to be cheerful has passed. The feeling is also one of wanting to remember my Rob but not having time to and not feeling right about that. It's just so difficult to organise Christmas for my children, help them to cope with the total disorganisation of my parents while helping them to see that wonderful things about my parents AND have time for private reflection. It's all part of the juggling act.
My grief is bearable, containable, now. This is the first Christmas since Rob died we've had Christmas at my parents'. They've been able to come to me for the last 5 Christmasses, and the rest of the family has acceded in kind consideration to me, which I'm very, very grateful for. Rob was such a big part of organising Christmas at my parents'. We would always ready their house for the influx of family, organising bedding, food, and ah, first and foremost, CLEANING! My parents are no longer able to travel this year, and I was OK with that. We did things a bit differently, but we did Christmas at my parents without my Rob, and I had a great time. Though skulking off for champagne with friends helped!
I've adapted to my life. I hate the burden of solo parenting and the demands that places on me, but I'm getting through that too. I'm at peace with my life and am grateful for the many, many rich blessings I have.