I’m in my room right now, 3:55 p.m., on Christmas Eve, trying to pull myself together.
We’re going to a Christmas Eve service at the church my parents found for the six months+ that we’re here, and I just can’t stop crying today.
At first, I thought I was crying for no reason. Just one of those days that I have sometimes.
Then I realized I read something about breast cancer first thing this morning, so I thought that’s what it was. It’s a trigger, you know? Just the words “breast cancer.” Or sometimes just “cancer.” Or anything related to it. So I thought that was it.
Then I realized, no, it’s because it’s Christmas Eve. And I’m remembering all the Christmasses when I was a little girl, how exciting and fun it was, with bright eyes shining and presents awaiting me under the Christmas tree. As I watch how excited Morrigan is, I remember that, and I remember the moment I realized the anticipation is better than the presents, and I hope she learns it, and early.
So then I thought it was because I was remembering easier times. The happiness and fun that we had. Christmas, when it was easy and when I didn’t–know–I had cancer.
Did I have it last year? Most likely. The year before? Possibly.
And I started crying for the third time, and I realized that it’s not even all that, it’s on top of that, my parents sold my childhood home, and I never said goodbye. But I was okay with that. It’s not that–not that I didn’t get to say goodbye. I know from experience that saying goodbye is not enough.
Another of those life lessons, but a shittier one.
It’s that I can never go home again, and I don’t know how to deal with that.
We’ll never have those Christmas Eve nights back, where we sang Christmas carols in the car as we drove to and from church. We’ll never have that last hymn, Silent Night, where everyone lit everyone else’s candles and it got quiet and somber and beautiful and all you could hear was rustling as people stood up to leave. We’ll never again sit in my childhood house and open the Christmas Eve presents.
Yes, I’m making new memories with my family. This is supposed to be a hopeful Christmas. I shouldn’t be crying, mourning for my childhood, which has nothing to do with the cancer diagnosis.
But here I am anyway.
I hoped that writing about it makes it hurt less. Putting things into words usually–sometimes–does. Maybe.
I need to go get dressed. Put my scarf on. Go downstairs. Check to make sure everything is ready.
I guess I’ll know soon.