Monday, November 30, 2009


I've seen your beautiful photos of Thanksgiving with your families. I've seen small families and I've seen large ones. I've seen families sharing in the food preparation; I've seen music and after dinner walks or games; I've seen family snoozing on the sofa once the turkey takes affect. I've seen babies being cuddled and trees being decorated. And I just have one thing to say:




I have a daughter in Toronto who can't afford to come home this Christmas.


I have a daughter in the city who just quit school so she could work and make minimum wage and will probably be working most of the Christmas season.

My brother who lives an hour away doesn't much want to see family. (He has issues.)

The rest of my wonderful family are mostly in Newfoundland - an 8 hour drive, then an 8 hour ferry ride, followed by a 3 hour drive -- all wrapped up in oddles of Canadian currency and gas money.


On Sunday afternoon, I eagerly and cheerfully began to open the Christmas decoration boxes and put a few things around. Then it struck me! Molly isn't here, and she's the daughter that takes just as much joy in Christmas decorating as I do. Libby is working so much that I may not even get to hear her groan and make large, loud sighs over having to place a few ornaments on the tree and then make 15 trips to the bathroom! (Does decorating make you want to pee a lot?) And Amy! Oh my darling Amy! She won't even make it home for Xmas again this year.


Enough with the stiff upper lip business! I can't stand it! I miss my girls terribly! I had to put down the wreath and lean on the freezer and cry! I'm close to tears just typing this!
I was overwhelmed with sadness! It's not that children grow up, but they move away! And a lot of the time, they move far enough away that it's difficult to visit!
What's a sad Mama to do? Booze and chocolate just won't cut it, people! God will comfort me, I know! But I'm still gonna feel the pain of separation! And I don't want to feel this pain!

Well, I had my cry. And I finished carrying the boxes upstairs. And then Adriana came downstairs and wanted to help. And even though, unlike Molly, she didn't know the correct place to put the nativity scene or where we always put the Snowman cookie jar; she'd never helped decorate before, so I let her do it her way and once again opened myself to change! And she did a lovely job. Then Nadine finished her school project and came downstairs and oohhed and aahed. Then Libby came home and laughed once again this year at the amount of Xmas parapheralia we have (and the tree doesn't go up until next weekend!); but she still walked around touching familiar things.

And this all helped and I felt encouraged that it would be another wonderful Christmas!
And calling Molly to tell her how much I missed her that day helped as well. (I couldn't reach Amy. She's out leading her life without me! Waaaaaah!)
And watching "Elf" on TV helped.
And having peppermint chocolate chip ice cream with crumbled peanut butter cookies and chocolate sauce helped!
But you know what? It would also help if you'd all stop having such a good time with your families! 'Cause misery loves company, don't ya know!

PS - The above is based on jealousy and self-pity. This jealousy and self-pity will pass (and return periodically like a bad 70's sitcom). Please ignore my crying and keep sending me your wonderful pictures and stories. I'm a big girl and will handle it -- with prayer ------ and with more ice cream and sauce!


The Garden of Egan said...

Ah honey! I HEART ya! I wish you could have everyone home!
Enjoy the chocolate and Christmas movies.
Invite someone over throughout the month and go ahead and have a cry when you need it!

knitwit said...

When I saw your title it reminded me of a couple of months back when my little guy was finally diagnosed with autism. Every time I got onto facebook and saw that one of my friends had posted eleventy million new photos of her perfect family vacation with her perfect little kids and her perfect husband who is home every evening and weekend, I wanted to hurl my computer through a window!
My Christmas won't be quite what I'd like either. But we'll come out on the other side alright. And chocolate and booze WILL help!

Suburban Princess said...

Awww! Hang in there! You have a house full of wonderful people who seem to really like you! I know they arent your family but you will have an awesome Christmas with them!

Cherie said...

Oh I think we all wish we could come and spend Christmas with you!
It IS DANG HARD when the kids move all over and start living their own lives.
I've cried too!
When everyone cannot come home I try to fill my home with friends or others who are alone - it helps!
Sending you a big Christmastime {{{HUG}}}}!!

~~Carol~~ said...

Ice cream with sauce does help a multitude of troubles! It sounds like your Christmas will be a little different this year, but I bet you're going to make the most of it anyway. I haven't been reading your blog very long, but I can already tell that you are full of moxie, and you'll have a great Christmas in spite of it all!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, Darlin', I feel your pain. This Christmas will be a lonely one for me, too. Both my children married this year, and they're beginning to split up the holidays - this year, Thanksgiving with me means that Christmas will find my son and his wife 200 miles away at the home of her parents, while my daughter and her new husband will be in far-away Pennsylvania with his!
I'll have to stock up on that peppermint chcolate chip ice cream.

Marie said...

I know just how you feel Sandy. All of my family is over 2000 miles and an ocean away. I haven't seen them in 3 years now, well, except for Eileen last winter at the winter games. I wish so much that I could live closer and I cherish the times we do have to spend together all the more. It is hard when you see other families together having a great time, especially at this time of year. ((((hugs))))

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

You guys are wonderful! Thank you so much for your encouragement and love and hugs!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I've never been entirely left alone at the holidays as two of my children live close by and 3 others live 2to 3 hours away so they make the trip too...but the 2 out of state and their families I rarely get to see. But I do live by myself and I know how lonely that can get to be so I'm sympathizing with you today for sure. Thankfully you have those students staying with you this year. I don't know if they go home for the holidays or stay but at least they are company for you now. We all need a good cry now and then they are good for the soul too.

Susan said...

LOL!!! I guess there's the misery of not having your family with you for the holidays, and then there's the misery of them being there with you for the holidays! I've been so busy for the last two weeks getting ready for a houseful of family (4 days of them) and then having them here, and now getting rid of the evidence. (No, I didn't kill them!lol although I felt like it a few times!)

Thankfully, that's our biggest to-do of the year. Christmas is a little quieter with just my kids and their kids, AND they don't stay for 4 days. They go to their respective homes after a few hours, thank the lord.

I didn't even have time or the energy to take photos of the whole big mess. I'm a tired Thanksgiving hostess.

I love that you allowed Adriana to put her own touches on the decorating. I'll bet she's proud of a job well done. Lovely that you have her there to help assuage the "daughter missing".

Kammy said...

Bummer Girlfriend....My kids are 21,19 and 15 so still close enough to tie down...maybe I should - I think I would be just as sad as you if they lived so far away...I think you should decorate and take alot of pictures - blog about your great memories and call/email your girls, as I bet they would love to read even from afar and look at pictures - as I am sure they are missing you too.....and if all else fails, buy a puppy - a small one to cuddle with - I give you permission !
Hugs ~ Kammy

Mattenylou said...

I feel a bit like you, our family is all spread out, too. The folks we always spent holidays with are now focused on their granchildren's lives or heading south for the winter. The traditions are harder to follow, we just have to start new ones, I guess!

Lori E said...

My eldest son just flew in the door and gave us a quick smooch and then left to catch a flight. 2 weeks away but I only see him once in a while anyways though he lives 10 minutes away.
As for my brother we don't know if he is dead or alive.

stampernancy said...

welcome to empty nest syndrome - the holiday version - if you want to start a support group in Brigewater let me know - my heart is with you - Nancy

Nikia, May & da kids said...

You forgot Bah Humbug...oh wait, that's Christmas. I hope you see your own humor in life's crazy lil' mishaps. I feel your pain. My mom and her kids are REALLY negative, so we can't ever have a possibility of having a Holiday together and my in laws are worse, so no chance of that either - EVER! Just start with where you're at and you will be fine sweetie. You got a fan in me. You have put a smile on my face!

May at
check us out sometime

Sara said...

Sunday must have been a day of tears...I had them too. I haven't seen my son since last Christmas and he'll be in Ottawa this year so we won't see him. Waahhh! But thankfully he's healthy and happy...and he will visit NS some day soon (I hope!!)

Saranne said...

Sandy - Thanks for your comments on my post - looks like we're going through some of the same feelings! In the end, I know that we will come out of this in a good where we may have to change the traditions of having family coming "home" to us. Instead, we'll do our best to become a part of their homes, and continue to get our cups filled! Change just isn't easy, and finding our "right place" takes some readjusting how we view things, doesn't it? Hugs, Saranne

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Honey I do know how you girls are also all over the place and its so hard to get them all together for even a day...Many Blessings to you my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Vonlipi said...

We all have crap in our lives!

My in-laws are definitely on the naughty list...My mother in-laws has alzeimer, my mom drank so much so went crazy....

I spend Xmas with my Dad, my Dan and my duaghter in law.

You have to cope and think of those who have nothing.