Theresa, listen to Joey -- and then listen to your friends here. We can't be 'present' in your home but you are present in our hearts.
A coworker today was complaining that she's so homesick because she'd rather be celebrating Christmas in Hawaii (her home state). But another coworker just found on this week that he has cancerous tumors in his kidneys. Another coworker is having 50 IMMEDIATE family relatives (mother, father, sisters, the sisters' spouses, her own kids, her grandchildren, her nieces and nephews) to her house tonight and tomorrow, but another coworker, who is also a good friend, has virtually no family. Neither do I.
My sister is a life-long drug addict, my youngest son is spending Christmas with my future DIL -- and they just told me last night that they are moving two hours away in about a week. This is my 'baby'; the 6'2", 180 lb. man who is really his own man, but we are very close. My oldest son is not talking to me (and really hasn't in a year) so I don't see my grandchildren. My mother and father -- I don't even want to get into that. I have no aunts or uncles, and I have no idea where my six cousins are. We never got to really know each other because we didn't live close to each other while growing up -- and our parents spent a lot of time not talking to each other. And six weeks ago I broke up with a man I loved -- and will always love -- deeply.
The only reason Christmas is SUPPOSED to be the happiest time of the year is because TV commercials and the rest of the media TELL us it's supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Kind of like Disneyland being the happiest place on earth. It is really? No, but they tell us that and try to make us believe it. And if they can get us and/or our kids to believe it, then we'll go there and they'll make more money. Look at our TV commercials lately: a 'Merry Christmas' is all about buying the right presents.
As long as we keep thinking there's something 'wrong' with us because we can't believe in the fairy tale that Christmas should be the happiest time of the year, we're just going to add more pain on top of the normal, even healthy sadness that we already have. I know a 65-year-old, ex-Marine who is happily married many years. However, he lost his mother recently, and his daughter and her family are half way around the world. He's having a hard time with the 'holidays' also.
Life doesn't stop -- and we don't automatically become 'merry' -- because the holidays begin. Life is very difficult much of the time. And since 9/11 and with so many of our service people (our relatives and friends and lovers) spending the holidays in the Middle East and our economy so bad, it's been and still is a rougher year that usual for a lot of us in similar ways and different ways. Not to mention that A LOT of people -- too many -- are spending the holidays alone.
There's nothing wrong with you, Theresa. Almost everyone has some sadness around the holidays for some reason. And you have good reasons to be sad. Have a peaceful night's sleep, and hang in there. What Christmas is really about is a man who was born 2000 years ago and tried to teach us how to be peaceful within ourselves and between each other. We didn't get the message. After 2000 years, we still don't get it. We have a right to be sad during the Christmas holidays.
In my thoughts and prayers,