This weekend was a whirlwind. Unfortunately, it was over before I knew it.
We had 13 people for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - my five children, my father, my sister Yvette, her husband Brian, and their three children, and Krystina.
Then on Monday, my Aunt Barbara and three cousins joined, so we made 17. My Dad, Brian and my oldest son Mike had to leave, so we were back down to 14. We took over the conference room for dinner. AJ fell asleep on Derek.
When Derek got tired, we headed back into his room, all 14 of us, and yes, it was a little cramped, but it felt good. AJ snuggled with Derek in bed, we pulled out the chair that converts to a bed to make more seats, and we simply made room.
Today, we were visited by Sgt Archie, who is usually very stoic and serious. He came in bouncy and actually smiling! He was happy and allowed the kids to pet his face, something he usually hates. He got up onto the bed with Derek, a special treat that is allowed only rarely.
In the afternoon, we said goodbye to Aunt Barbara, and my cousins, Michelle, Ainsley, and Jon. It was hard to see them go, because I don't know when I will see them again. That is one thing that is awful about this. Being away from extended family. I was always close to my family, and I liked knowing they were close. Having them so far away is tough.
I haven't seen most of my friends in over five months. Some of them have been able to come down for a quick visit, but most have lives that are not conducive to trips to DC.
The brat, yes Derek, then slept all afternoon because he had been awake watching movies with his brother Sean until 3 a.m.!! But it gave the kids and me time together to just talk and be in the same room, something I miss terribly.
Then the moment I had dreaded all day finally dawned. It was time to say goodbye to my sister, nephews and two of my children. (My son Sean will stay the week.) I couldn't do it. I was too choked up. Yes, me. The one who rarely sheds a tear. I couldn't get the words, "Goodbye, I love you," to come out of my mouth. I just hugged them tight and turned and walked to the nearest bathroom to break down. I sit here tonight, typing this, with tears still coming, and it is hours later. I hate this.
I hate missing the daily chit chat. I hate not being there for them at night. I hate not being able to help my daughter with daily struggles. I hate not being there for parent-teacher conferences. I hate missing nightly family dinners. Yes, I was one of those who insisted on eating together as a family EVERY night. No cell phones, no TV, no nothing but talking as a family. I miss it. Not knowing when or if I will get back to it is tearing me apart. I hate not being able to tease my sons about the girls they like. I hate not being able to stare down the boys who like my daughter. I hate not being able to snuggle with my kids or my cat. I hate not being a Mom. I know I am doing what I need to do, and the kids understand, because they have told me so, but I hate what I am missing.
Not knowing how I will pay the mortgage or continue to support my children if this doesn't end next month is causing extreme stress. Maybe that's why I have not had a decent night's sleep in weeks and this migraine has been tearing at my brain for two weeks? Whatever. I've always landed on my feet and I know it will work out eventually, but getting there is ripping me apart.
Oh well. I will continue to put on my brave face and fake it. If you don't feel it, fake it and eventually you'll fool yourself into believing it. I am strong. Stronger than I ever realized, it turns out, but sometimes the situation is beyond me, and I just fake my way through it. Before I know it, I'm at the end, and I don't have to be strong any more.
Sorry for the downer tonight, but it's been a tough evening. This isn't all rainbows, butterflies, unicorns and flowers. Raw emotion sometimes breaks free. I hate it.
Climb to glory. Keep going. Even when the mountain feels or looks insurmountable.... keep going. Never give in.... never give up.