The Christmas That Wasn’t; The Christmases That Will Never Be

She makes sausage and cheese balls. I make mashed potatoes (peeled, boiled and mashed by hand). We watch The Muppet Christmas Carol and Elf with the kids. I read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” After they go to bed, we snuggle up and watch Love Actually. I never cared for that movie or Elf, but it’s not always about what I want to watch.

That had been the Christmas we talked about. Plans change, of course. But sometimes, they stay changed. The first Christmas we were in a relationship the pandemic was still an issue. My brother was supposed to have his wedding November of 2020 and it was postponed until the summer of 2021. No one did much for Christmas that year. Some years, you don’t.

But there was always next year. But by next year, she was already sick. The pandemic wasn’t an issue but her health was bad. I didn’t make it to the wedding because I was sick but then, several people got sick after that. And she had gotten the shingles and earlier that year, she had a seizure where she fell and hurt her head. It seemed every time we should have gotten together for something, there always was a complication.

But I still held out hope that 2022 would be our year. Then, on Feb. 3 she passed away after an illness. She had looked bad at Christmas. I looked at the photos recently and noticed it even more. I don’t know how long she was really sick, but I can understand why she never really told me.

Less than two weeks before she passed, she texted me. But there was some problem on my phone or hers. She was living and working in the Great Smokey Mountain area of North Carolina so sometimes service isn’t the best. I tried to contact her but couldn’t get through. She had been in the ICU.

A winter storm had come through in early February and it looked beautiful outside that day with all the snow on the ground. But it was one of the worst days of my life, if not, the worst until then. Mainly because a part of my life was over. For almost 30 years, we were friends. I told her everything she ever wanted to know. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I wanted those Christmas moments people post on social media.

But I won’t have them. I don’t have any kids of my own and neither did she, but we were going to try to start a family even if it meant adoption. But that’s not going to happen. For a lot of people, the holidays are the hardest because people have to go through them alone. It’s been rough this past year. And Christmas wasn’t any better.

I still love the holidays. I always have. I don’t want to be one of these irritable adults who hates the holidays. I used to buy things for the Angel Tree. I used to make monetary donations to food pantries. I hope to one day do that again. But knowing I’ll never be able to do it with her hurts very much.

There are memories we’ll never get to make. I’m still very mad at the people who allowed the pandemic to be so bad but it’s a different feeling than during the early days. When you’re someone who’s had your whole life change, it’s very hard to be forgiving. This wasn’t a wedding that could be rescheduled. There’s no way to describe this feeling unless you’ve felt it yourself.

And once gain, with Christmas Day gone, I still look to the future and say, “Well, there’s always next year.”

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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