Wednesday, November 21, 2012

(BREAKING) TRADITION!

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This very time last year, I got in a little tiff with my Grammy. About TRADITION.

To make an awfully long story short, she was in a rehab home over the Thanksgiving holiday, recovering from a minor back surgery, and I was sent to be the bearer of bad news (because she and I are very close). What I thought would be an easy sell, telling your Grammy that Christmas was going to be a lot simpler that year- without presents- was more difficult than I thought.

"What!?" She said with a look of pure horror on her face.

"No presents?"

I reminded her that she was in no shape to go out and buy us all gifts- like, she physically could not go. And then I reminded her that my exhausted elderly grandpa, who had been caring for her for months prior, would have no clue where to start. I explained that we were still going to have a big bash with dinner, Christmas Carols AND a hot cocoa bar.

Her eyes were noticeably upset.

"This is MY tradition, Jacy. I have done it every year. Don't you dare expect me not to do what I have always done."

I felt slightly attacked. We were trying to help ease the stress in her life... we just wanted her to get better as fast as possible...

I reminded her again,

"Grammy... it's okay... we are all grown now... we don't need gifts. Family is what will make this party... not gifts.... it's okay... it's okay..."

Her eyes were desperately trying to make sense of her new reality. She was aging. She wasn't the spry go-getter that used to be and she literally couldn't do anything about it. Her life was changing. Her mobility was lessening.

I felt really bad as I watched her process the information she was given.

She yelled a feable yell,

"Well what about my tradition? TRADITION! I am broken hearted."

At that moment, I lost it. I didn't mean to... but I did....

"Tradition, Grandma? You want to complain to me about tradition right now? Did you know that I won't be able to tuck my one and only little boy in his covers on Christmas Eve? Did you know that I don't even get to SEE my son open presents Christmas morning? Did you know that I won't be able to share the excitement with him when he sees what Santa left under the tree?"

I was bawling as I spewed out the words.

She was silent. I could tell her heart hurt.

"Did you know that I won't be able to see Little Dude for 7 out of the next 14 Christmas's! And Thanksgiving's... and Easter's. You've had so many wonderful years with your kids and grandkids, interruption free... please... please don't talk to me about tradition and broken hearts."

My patient Grandpa, the witness of it all, just held her trembling hand and tears fell from his face.

I embraced my Grammy. I apologized for lashing out like that. I felt horrible. I should never have unleashed on hery like that. She was hurting, just as much as I was, only about different things... things that neither one of us could control.

Here's what I learned that icy day at the Heritage Home:

TRADITION is wonderful. TRADITION is fun. TRADITION is, well, tradition.

But sometimes, TRADITION isn't always possible.

Little Dude will be with his dad tomorrow and through the weekend. My very favorite holiday... and I won't get to spend it with him.

I suppose I could cry... I could feel super sorry for myself... I could put a damper on the day for myself and all those around me... I could wish and wish and wish and WISH a million times that it was different... but guess what?

It's not.

This is my life.

I am forced to break tradition.

I have no choice.

But what I have come to finally accept is that THIS IS MY LIFE. It is what it is. And instead of sulking and wishing my life away, I am choosing to MAKE NEW TRADITIONS, instead. And I am learning to love this new aspect of my life- even though it is hard and different and unexpected. The minute I let go of how my life should be and finally embraced HOW IT IS, it became so much more manageable and enjoyable- guilt free.

This year I am spending the holiday with Seth and my parents. Just the 4 of us. That's it. And even though I wish my Little Dude could be with me tomorrow and for every Thanksgiving to come, I am genuinely happy that he gets to spend this special time with his other family and I am genuinely happy in doing whatever it is I am blessed to do.

So, this is my life... and even though I am breaking all tradition and trying to make new ones... and I'm missing my little buddy... I plan to have a marvelous time anyway!

I hope you will have a marvelous time, too, no matter what you're doing (or not doing) or who you're with (or not with).

Wishing you all safe travels today and throughout the weekend. Be careful out there!

XOXOXO


2 comments:

  1. I love this message so much. Embracing the day....that is the key. So often easier said than done, but key.

    I love you, lady. Thank you for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't have Max for Thanksgiving either, which is my favorite holiday too. But I'm with ya, make the most of it! Thanks for always writing what I can't put into words.

    ReplyDelete

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