Fighting the Sadness

We had a jumpin’ weekend here in the MC household.  My mom came down Friday night and stayed with the kids while Chris and I got gussied up and had a nice date night…  where we spent the second half of the meal in a HUGE, candlelit, whispered fight about holiday plans.  Good times.  But actually, we had been needing to have that little discussion and no matter where or when we had it, it was going to be messy.  So, might as well enjoy a little Bang Bang Shrimp while we hashed out our plans.

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I have been saving gift cards for months for this date night, and the fact that we had a huge, five-course meal with tiny little martinis that only cost us $4.00 sort of dulled the drama of the fight (or maybe that was those tiny little martinis???). By the time we paid the bill, Chris and I were high-fiving our thriftiness. And it did not slip our attention that this was yet ANOTHER example of God providing (I think we’re up to over $500 in freebies we’ve received since we started praying about our family budget…).

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My mom spent the night on Friday night because we were going to go to a big arts festival all day on Saturday, but the weather did not cooperate. We were all sort of in the Christmas spirit, though, so we headed to the mall instead to visit Santa. The Santa we saw is the best in town, and the line for him can be HOURS long. In fact, we’ve never actually made it to him before because the crowds are so ridiculous. But this year, we decided to go before Thanksgiving. We figured we would be so early that the crowds would be minimal.

WRONG.

We still waited an hour to see him, but it was worth it.

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The look on Gracie’s face in this next picture sort of sums up her feelings about Santa Claus. She is obsessed with him this year. She talks about Santa all the time right now. She squeals when we see him in books or on TV, and she has talked about wanting to go visit him for weeks. But when we actually got in line, her feelings changed a bit. She was none too pleased to have him sitting there in person. So, Chris held her while Bean went up to see Santa.

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Bean Man is at the ideal Santa age. He had his little list of things he wanted to ask for, he told Santa what a good boy he was, and he was in awe as he sat there with him and talked. It was really magical to watch. You could tell he was a little nervous, but Bean just KNEW this was his chance to place his Christmas order for all the Ninja Turtles in the world… and so he manned up and did the job. I was so proud of him!

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Truthfully, I’ve been a little blue the past week. I think it’s because Thanksgiving is coming and I’ve been missing my dad. I don’t know that holidays will ever be the same without him. For the past week, I have woken up in the mornings and felt that weight on my chest like something I’m dreading was coming that day.  But I check my calendar every day and remind myself that nothing is wrong, nothing is coming. Finally, I realized that this is about the holidays coming. I bet this is me bracing myself for the another holiday season without my dad.

Which is why I am so grateful for weekends like this with family and festivities. They remind me that things are still good. That life is still full and rich. That God is still present and providing. I take weekends like these and I tuck all that goodness away in my heart so that when the holidays are here and the sadness comes, I can take these memories out and wrap myself in them. And while that certainly doesn’t extinguish the sadness, it at least coats it in love and joy, and that makes it a little easier to bear.

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9 thoughts on “Fighting the Sadness

  1. Brooke

    I still miss my grandma just a little more during the holidays.

  2. Trish D

    My dad passed away in 1993 and my sister in 1997…holidays have never been the same. But, we go on and trust in God’s promise. This year, my family will gather here in New Orleans with us and we’ll have a good time…there will be some tears..but, there will also be lots of laughter and good times. Hugs you tightly, my imaginary friend. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season.

  3. Melissa

    This is our 5th holiday season without our dad. Today my sister and I went shopping for Christmas trees. When we found the perfect tree we agreed it was about time we went back to be super excited about the holidays. Nothing made my dad happier than seeing us enjoy ourselves and nothing would piss him off more than knowing we had moped through those first holidays. It’s still hard, but every year is easier to remind myself to be happy.

  4. Justine

    We lost my young brother this past summer.. I feel that weight everyday.. But we have young children we need to fight on for… Praying for you.. Please pray for me

    1. jamie

      i will be praying for you.

  5. One of our marriage counselors actually recommended that when there’s a “discussion” that needs to be had that people go out in public to do it. With listening ears all around, there’s less tendency to fight dirty and you’re more likely to stick to the point and aim for resolution.

    The shrimp is an awesome bonus.

  6. If you are going to have an unhappy conversation, then it might as well be over some good food, especially if you don’t have to cook it yourself! Bean is so cute with Santa and Gracie’s face is priceless! Enjoy being around your family this holiday season, even while missing your dad. You are really lucky to have such a close relationship with your mom and sister.

  7. Fun family weekend! You are indeed thrifty! I am trying to be a bit more thrifty to help with our budget as well.

  8. […] what I realized this year after our colossal date night fight at Bone Fish, was that just because Chris isn’t a good planner doesn’t mean that he should have to […]

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