I’m getting antsy about Christmas knitting. I have LOTS to do, brains and socks and monsters and monkeys. Some of it is just not going to get done. And there’s all the sewing up and darning in, which I find tedious. There’s all the little bits around the edges, too, small things to acknowledge people who make me happy each day in small ways, and who make my path a little easier.
I’ve pared down Christmas over the years. I don’t get too excited about it anymore, really. It’s really the first Christmas I will have had without a partner (save for 1999, the Year That Ate My Brain) for twenty-five years. That alone is strange. I will not be alone, I have dear friends and family who see to that, but it will be different. I miss having small children around, making Santa real, wishing dust and bootprints and snacks left out.
I don’t belong to a religious community, so it’s not a community celebration for me in that sense. The soaring passion I felt singing at midnight mass with the brothers at the SSJE in my younger days I think is a thing of the past.
When my mum passed away, for the first year or two I felt a little like I had to kick it up a notch, to fill a void for everyone. I’ve learned that it’s not a bad thing to have a void, it doesn’t necessarily NEED to be filled. That little void that’s left is called remembrance, and it’s not a bad thing. We can miss the things that a person did, and not replace them, and it’s okay. I have my own shape, and when I leave, I will leave my own void. It’s a weird shape, the metaphysical shape of me, and I’m sure it will leave a weird void. But it’s my shape, and no one will ever fill it quite exactly right.