Soggy wrapping paper

I’ve been blogging a lot lately.  Things have been so unsettled and it just feels freeing to type it all out for the world to see.  When you live life out loud, you must celebrate good and bad.  Things aren’t always beautiful, although there is beauty to be found in the ugliness around us.  Today…well today was just plain ugly.

I got up this morning with plans of wrapping my nephew’s Christmas presents before I had to be at work.  I awoke to my recently typical vertigo (I’ve been near-deaf in my right ear since Thanksgiving) and a migraine.  I was already thinking my day had turned to shit and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.  After a hot shower and a caffeine bolus, I managed to feel well enough to get out of bed.

I normally listen to upbeat, bass-driven music when I’m cleaning up around the house.  I knew I was in trouble when I opened up Pandora and immediately clicked on The Smiths Radio.  Take an unsettled brain, a heavy heart and add bands like The Smiths, The Cure and Radiohead…what kind of day would you expect?

I finally made it out of my room and into the car, hesitantly preparing for my trip to CVS.  My work schedule is about to get crazy for a few days and I wanted gifts to be ready to go for Christmas.  My family has had a great deal of financial struggle the last few years, so now we only focus on Nathan, my 12 year-old nephew.  I try to make things special for him…which brings me to my latest meltdown.

I came out of the store with my wrapping paper and stopped dead in the middle of the parking lot.  I had a very, very vivid memory of my mother.  I thought about how our house used to smell around the holidays.  I could see lights, decorations and hear her music box playing in the background.  I saw her face.  I was startled when an oncoming car beeped at me to get out of the way. 

Once I got to my car, I totally lost my shit.  I realized I had kept the love alive the last two years by doing everything my mother did.  I cleaned, decorated and made a fuss about having the house ready for Christmas.  I always wanted things to be perfect.  This year, we have no tree.  We have no lights.  There’s not a smidge of the holidays in my home, other than a few cards we’ve received from friends.  I failed them.  I failed myself.

I wept.  I wept for my mother.  I was disappointed in myself for letting my nephew down.  Does he even care?  I thought about her music box.  That fucking, 1980s music box!  For the last two years, I’ve melted into the floor every time I unpack that fucking music box.  Why does it still hurt like this?  Why do I even try?  I can’t be everything to everyone.  I can barely be what I need to survive myself.

The wrapping paper was soggy.  Chico, my dog, was sitting in the back of my car, scared.  He always gets scared when mommy cries.  Mommy cries a lot lately.

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