Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Seventeen years ago today, my mom left. She sat us down in the dining room and told us that when we returned from celebrating Christmas with our grandparents, she would be gone and wouldn't be coming back. She meant in the living-in-the-same-house sense, and in that sense she was wrong -- she did come back for a few weeks in the spring, making a half-hearted attempt to work things out.

But in the more meaningful sense she was right. She never really did come back. Without my father, brother and me to keep her in check, she descended deeper into an alcoholic haze, one she seems to be in even when sober now. And there's been a distance in her eyes ever since then. Or maybe it was there before and I just didn't notice it. But I definitely experienced that moment as a turning point, for me for sure, even if not really for her.

And, sadly, this continues to be what I think of when Christmas Eve rolls around. Merry frickin' Christmas, mom.

On a more positive note, tomorrow I will wake up in my own house on Christmas morning for the first time in twenty years. Hooray!

1 comment:

Mommy, Esq. said...

Such a sad moment. I hope Christmas Eve's with Harry and your husband help ease the pain.