Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This week Write On Edge asked us to write a memoir piece beginning with the words, “I miss my childhood”.

I miss my childhood because I wasn’t an orphan back then. It still stings to hear others talking about family holidays with their parents. I guess that sounds selfish but while I am trying to make new traditions that feel awkward and forced, others are enjoying the same traditions they’ve always had.

My mom carried on with most of our basic traditions after my dad passed away even though it was difficult for all of us. She was the backbone, the one who held us together. We continued to have Christmas Eve together with my brother’s family, all of us at her home. Even with the empty chair at the table we continued on with celebrations.

 Momma died, still hate to use that word, six years ago on December 5th. Christmas was a bomb needless to say. No tree, no decorations and few gifts. We made it through but it was the worst Christmas I have ever experienced.

I became an orphan at 41. Sounds strange I suppose but that’s what I was. That’s what I am. That’s what I will always be. I’ve come to grips with it and in no way begrudge anyone else the blessing of parents. Sometimes I’m envious that I don’t have what others have. I get angry when women talk about their mothers using bitter, sarcastic even hateful words. My thought is, “You’ll regret saying that one day.”

I’ve fallen short with my own family while setting new traditions. In trying to plan new things it usually doesn’t pan out the way I want it to. Maybe my heart isn’t in it. I know what some of you are thinking, “Get it together woman. You’ve got a family of your own to think about.” Yes I know that. I’ve told myself that for years.

Depression is a hard thing to kick even when you know you have others counting on you. In fact knowing that makes it even more overwhelming. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries of deaths are all hard days and I still struggle. The anniversary of my dad’s death was yesterday. Someone asked me, “It was 12 years ago shouldn’t you be over it by now?” I replied, “Well since you haven’t lost your dad I guess you don’t know what it’s like but I still remember what happened to him on this day every year.”

I’m not writing this to get sympathy or pity but it’s therapeutic and healing to get out into words what I hold in my heart. Many thanks to Write On Edge for pushing me to write about the hard things, the buried things when I otherwise probably wouldn’t.