Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making sense

December has never been an easy month for me. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is and always has been my most favorite holiday. When the kids were little, it was a really stressful time because they all had school programs, class parties that required baked goods and parental guidance, scout stuff, gift exchanges, etc. Add OUR social obligations on top of all that, and I was barely hanging on by my fingernails most of the time. But it was all worth it, when on Christmas morning, all three of them were sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for 6 a.m., the time when they could run down and see what Santa brought.

Then sixteen years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), my mom, who was supposed to come to our house from Minneapolis for Christmas, suddenly fell ill on Christmas Eve, and died on New Year's Eve without ever waking up. You can see how the season that I loved took a turn. While I can't say it gets easier, there are some years that are better than others.

Fast forward to 2007, when on December 5th, a gunman walked into Von Maur, arguably our nicest department store, opened fire, and killed eight people before shooting himself. Everyone knew someone who was in the store or had a brush with closeness. A friend was hiding in the lingerie department when the shooting started, and returned later to buy the robe that saved her life. Aly and Alex were headed to the mall, and thank God Aly took a bit longer to get ready, because otherwise they would have been there. That month had me at the doctor's office for a prescription for Xanax.

And then this year, well, I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened in Connecticut. One of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess (who is usually pee-your-pants-funny) had a Dr. Who quote that I think bears repeating: "The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things...The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things, and make them unimportant". One of the responses was from Sarah at "Life is awesome, excepting the shitty parts".

Sorry about the tone of today's post, but I know pretty much everyone in the country is feeling the same way. I'll leave you with a little bit of happy:

My friend (and boss) at the museum, Jane, brought me these today. It all stemmed from the first Easter I worked there, in 2006, and she brought Peeps for everyone who had to work that day. I told her how much I LOVED Peeps, and there hasn't been an Easter where she hasn't brought me some. Her husband, Michael saw these and said to get them, but when Jane told him I only ate the Easter-themed ones, he said to get them anyway because they're cute!

I'm sitting home, waiting for Dwight to get here. We're anticipating our first snowfall of the year, and they're forecasting nine inches of snow and blizzard conditions. The presents are wrapped, mailed if they needed to be, we have plenty of food, and I'm about to go put on my comfy sweatpants (the Walmart ones with the pockets. Pockets in sweatpants? Really?) I believe there will be an open bottle of wine awaiting Dwight.

I hope everyone is home and warm, safe, and dry. Happy blizzard!

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