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Wishin’ and hopin’

After finding that email yesterday, I couldn’t resist reading a few more. This one really made me laugh:

“Could you please send me your wish lists? Unless of course you want me to randomly pick things out for you? Send it quickly, ok?

“Yes, somehow I deleted it. I don’t deny it. I don’t know how I did it. And no it wasn’t on purpose. So before you start hassling me how I don’t love you and all just send the list, ok? Thank you.”

She sent that one on Nov. 27, 2010, so she must have been wanting my Christmas wish list.

‘Last Christmas’ (…well, four Christmases ago)

I hate nearly everything right now.
It’s called the holiday blues, and even on my third Christmas without my mom, it’s still kicking my butt.
Sometimes it takes someone else putting it into words for you. My sister Cynda did that the other day. She wasn’t even talking about me, but when I heard those words, “the holiday blues,” it finally clicked. Christmas-time is kind of sucky for people who have lost loved ones. I’m one of those people.

Whether it’s Christmas or some other time of the year and I’m feeling just — I don’t know, sad — for several days in a row, and suddenly I realize it’s because my mom is haunting the back of my mind, I feel a weight pulling on me. That weight is the realization that I will carry this deep ache within me for a very long time, for the rest of my days.

Not this chick?
For a while now, I’ve been feeling like the tough part of me, the part of me most like my mom, has been in hibernation or is gone completely. Just the other day, someone was saying something about expecting me to tell off someone — I can’t remember the exact situation — and described the tough Sarah and how fearsome she was.
“She’s dead,” I said of tough Sarah.
Then, I realized I was also talking about the part of my mom that had been in me. I guess it left when she did.
I found this column I wrote about her a couple years ago, back when she was still alive:
“She stood up to any person who wronged me when I was a child and, as a result, I learned to stand up for myself and for those I love. She shrugged off adversaries whose character flaws made them act maliciously to others and taught me not to bother matching wits with those who have none.”

I can’t stand up for myself very well anymore. I wish I could, but that part of me feels broken. I’m sorry, Mom.

I can see the love and joy in my mom’s eyes when I look back through all of the Christmases in my life, as I open special and memorable gifts from her.
My first Christmas, my first doll “Michael,” and me in her lap opening Michael’s wrapping with my teeth, however many I had – a picture I will always treasure captures this moment.
I was so excited to get my Cabbage Patch preemie, Lindsey, several years later, even though she wasn’t black as I had requested. Mom looked everywhere for a black doll, but found none in Colorado.
I was so embarrassed at the time to get underwear and bras for Christmas in junior high – I had to open that in front of my dad and brothers! I smile at the memory, now. If only she could still give me such gifts.
She surprised me with a large framed print of a painting of a girl blowing bubbles while a gargoyle sprang into life to catch one. I had wanted it very much, but had no idea she would actually get it for me.
I saw the light in her eyes when I opened my emerald jewelry my senior year of high school. I saw it again two years ago when she gave me a beautiful amber ring.
Of course, Dad was also a part of these gifts and the joy of receiving them. I do not remember them as something she alone gave me.
But I’ve just been thinking of that look on her face when I would open gifts from them.
“Christmas Eve will find me / where the lovelight beams (a memory of her straight from my heart). / I’ll be home for Christmas (with you, Mom) / if only in my dreams.”