I can cover it up pretty well when talking to friends and family, but the truth is, Christmas without a partner definitely has its low points. It hurts to wake up alone on a day that is so fully loaded with family memories, children’s excited voices, stockings dumped on the foot of our bed, the dog in the midst of it all with her own Christmas treat from Santa.
Sounds like a made-for-TV movie, but it wasn’t a movie, it was our life, my life.
The children grew up, moved away and have their own families now, their own Christmas mornings and rituals. I miss those times, I can’t deny that, but if I close my eyes and listen…
The man with whom I had shared almost 40 Christmas mornings left me one week before that special date. Now he’s my ex-husband with a new family, and I am a divorced senior woman. But even this cannot take away the joy of those Christmases past. What happens today does not change the past. My love for him then was as real as is the love I have for my children. I must remember this. I must not let the humiliation and pain of the way he eliminated me from his life erase those good, true feelings of the past.
So now I am building a new Christmas morning ritual for myself. Ahead of time, I buy little gifts just for me, wrap them and yes, stuff a stocking to unload on Christmas morning-a book I’ve been wanting to read, a pretty colour of nail polish, my favourite chocolates. I will make a cup of coffee for myself, put my feet up and admire my little Christmas tree, strung with the bright and shiny memories of the past.
I wish I weren’t alone on Christmas morning. I wish I had a loving partner beside me in bed when I wake, beside me on the couch while we open our gifts to each other. But that isn’t the way my story goes. No, for whatever reason, whatever rights and wrongs, my story has veered off into a different direction. I don’t know when or what the ending will be, but I do know that only I can write it.
And in my story, I choose that Christmas is a day of joy, a day of love, a day of peace and acceptance.
Merry Christmas to every one of us! May our loving spirits keep us warm and strong.