As I pulled out of the driveway from my daughter’s house, close to midnight on Christmas Eve–to spend the very first night at my very own little house, of course I was excited. Then, I looked back up at the big picture window and I could see them, Lyndi and her husband moving around in the front room to get everything ready for Santa Claus’ visit. I got the strangest clutch in my chest. My first thought was, “What am I doing?! Family and love and Christmas and happiness is happening right there, right now and I’m driving away from it–to be almost alone!”
I’ve lived with my daughter and her family since before her children were born. Since both boys went on their missions. Since before Jillian got married. Since before Dane got married. Eight maybe nine Christmas’–I don’t know, I’ve lost count. It’s all we’ve known for a long, long time. Everything just the way that it was.
I kept driving out into the night with all the funny, scared, lonesome thoughts going through my head. By the time I was half way to my house it was snowing hard. After sliding a bit on a slow turn, I pulled over into a gas station parking lot…and started to cry. I was quite prepared to sit there for however long it took, to calm down and get a hold of myself.
Then my phone rang. It was one of my other daughters calling to wish me a Merry Christmas Eve and to just see if I was ok. I think some little angel must have nudged her to call at that very moment. She told me that she was proud of me and that some things would be hard and different, but that they would also be good and wonderful. She told me that my family was still the same and close by and mine. She said that the scary things that were changing would be great. Most importantly, she said, “Mom, everything is going to be all right.”
Insert big, heavy *sigh* right here.
Funny how those last few words have such an incredible ability to actually make everything all right.
I drove the rest of the way home singing, “Chestnuts roasting…” with Nat King Cole, and it was warm and soft and lovely.
New. Different. A little scary.
But all good.
Here we go.
Merry Christmas my friends.