29 December 2008

Notes from the holidays

So first of all, before we get all gooey about how it's the holiday season, let me say this: Planes don't exist.

In the span of 10 days, I've had 5 flights canceled and missed 2 Christmases. All of these canceled flights were due to "weather", but only once was it snowing and once was it raining. (Yea, I know you're now going to regale me with all this logical stuff about how weather HERE doesn't affect a plane flying from Chicago or some such blah blah. But I've never been one to hold much on to logic, so whatever.) Last week was possibly the most amusing / annoying.

I was supposed to fly out on the 23rd and was at the airport at 8:30am, dutifully arriving 90 minutes prior to my flight departure, when my flight was canceled. I swore, booked another flight for the next day (add on a rental car because it was to a different airport) and went home.

That night, a lovely recorded voice had the decency to call me *before* I left for the airport to tell me that the next day's flight was also canceled due to weather... and I signed up for another flight on the 24th... and changed the rental car.

At 2am on the 24th, my phone buzzed...and the lovely recorded voice says "canceled" again, and a 2.5 hour phone call later had a flight on Christmas day (actually 2 flights) that would get me in late on the 25th. Which was... you got it... also canceled.

Add to that 2 more flights (one from the week before canceling a trip to see extended family in North Carolina) and one more on the return trip on the 27th and that adds up to five - yes, count 'em, five - canceled flights in the span of 9 days. And one helluva lonely Christmas. So I decided to ignore Christmas on the 25th this year and just save it until later, when my nephews get back into town and I can celebrate with them. And I also decied that planes don't actually exist. They are just figments of my imagination and crank calls to my cell phone. So there.

So in the spirit of ignoring Christmas, on the 24th, I went to the supermarket: Bought a mini chicken roast-type thing, canned french-cut green beans (my *favorite*), Pillsbury crescent rolls (dont' have to share this time!), made a nice Caesar salad, bought a bottle of wine (to drink and make a rosemary white wine sauce for the chicken - yes I made that up myself, and it didn't suck), and egg nog for dessert. I had a lovely not-Christmas dinner sitting on the floor of my apartment (New Year's resolution #1: finish the apartment and get a stupid table to eat on) watching the James Bond marathon on Spike TV. (Did you know that Sean Connery wore a hair piece in every JB movie? Fascinatingly good stuff...and tricky since in most of them he somehow ended up in the water, have you ever noticed he's always swimming in the ocean at least once? Preferably with sharks and a scantily-clad bikini-decked woman. But... where was I? Oh yea, it's not Christmas.)

Don't get me wrong - it sucked not being with the nephews. But it was a much more successful not-Christmas than a few years ago, which totally sucked...so that's OK.

(Random side note: They must be testing the confetti stuff for the New Year's Even in Times Squre - little clouds of colorful confetti keep flying by my office window... how quaint.)

Meanwhile, a friend of mine's mom died over the weekend, which is really sad. She died of cancer, and wasn't young... but I wrote her an email that for some reason I feel like I should share...

When my mother passed away, I had so many emotions at the same time.
I was so sad for losing her.
I was angry for her suffering…I was angry at a lot of things.
I was relieved that her suffering was over.
I felt horrible guilt for feeling that relief.
I was heartbroken that my mother had been taken from me.
I was lost – what was I supposed to do without a mom?
And eventually, I was hopeful that I would see her again.

In May it will have been 10 years since she died – I still miss her terribly.
I won’t say that it gets easier – sometimes it is, and sometimes it still hurts pretty bad.
I wanted her at my wedding, I needed her during my divorce, I want her to see my child, if I am ever blessed with one.
For a long time I used to have the urge to pick up the phone to talk to her, especially when life got really good, or really bad.
Those are the worst moments…knowing she won’t be on the other end of the phone.
Even now, sometimes I look up in the night sky and feel her hugging me, and sometimes I just feel the distance between us.
But I know she’s with me every day in some way.
And I know now that I’ll see her again one day… and she’ll be smiling and healthy and give me a hug.

My mother was in a lot of pain for years before she finally succumbed to the horrible thing that is cancer.
Before she passed it was logical that she was dying – we knew it, the doctors told us enough times.
Even then, when she died, it all seemed too soon and too fast, and somehow still a jolting surprise.
I blame that on my age and ignorance… but in the end, I don’t think a daughter can ever be prepared to lose her mom, no matter what.
I don’t know why I’m writing this, except that I hope that somehow you find some comfort in it.

I am so sorry that I missed the services – I didn’t receive this email until late last night.
I hope you are not upset at my lack of a timely response.
You know that I am here when you need me.
Please call, whenever you want to pick up the phone and hear a voice on the other line.
It probably won’t be the voice you really want to hear, but I’ll do my best.

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