I remember when this happened to me. It was Thanksgiving day in 1997 – a sunny, cold fall day in central Illinois. I was up early to prepare my family’s special breakfast before we watched Macy’s Christmas parade. I look forward to it all year. The house was full of cheerful anticipation as tasty aromas wafted through the house.
Suddenly the phone rang. My world was about to come crashing down.
“Hello?” I answered, expecting it to be one of our parents wishing us a happy day, but it was rather early for them to call.
“Dena, honey,” I heard my dad’s quivering, emotional sounding voice on the other end of the hard, plastic receiver. My stomach began to sink. Something’s wrong.
My mom was doing so much better after an eight month-long illness. She was finally going home later today. I couldn’t wait to talk with her. What a wonderful day it would be.
“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this . . . but I just got a call from the nursing facility . . . and it’s about your mom . . . honey, she passed away early this morning while they were helping her get dressed.” Nooooo!!!!
Thanksgiving has never been the same. Her visitation would be on my birthday. I didn’t want to celebrate anything that year. Not Thanksgiving, my birthday or Christmas. I didn’t care.
Have you had a similar experience with one of your children? You’ve been so hurt, wounded, rejected, shocked, and disappointed that now you could care less about the holidays. No Norman Rockwell Christmas for you.