Sued51's Blog

{December 18, 2013}   Trying to Reface the Things that Shape Us

It’s a project, like refacing kitchen cabinets or refinishing furniture. Re-examining events in our lives, interpreting them, reinterpreting them…even if it means what I used to call “deluding yourself” and trying to enjoy the new look. Convincing yourself that it looks good after all the work…

Yesterday I started writing about Christmas memories in response to the daily prompt…it was a simple light-hearted post about my best and worst Christmas memories…but I didn’t finish it before I had to go to work. Then last night I had some bad luck. I tried to wake up today and have a good attitude. When I went back to the draft of the Christmas post…suddenly the worst Christmas seemed to be a metaphor for my whole life…UGH!

So now I’m ONLY writing about that hoping that if I write it down and re-interpret it, put a funny face on it, it might change things???? ┬áSo here goes…the worst Christmas from a child’s point of view…

I think the secret purpose for Christmas stockings was that they kept us occupied long enough for our exhausted parents to get just-a-little more sleep! The rules were that we could get up whatever time we wanted and dig into our stockings, as long as we stayed quiet in our rooms at least until 6:00 am. So we would creep to the living room in the wee dark hours of Christmas morning, grab our stockings and race back to our rooms like squirrels with nuts. (In those days when my parents had very little money, that would literally be what was in the stockings…candy, nuts and fruit, an early breakfast.)

On this particular Christmas — one when I was still quite young and believed in Santa Claus — when I dumped my stocking on my bed, what did I find, but coal and crumpled paper. What???!!! I raced to my older brother’s room to see what he got. On his bed he had a load of candy and other treasures. “You got that?!” I said. He looked me in the eye and said, “Yes…what did you get?” The tears began to well up in my eyes. “I got crumpled paper and a lump of coal!” “Well,” he said matter-of-factly, “I guess Santa thought you were bad.” Now, I was a goody-two-shoes type of child who always tried to do the right thing and follow the rules, and yet…I BELIEVED this! I ran to my parents room crying my eyes out, disobeying the rules that you stay quiet until at least 6:00 am on Christmas morning. They grudgingly got up, not understanding what had me SO upset. They followed me to my brother’s room and figured out what was going on…he thought it was a funny joke to take my stocking stuff and replace it with junk. My parents retrieved my gifts and soothed me, but there was a pall cast over my day. Telling that story today I think that pall is still on me…

I opened the stocking of my life and found coal, despite my best efforts…and what did I do (and what am I still doing?). I cried about it. Only now, I cry to God. Is this REALLY what I deserve? When I don’t cry, I simply try to convince myself that the coal and paper are good…it means I have heat. But I know both reactions are unhealthy.

As I write this, I am determined NOT to keep handling this the same way. Today I am deciding to take my empty stocking and go off and search for my DESERVED treats. They have to be out there somewhere…Progress not perfection…it’s okay to share the struggles because we all have them.

I will just keep sanding…sometimes it takes patience and a lot of coats of stain to make them look good.

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Oh my gosh!!! How horrible that he did that to you. Brothers! Mine were pretty bad, but never that evil. Coal is called black gold, right? I am pretty sure you have that gold within you as well. You have a good way of interpreting for the betterment and I agree, crying isn’t the best thing, but sometimes it is the only thing (at least for me). Washing the gray away. Hope your days get better. :-)

sued51 says:

Thanks for your comment, Angelia. Yesterday was also the 3rd anniversary of my father’s death so I wasn’t in a good place. I have 6 brothers and no sisters so you know I had a tough time! :-)
Today will be better, although at present I have no heat in my apartment and I’m freezing!

December 7th was my Father’s fourth death anniversary. I had to post a video on my blog. He was on my mind all day and truly with me. Hugs!

sued51 says:

Thanks for commenting so I could go visit your tribute…beautiful!
One of the things I’m struggling with is that my life has deteriorated so much since my father passed away. The family is fractured and broken. I feel ashamed…I feel he would be so disappointed…

I felt that way when my dad was alive. I got divorced for the second time. Bad life decisions all over the place. He never judged me. Not once. As I am sure your dad isn’t either.
Dads love. They don’t judge. He would only be upset that you are hurting and he can’t give you a hug. :-(

sued51 says:

My mom said a similar thing, Angelia. :-) I wish I could give him a hug too!

Im sure if that was any other situation, one would grin and tap that brother on a shoulder, saying it was a harmless joke. Yet, as you say, we apply those situations from the past to our lives and how we go about them, which makes scars just a little bit more visible…
Go find those well deserved treats. They are definitely out there somewhere and they deserve to be yours.
Hope your 2014 is beautiful.

sued51 says:

Chatty, I’m hoping next year will be the best! “They” say your life runs in 7 year patterns. I am at the end of a really bad 7 years so it has to get better!
(yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of my father’s death so I’m sure that contributed to my mental state). No heat in my apartment today, but…carry on!

Im hoping the same for you…

Hi Sue – that was a truly mean trick your brother played on you – do you have any idea if he ever realized it? I have 4 brothers and no sisters, and my mom’s death was on December 7th so we share some similar backgrounds. Hang in there as things have a way of turning around when you least expect it. Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

sued51 says:

Thanks for the encouraging words, Tina! I guess we do have some things in common! I’m lucky…I still have my Mom, but I was very close to my Dad. :-(
I really hope next year will be a turnaround one!

Happy Christmas Sued :)

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