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Tuesday, 26 October 2004


You can only do the stressed, busy, i'm-not-think-about-that-Ican't-hear-you-la-la-la-la thing for so long and then you have to stop or be stopped. Being sick and in bed all day has given me ample time to think about my Mom whether /i want to or not. Being sick isn't all bad. I didn't have to wash the dishes. I get to sleep a lot. And when I start to feel fuzzy-headed and confused, i keep thinking it's almost Christmas and I'm going to grandma's house.

Then I think of the sermon I heard last xmas at the Neuman Center in Berkeley, where the preist read an essay from a newsletter for a group for divorced Catholics where one woman was talking about her first Christmas after being divorced. I did not want to hear it

I'm not going to grandma's for Christmas. For the past few years, more than a quarter of my life, I've had two invitations for every holiday. this Thanksgiving, I've got zero. Before it seemed like maybe there was too much love. My mom really wanted me at every holiday and would lay on some pressure. I'm confused, will it be second or third without her?

maybe i should go get a tofurkey. they're not bad. . . or,no, they're terrible. i had xmas with all the families one year. so many people. it was all vegan. tofurkey was not a hit. but the stuffing was. it had 11 sticks of margarine in it. oh the transfats. i shortened everyone's lives. now they're all dead. no, it's the people who went to grandma's house who are dead: mom, grandma F, grandma H, larry, seymore, tom, catherine, cyril, bobby, ernie. it's like ghosts hovering over us in a ghost house (it's gone too). there's only a few survivors and that artificial tree my grandma used every year is my dad's garage, maybe with those ornaments still on it and the rug it sat in is in brother bob's living room.

it's the ghost of xmas past! it's only october, but it's so cold already.

forgiveness is not forgetting. i can think about things my mom did that made me angry and how they have chnaged me and that's ok to think about. I think more often of my grandma's house then i think of my grandma. how can a place be gone when i can see it so clearly in my mind? I tried to memorize every detail, like a solemn duty, after she died. a death i maybe caused. i don't know. how is it possible? i felt guilt, tho. what should i memorize about my mom? what should i rememeber? what should i forget?

One year, when I was in junior high, we got in a terrible argument in the car. it was always in the car, becuase neither of us could walk away from each other and i was in puberty and she was in menopause and hadn't started on hormones yet. and we got in a terrible argument and it was almost christmas and all my christmas presents were in the trunk and she drove me to the mall and made me return them.

it's only october. why do i keep thinking about christmas?


Jean Sirius said...

there there there there there there there, hon.
you're doing hard, important life work.i salute you.
call if you wanna talk.

goat said...

oh, dear. celeste, i'm so sorry.

i suspect there's nothing i could say that would be comforting, but... there's no way you killed your grandmother. even if there is a god, he is surely not cruel enough to do something like that just because you went out with a girl.

if you could come to england, i would invite you for thanksgiving :-) i'm sorry you have no one to spend it with. can you do anything in middletown?

i also get the feeling re: houses - how can a place be gone if i can see it so vividly? i remember my grandfather's house so vividly that sometimes it's like i'm walking in it at the same time as i'm walking outside.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Polly!
You are always welcome at Paul's and my Thanksgiving. We make the Quorn roast, which is way better than a Tofurkey. And Paul's stuffing is to die for. :)
I'm so sorry you're sick and have too much time to think down sad pathways. Get well soon!