Heart of the Matter
So, I’m going to take a crack at not being sarcastic or snarky and see what happens. It just doesn’t come naturally to me, and I really don’t know why. It’s not like I come from a family of comedians. And I don’t think I have always been this way. But the years have taught me that making light of things and being this way is much more fun than being solemn and somber. So, when something is bothering me, instead of being all sappy and serious, I’d much rather just take aim at it and fire away. And really, much of what I write suffers from over-exaggeration and self-deprecating humor anyway, so just know that going in, and we’ll be fine.
HOWEVER. Since some people out in cyberspace who read my last holiday post may have mistaken my humor for self-absorption, I will tell you the real reason why I don’t like the holidays. I will tell you, and then you will know. It’s not really because of the gifts, the cards or the people-pleasing madness. It is because of something much bigger, something that makes dealing with all these other petty little things feel like wading through quicksand.
That Big Something is that I really miss my father. In fact, I miss him so much at this time of year, it sometimes almost paralyzes me.
I miss his gentle, teasing humor, his big bear hugs and his undying enthusiasm for turkey and football, particularly the Cowboys. I miss him calling me “Tootsie.” I miss the letters he used to write me. I miss watching him play with my daughter. And it is unfathomable to me that he doesn’t know my son. I miss him making everything better and everything OK.
I miss everything he meant to our family, and I can’t get used to what our family is without him.
I miss being his daughter. I miss hearing him wake me up on Christmas morning by calling, “Santa has been here!” I miss watching him go about his daily routine with the military precision of a Babywise schedule: up at 7am, lunch at 11:30am then nap, happy hour at 5pm sharp and dinner at 6pm. I miss hearing the delight in his voice over his latest find from the Dollar Store. I miss asking him questions about our family and hearing the stories about summers in Norwood, Louisiana with Grandma, Uncle Tip, Uncle Tobe and Aunt La La. I miss walking into the house and hearing his voice.
I miss so many things that I will never get back.
I miss everything that he was and is and hope that some of it is in me. I pray that I am half the parent that he was… and that he knew that I felt this way.
So there you have it, and now you know. These days, when I’m faced with yet another holiday season and realize it’s time to make merry, I sometimes find myself fighting for air and wishing it would all just go away.
And believe me, I realize that there are much bigger problems in the world, so I should stop complaining and go make some birdseed wreaths or something. And I promise you, I have already found Jesus, but there’s only so much He can do at times like this. When you’re missing somebody that badly, it pretty much overtakes you and swallows you whole. So, I suppose I have become accustomed to using humor to get through the holidays, and life in general, for that matter. It makes stuff hurt a lot less.
As Rizzo would say, there are worse things I could do.