Just in Time for the Holidays

Four weeks ago, my first born flew the nest. This is someone from whom, for over two decades, I was rarely apart for more than a few days. He is off to start the new adventure of his life.

He moved to a place that is over 4000 kilometers away from me. That feels very far.

He won’t be home for Christmas but, of course, his Christmas will still come with ribbons. It will come with tags and packages, boxes, and bags. He will receive brightly wrapped gifts, treats and sweets and cheerful love, from afar, from his family.

I miss him very much. This is something all parents must endure ~ we are proud and heartbroken and happy and lonely all at once. Today, I popped into the grocery store to buy a gift card to send in his holiday package (the boy’s gotta eat!) and the sadness hit me ~ like a wrecking ball. We wouldn’t be cooking holiday dinners together nor sharing hugs on Christmas morning. I suddenly, profoundly, missed his voice, his laugh, his beautiful face, and his tender warmth. I was overcome with melancholy … a palpable ache.

Sulking, self-piteous and morose, I walked to the parking lot and, halfway to my car, I happened to meet a friend. We exchange niceties, she asked after my kids and we wished each other happy holidays. Sometimes, the universe knows exactly what you need. My friend lost her 21 year old daughter in an auto accident. This year will mark the third Christmas without her child.

I’m thankful my son is only 4000 kilometers away from me. That feels very close.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons.
It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”*

My hope for you this holiday is that you don’t have what you want but, rather, that you want, and cherish, what you have.

~ peace ~

*from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by the gift that is Theodor Seuss Geisel

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5 Responses to Just in Time for the Holidays

  1. Hi Tobey, It’s been a while since I dropped by. Well, sort of. You see, I got an email from you (courtesy of WordPress subscription), and this led me to your wonderful (I’d say beautiful), post about your emotional journey concerning your son being away like 4,000 kilometers (my own son is on the other side of the Pacific ocean) and your painful but soul-quenching narrative about a friend who lost her daughter. I guess we all have to go through this very familiar but definitely difficult phase in our lives (no one is really spared, mind you). Life for some of us could be one hell of a ride. But, with hard work and a bit of patience (you might want to throw in some love there, too), we might be able to endure and live life fully. God Bless to you, my friend.

    • tobeydeys says:

      Thank you so much! It is important to ‘live life fully’ and, perhaps, to appreciate that even the challenges and difficulties happen for reasons we will one day understand. Your thoughts are kind and blessings and peace to you, my friend!!
      ~ peace ~

  2. I’m right behind you, Tobey, after taking my oldest on a college tour in Boston. His head is so focused on leaving home while mine is so focused on feeling sad (but happy too). I miss your old avatar, btw (on Twitter)!

    • tobeydeys says:

      Hey Bruce! Happy new year and lovely to see you ~ thanks for your thoughts 🙂
      Yes, it’s a challenge but par for the course. I think of when I left home and it was a quick LD chat on Sunday evening when rates were cheap! Thanking the universe for Skype, text, VoIP … they all help to keep us closer.
      (and yeah, there was a quorum and the old ‘me’ is back xo)

  3. Pingback: Wednesday’s Women: @angelamaiers @ardath421 @LisaPetrilli @tobeydeys @DabneyPorte « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna

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