I had dreaded this day for quite a while now. I’ve know that today would be here eventually. I knew what was going to happen. I didn’t know how I would feel; I knew that today was going to be the worst Christmas of my life.
Funny, it didn’t turn out that way. I found myself actually at ease and content. Life is so curvy…
The first Christmas without my dad, the first Christmas without my wife, the first Christmas as a single dad, the first Christmas… alone.
The pieces to this puzzle have been falling into place for a while. My dad died in November. We decided that I would have Colby on Christmas eve and my ex would take him on Christmas day. But it was going to be OK. Christmas morning the girl that I was dating didn’t have her kids so we were going to spend it together.
That relationship ended and I was left with no plans and no family.
I’ve known for a while now that I was facing Christmas alone.
My disappointed Christmas started turning around last night on Christmas Eve. Service as the church was very good; it really lifted me up!
Colby’s mom invited me over to bake cookies with them. We stayed for a few hours and enjoyed some Christmas specials on TV. I was content and happy. I was able to be with my son the entire day and evening.
We went to bed early and I slept well. Colby woke me up at 7am and it was time… for the Christmas that I’ve been dreading.
How could I dread a day where I was made to feel so special from the start?
A few weeks back I found the Christmas stocking that my mother made for me when I was a little boy. Every year my wife and I would fill each other’s stockings on Christmas eve and leave them out with Colby’s. This year my stocking was sitting on a chair in the living room; Santa wasn’t going to visit my apartment.
Santa did indeed visit my apartment last night.
Apparently Colby had snuck in some stocking stuffers that he and his mom had so thoughtfully bought. I awoke on Christmas morning to a stocking and some gifts under my little tree. This started the day off right.
Colby and I exchanged gifts. We enjoyed the moment and enjoyed each other’s company! My little boy was so proud of the gift that he got for me. What a great kid he is turning out to be! We took our time and got dressed to go over his mom’s house.
While there Colby got his big present from Santa. (Lucky duck got a lap top!) We enjoyed the same Christmas breakfast as we’ve had the last 10 years! It was so nice.
My ex and I enchanted gifts. The three of us had a good time! It was Christmas and we relished in the moments and the memories we were making!
The reality of our lives, of course, caught up. It was time for them to go and be with their family. I walked out the door with no one to see and no place to go.
I made up my mind though. I made a decision that today was NOT going to be a day of pity. Today was going to be a day of living in the moment. LIVING IN THE MOMENT. I took my dog and my GPS and went to the Ocala National Forest to go geocaching.
I walked 9 miles in the forest. It was just me and my dog. Along the way I found 12 geocaches and a certain amount of contentment.
My contentment comes from knowing that dwelling on the hurt and the what if’s does me know good. My contentment comes from knowing that whatever is in the past is destined to stay there and whatever is in the future is destined to be discovered. The future belongs to those that go in that direction; the past belongs those that choose to dwell.
Because of my decision today I had a good day. I had a day that made me happy. I had a day that I will always remember.
The facts cannot be changed. My father is gone and this is the first Christmas that he is not with me. My son is with his mother and they are with family. My Christmas day was spent single and alone. These facts are indeed part of ME. I know, however, that no one can take away who I am and what I am. No one can change that fact that I am ME. What is.... IS and what is to be is... TO BE.
Christmas will come every year on December 25th. Next year may be same for me. Who knows, it may be different. The facts don’t matter. What matters is that TODAY, on this Christmas, I chose to live in the glory of the season, I chose to focus on what was good, I shed no tears, I enjoyed the day and went to bed… happy and content.