23 December 2010

Around Here

Oh Christmas. You have to fight for Christmas.
Fight crowds.
Fight impulses.
Fight over-spending.
Fight demons.
Fight memories.
Fight resentment.

Or at least I always have.

My brother died at Christmas. We have fought to have Christmas most years since. Sadness. memories, bad ones. Last year Christmas was so dark.

Good lord, are you still even reading this?

I was wrapping gifts last night. I was flooded with Christmases from so long ago. The sweet Christmases when I was a child and all the kids were there. All four of us. Before addiciton and depression took my brother and sister away. But as I loaded boxes, folded tissue paper, removed prices, dispensed tape, they were just memories. They did not yoke. They did not tie a concrete block around my ankle and throw me off the deep end. They did not tie me to empty graves. They were just feelings.

Melancholy? Yes. Edge of depression? No.

Wow. Is this what "normal" people feel? Just memories and love? Not fear and loathing? I think I grew up this year. I have been present with this Christmas. I have not been a grinch. I have done all the tasks I always do but they did not feel like a burden. For the first year EVER.

This year has brought such fatigue, pain, anger and love. A grand miracle came this year, some smaller miracles as well. Can a miracle be small? A miracle can be large. That is for sure. I had one of those. I haven't shared it yet. But the timing was miracluous which is redundant. A birth. A saviour in a sense.

I look forward to my little family this year. My brother here with me. Mother. My husband and daughter. The other daughters seen and to be seen. All in order just for now.

And I feel grateful. I receive these gifts.
I fought for them and I am going to enjoy them.

Let's have a cup of hot chocolate, sit with your holiday lights.
I will Be.


  1. You have had such a trying year, Robin, yet you always find some peace. I so much admire the way you articulate your fears and joys. My year has ended up on a very low note with my 19 year old son battling addiction and not living at home. I'm having trouble finding the joy in Christmas, but I put one foot in front of the other each day!

  2. I loved reading your heart today Robin. I have felt so many of the feelings you wrote about here, until my own miracle came, so reading this helped realize again, the blessings I have been given. Coming forth out of the darkness was like a rebirth for me as well. I loved your question...can a miracle be small? I don't believe so. I believe that they are all big...some are just bigger than others.

    Your home is gorgeous! And that tree is beautiful.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  3. Robin,
    I just lost my whole post. Blah! Let's see if I can reconstruct!
    I am so thrilled for you and the changes you have made in your life, my friend. I know it was not easy to keep on plugging away at what seemed like insurmountable challenges but you have done just that and I am both happy for you and proud of you. You are a model for me, as I face this huge challenge in my life. There has to be Christmas at the end of all of this, metaphorically as well as physically. I look at the beauty you have created and I feel I can see that it was created with love and joy and generosity instead of stress and depression. I applaud you. This is a wonderful post, totally beautiful, but it is also YOUR NEW LIFE which is a resurrection of sorts.
    I am knocking you over with great big giant hugs and sending you love and admiration....

  4. I am so very Thankful that after all of the years of sorrow and pain you are finally able to enjoy this Christmas with your Family.
    Why oh why does it take us being in our 40's to figure it all out....find peace and take less and expect more from others?
    You have always handled yourself with a dignity few posess and never lost your wonderful sense of humor.
    I only know you through this world of blogging but feel as I know you..maybe better than your neighbors...if that makes sense.
    Merry Christmas to You,Your Husband,Daughter,Brother,Mother and extended Family!
    Blessings for a Wonderful New Year!!

  5. I was finally able to view your photographs and oh how lovely your Home is.
    So cozy and perfectly decorated for the holidays.
    Every small detail flows so elegantly.

  6. This is such a great post, Robin...I have had some Christmases that were very melancholy, too, and with good reason. And this year I have been quite nostalgic, too~ but I have been letting the stressful stuff go, trying to BE...and just like you...enjoy being with my family! Hope you have a love-filled Christmas! XO

  7. Oh Robin, this was a wonderful post. I so adore how you can articulate your feelings and kindly share them so eloquently with us. I am so very happy for you, that you're able to celebrate Christmas this year, and that you'll have your family with you. You have overcome so many difficult things this past year, I'm so very happy for you and the strength you've displayed.

    I'll be honest, this year, I have been more melancholy than in years past. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I've barely decorated the house, and have only baked out of necessity to take items to others homes.

    Merry Christmas, Friend!

  8. P.S. Your home is lovely! Absolutely LOVELY!

  9. I love how Suz commented about your new life, "a resurrection of sorts". Man, that gave me goosebumps. Of course your tree and your home are lovely and all those wonderful homemade touches making it your own but you've had those all along. I am tearing up now, thinking of you allowing all that hard work to pay off, allowing your family to love you and most of all, allowing yourself to enjoy the beauty and spirit of Christmas which is seen for the first time since childhood by eyes that are no longer blinded by the pain.

    Kinda like that scene in the Wizard of Oz. You've been home all along Dorothy and truly, there's no place like it because baby, this home is yours.

  10. Beautiful, my tweet! Your tree, your home, your feelings, your heart, love...all of it! I DO believe miracles come in all sizes and at times you least expect them. They are happening all the time, but we have to be still to recognize them. Have the merriest of days from here on out. You deserve them! I love you! Pink Nanny :)

  11. And tonight, we shall have hot chocolate.

  12. Robin I feel the same about you dear! I know it has been a tough year but I absolutely see the sparkle back in your eyes. Here is to a wonderful 2011 with all our wonderful creative friends..........Merry Christmas to you and your dear family....I love your house!

  13. I think we've all had holidays where we just were not feeling it. Life does not care about the holidays, and there are times when there is so much more on your plate than just turkey- I know. I'm extremely happy that this holiday is more bright and happy for you. That alone makes mine more happy. I love you, Robin!!

  14. I stumbled upon your post on Christmas Eve. Your photos and your words are beautiful. My Christmases are filled with emotional baggage too, and I am learning, better late than never, to accept and be. I have not had to depth of sorrow to process that you and your family have, so I greatly admire your strength and grace. I wish you a holiday filled with peace and love. I'm grateful serendipity sent me your way.

  15. I'm so glad you aren't letting those old ghosts haunt you anymore. Your house looks beautiful, peaceful, lovely. I think my mental health would improve dramatically if I could live there instead of the chaos and squalor that is my home. Would you consider adopting a 48-year-old? :-)

  16. Robin, luv...you do have a way with words & letting them express your heart. I am so glad you had a good Christmas, deservedly. I am blessed by wonderful, healthy children & we had a glorious day yesterday. I have a truly grateful heart. Your Nest is absolutely beautiful as are you. Merry Christmas, friend!

  17. Robin, Sometimes REAL LIFE just isn't fun. Your post was so beautiful! I am glad you had a better Christms this year. And that you were able to feel the bad but,put it behind you with good. I wish the New Year will be a happier one for you. And that we will finally get to meet at one of the events that we keep missing each other at. HUGS!

  18. Robin, you have such a way with words... Your post is beautiful, your home is beautiful and you are beautiful. You deserve happiness and peace. I'm happy for you to have been able to enjoy this holiday season. My wish for you is that you continue letting old wounds go and continuing to thoroughly enjoy your life.


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