Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Homes Have Eyes

Somewhere in Mission Viejo, CA
There are just too many ways to make fun of this garish display of excess in action.  There is even music being blasted out of loud speakers to accompany the display.  I must say that if I lived anywhere in the nearby vicinity of this home, no jury would convict me for what I might do come December 30th, so thank goodness I do not.  It is kind of cool to look at once or twice and it definitely proves who has the biggest one on the block, but still, in some ways all I can do is stare at it and think about what the people who live inside of this house must be really feeling.(Sorry, balebusta, darling, about the psych reference;)  Just had to.)  Mark and I went out to dinner with Angel Daughters Three and Four last night, and afterwards, they insisted on driving us past this well-lit home.  Somehow, I am positive that almost every neighborhood in America must have a home or several similar to this one, but witnessing this up close and personal really made me think about this time of the year and the amount of excess that takes place in the face of all of the inner-sadness and longing that so many individuals are experiencing right now.  A happy veneer in the face of spending far more money than people should be spending at a time of year when the weather is colder, the days are shorter so that daylight and vitamin D are in scarce supply, and we are expected to walk around humming happy little tunes about a fat man, jingling bells and other assorted merriments over sung by way too many covers.  Should I just say bah-humbug and get it over with now?
What I guess I am really trying to say is this.  I get it.  For several weeks now, I have been coping with increased physical pain which becomes increased emotional pain which then becomes a longing for what I have lost.  And then, I look around at everything all wrapped up in its bright, shiny packaging to wonder why I am feeling so blue.  Why there seems to be an underlying tone of sadness in so many of the people who I come across on a daily basis, and even in the blogs that I read.  
San Clemente Pier
In many ways, this photo that I took several months ago, more accurately depicts the inner turmoil that is churned up during these winter months than the overabundance of colored lights and catchy tunes playing round and round wherever we go.  It can be absolutely dizzying.  Some of it might be caused by the forced cheer that we are supposed to pretend is real even if we aren't really feeling it, but what I truly believe is that this time of year causes a deep longing for those whom we miss.  The people who we love who are no longer here to share life alongside of us.  The memories of people we have loved and lost.  It's very difficult, especially if some of the people who you loved the most are no longer around.  And there are so many reminders.  So many reminders.  For me, this year at Chanukah will mark the fourth year since I last spent time with my brother while he was alive.  The last time that I felt his chin resting on the top of my head as he embraced me in one of his big bear hugs.  The last time that we laughed out loud together.  The last time that we sat back and watched as our six daughters played together like a room full of miracles.  I will never forget the last gift that I gave him, Steve Martin's biography, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life.  I wonder if he even had the chance to read it before he died.  I loved to make him laugh.
For everyone else who might be struggling with the pain of loss during this time of the year;

I send you peace.  And love.  Lots and lots of love.

And I pray that for every moment of grief that you might feel, you also feel a moment of gratitude for all that you still do have.  For the people who you can still hug, for the time that you can still spend, for the laughter that you can still share.  For every memory, I hope that you will be able to create a new one with the people who are still here.  The people who love on you, the people who encourage you, the people who support you, the people who lift you up.  It is so important to remember that if we put too much focus on what we have lost, we also lose sight of what is standing squarely right in front of us.

So tonight, go take a ride in the car with some people that you love.  See if you can find the most ostentatious house in the neighborhood and when you do, go ahead and send me a picture of yourself standing right in front of it.(We can have a contest to see whose is bigger!)  I promise to post it here.  Because you are a part of my now, as I hope that I am a part of yours.  And this is how it should be.  If we cannot make one another smile, then what the heck else is there?


Renee said...

That is quite a house of lights isn't it. Yikes! We do not have any houses out here in our association that are on overkill in the lights definitely no music...but it is probably against the rules or something. I cannot imagine their light bills!
I do think Christmas can be a time of feeling sad or contemplative at the least. It is hard when someone we love has died and we grieve their absence. Our son Kevin died 7 years ago on Dec. 13th at the age of 25.....and Joel's mom just died on the 5th. I like to think that the two of them are together now in Heaven...celebrating wholeness with great joy! Always will miss them, but cannot want them back when they are experiencing such a beautiful place.
Sending hugs to you today Deb as you mourn the loss of your brother's presence in your life....

Anonymous said...

As a shrink, I am now in my busy season. This is the equivalent of sweeps week on TV except it lasts, like, 3 months for shrinks. Everyone gets nostalgic, visits their crazy family and that conks out...depression and anxiety are at an all time high. I'm sorry you're going thru something right now and I wish I could offer you more solace than just to say, you are blessed and this sadness will pass.

In other news my boyfriend calls Thanksgiving the start of "The Goyishe High Holidays" -- it's a big time of year for them LOL and they apparently love to show it off in big ways...those homes are over the top!! So garish (goyishe?! -- oh thats mean of me!).

Miss A said...

I am so sorry that you hurting even more. I wish I had a magic wand to take it all away. The physical pain that is. The emotional pain, the missing, the longing, I have it too. I don't like feeling it, but I'd hate to lose it. Missing my darling David, my uncle, my aunt. A spot in my heart is filled with them.
I've started walking around my neighborhood to spot the few houses that have been lighting up, and it makes me so happy. I'm thankful for the people who take the time to do all of this.
Please take care of yourself. Feel better.

Mark said...

I love that you got a shot of Heaven. That's a tricky shot for a lot of photographers. Some are unable to focus their lenses on it.
Yes, this will be a trying time for my Family. The only thing that keeps our minds off of the loss is the children. My Mom is, again, asking for them to spend the weekend with her. I'll allow it because I know that it makes her happy and gives her something to do.
I'll see what I can do to find the tackiest lit house in our area. No promises though.
Your Friend, m.

Angella Lister said...

Sending you love, dear Deb. When the missing and aching gets too much, look into the faces of your beautiful daughters. And come here, where you are so loved.

Kathleen Botsford said...

I will keep you in my heart dearest Debra, on these Holiest of days. I know I am a bit unusual but I love the dark and the cold. I love to be encouraged to go inside and stay cozy and warm in my heart. The sun always defies and taunts me with his energy. I crave the dark where I can light a still candle and enjoy the quiet and peace. I will light one for you dear friend. Sending warm hugs from frosty Chicago.xoxo

LauraX said...

Oh dear one, I am sending you love and deep healing energy...can you feel it?

Tracy said...

I have always been under the thought that 'less is better' but I guess that's why the phrase, 'to each his own' applies but certainly not. I do hope you have a Blessed CHRISTmas and know that your loved ones are not only in your presence but within your heart; Jack included!
love and hugs...

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