01 December, 2009

Growing Up-Holidays Edition

I used to get extremely excited about the holidays...butterflies in my stomach weeks before any day off. I am grateful to my mother for always creating such a fun atmosphere of celebration! My parents are seriously like the Griswolds, and decorate the house with ridiculous blow up Santas in the yard,those little porcelain Christmas houses (which I took the pride of setting them up for hours just right),endless amounts of colored flickering lights (oh lord I used to hate these), a monstrous tree that held mismatched ornaments from decades of collecting, and of course silly amounts of holiday baked goods (yess). I am so lucky to have these cozy memories of the holidays with my family.

But as everything else in life, things change. Traditions become less important, as some recent years it has been a chore just to celebrate anything. The past few years have been filled with taking care of my ailing grandmother, which was an all-consuming task for my mother, the super organizer of the family.Even last year, the first Christmas after my grandmother's passing, the family was still very much in disarray (my mother donning only black for about a year... and you wonder where I get the dramatic flair from).

Maybe its just different when you move out, and get consumed in your own way of life. These days, my life is all about my friends, family and amazing boyfriend...which have become beautiful additions to my family. Oh yeah and Jenny, too...when she is not Satan-like.

So this year, at the start of the holidays, it was the most different yet. First of all, I only ended up making some pumpkin cookies (kind of an everything but the kitchen sink recipe I made up)...and I didn't even see my parents until about 5PM. And they were just exhausted, and the kids were so hyper...and Ryan and I were exhausted, too. It has been a trying few months on my parents as they have been caring for our little family Maltese, Maggie Mae. She has been unable to breathe because of a collapsed trachea, which is said to happen to small dogs. Seriously she has been the sweetest dog we have ever had, as all she ever wanted was to sit in your lap and be loved. After months of driving her up and back from Raleigh's NC State Vet Hospital, the vet called my mother yesterday morning and told her that Maggie had no chance of getting better. We all knew this was coming, as her health failed and she couldn't be awake without being sedated. This knowledge is from the logical sector of the brain, and when your heart is breaking, logical means zilch.

I dropped everything I was doing and drove as fast as I could to my parents house to make one last trip to say goodbye to our sweet little girl. And here's where it comes in, that being an adult thing. I had to sit with my distraught mother for the excruciating and nerve wrecking hours in the car..and be calm and caring. In my first yoga training, we did many exercises about "being with" one another. I have always just taken from that, drawing the positivity and love in, but yesterday, I had to do the hard part, and give that to my mom and to Maggie. If that won't break your heart, seeing my dad tear up sure did. She was a Keach, our little pup.

Afterwards, I have to admit I felt a little relief ...and honor, that I got to hold her as she took her last breath. Our sweet Mags will now be cremated with her favorite stuffed poodle and sent back home to live at my parents house. (see pic below of Maggie, held by mom)

So I could say that growing up sucks, and it sucks when you realize that things aren't the same as you remember them. But I don't really believe that. I am so excited about this holiday season, Ryan and I are decorating the house to show our holiday spirit (ahem, mine), the cocktail parties with my amazing friends, Shiva will be in town for about a week (amen, brotha), my brother and new nephews are staying with me for several days (eeek!), a NYE trip to Lake Lure, etc. And of course I am happy about being with my parents, because through the past few years, the three of us (Greg, Sybil and I) have become close...and possibly even friends...and they adore Ry.
And although I am no longer getting butterflies in my stomach about ripping into presents and staying in my PJ's all day, I do get butterflies about just "being with" the people I love...
and ripping into some good wine... and wearing sparkly dresses, of course.
Dang, I guess I am an adult.



Maggie Mae Keach
(March 15, 1996-November 30, 2009)


'You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are.' -Eckhart Tolle

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