Ghosts of Christmas Past

Gerry with Nina Bangs

I’m posting a picture here of me with my friend Nina Bangs. I went to her condo which she redid this past year. It was a case of out with the old, in with the new. It’s nice to make a clean sweep. Her third floor unit is beautiful and she bought it because it has a view of Clear Lake and a marina. It’s a very soothing setting.

This was a weird Christmas for me. I lost my mother this year so I was the hostess for the festivities for my family. I’m now the older generation. And doesn’t that give me the creeps? But I soldiered on. I always invite my single friend Nina and another couple who don’t have family in the area to join us. We had a good time and I made myself keep the food simple. I completely overcompensated at Thanksgiving and was stuck with leftovers that I ended up tossing or giving away. I tend to do that. Go overboard. I felt like I had my mom looking over my shoulder, not critically, just seeing if I was getting the holiday done right. It was an weird feeling.

I’ve known for a long time that I was blessed with my parents. I was encouraged to get an education, make something of myself, but never pressured. I had a mom who everyone loved and I counted her as my best friend. No wonder I feel off kilter this year. I’m remembering how she loved Christmas and always made sure my brother and I had lots of little presents under the tree. Maybe that’s why I feel like I got less than usual this year. Not that anyone didn’t come through. My family is generous and we all exchanged gifts like we always do. It’s just that I missed my mother’s little surprises. And her way of worrying if she “came out even”. She knew my brother and I counted each other’s stacks. Yeah, really mature of us.

But we made it through and didn’t even talk about Mom. Which was crazy and maybe a coping mechanism. I guess we were afraid we’d break down if we started remembering earlier holidays. Or if we’d brought out the picture albums. Heck, even writing this now has me tearing up.

But I’m moving on. I have the comfort of knowing that my mother was my biggest fan. She loved my Glory books and read every one. She bragged about me, but not to her Sunday School class–those steamy scenes embarrassed her a little. It surprised her that her school teacher daughter turned out to be an author and writing about vampires at that. My father, who was a wickedly intelligent man, died decades ago. But he gave me my first computer and he somehow knew writing was my destiny. He’d have loved the Glory books too, especially those hot scenes. I did say he was wicked, didn’t I? Yep, I was blessed. And have some great memories to fall back on. Now it’s up to me to create new ones. It’s not always easy with our ghosts hovering around us.

I hope you have your own good times past and present. I’d love to hear about them. And that your new year is filled with everything you wish for.

6 Responses to “Ghosts of Christmas Past”

  1. Gerry, big hugs. I’d say the first Christmas is the worst, and it is, but sadly Christmas hasn’t felt for the same for me since my mom died in 1989. We get together and do all the same things, but that feeling of “going home” is missing. And, like you, I had too much food. I’m not sure why I felt the need to bake so many dozens of cookies, but I won’t be doing it next year. My kids will have cookies in their lunches for the rest of January! Wishing you a 2012 filled with happiness and less stress!


    • I know, Michelle, that it will never be the same. I really resisted changing some traditions that the kids wanted to tinker with. Maybe we’ll eventually do things differently but for now I wanted to keep things the way Mom did them. That helped. It’s always going to be tough but I’ll figure it out. Happy new year!


  2. I’m glad you had a good Christmas, Gerry, even though it’s hard adjusting to the new normal. I know your mom would want you and your family to enjoy the precious time together.


  3. Vickie Lee Says:

    Gerry, I am so happy that you had a nice Christmas. I believe that our loved ones watch over us. Especially through all those firsts after their passing. I always try to keep in mind that those I miss the most would not want me to get “bogged” down and not move on. That’s what keeps me going.

    Your Mother sounds like a very loving and giving woman who I am sure would want you to find you place in all this holiday madness. You will always miss her; however, she is always their in you heart. (((hugs)))


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