Friday, December 21, 2012

I Won't Be Home for Christmas

Dear John,
 
I had a quiet day today, if you don't count the sound of the wind howling. We did get an inch or two of snow. The roads weren't bad, but the visibility out here wasn't good. Kathy called this morning and said there was nothing to do at work today, so stay home and off the roads. By noon I could have gotten there with no problem. But with no work to do, I stayed here and knitted Christmas presents all day. ALL day - from 10 am to 10 pm, stopping only to eat and let the dog out.
 
Jethro is still moping. I think the girls have been gone long enough for him realize that it's permanent. He gets excited when they come by, but he knows now that they don't live here anymore, and he's sad about that. For the last three days it's been hard to interest him in anything I need to get creative about this.
 
His mom isn't really interested in anything either. The song stuck on my mind today was "I'll be Home for Christmas," and of course I won't be home - I'm stuck here for now. I found this on Pinterest, and it said what I want to say, especially over Christmas. Home is where you are - you aren't here - therefore here is not home. And I won't be home for Christmas, since (rats!) the Mayans were wrong. You're home, while I remain here in exile, a stranger in strange land. The holidays are traditionally a time for homesickness, and I'm feeling it some tonight.
 
The tree is up and it's pretty, but we didn't do it together. There are no presents under it, no stockings hung up. I didn't put the angel on the top of the tree this year - it's been up every Christmas since 1956, right after I got it on my first birthday cake. For some reason I couldn't bear to see it up there. The decorations are quieter - no Santa, no bows or garland. This year it is something to endure, not to celebrate. At church I'll rejoice in the Incarnation. Everything that comes with it can go - I am eager for it to all be done. It seems to me that normal days would be wonderful, but I have no normal now. In my bad moments, life seems like a twisted parody of my life. Most of the time it looks about the same as my life, but the meaning, the heart of it, has been ripped out. Either way, I'm a stranger in a strange land. And I wait eagerly to go home. And home is where you are.
 
I love you - I want to be with you - leave the light on!
Joan.

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