Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Am Thankful For Holidays With E And P

Holidays were a difficult time for me growing up. I loved holidays and really got caught up in all the hype and magic of them, so not having a place to go or people to celebrate them with was always doubly hard when I was younger.

Eventually I did the whole "make your own holiday" thing and that worked well for a while. I was happy with that, as were the people I invited. But then there were a few years where it wasn't going to be possible for me to do that and it looked like I was going to have to resign myself to holidays alone again for a while.

Then one year, I was invited to three different places for Thanksgiving. THREE. But all the places I was invited to were over an hour away, and I wasn't going to be able to travel that far, so I had to decline them all. I remember thinking to myself, "Is this for real? After all those years of not having a place to spend Thanksgiving, did I really just get three different invitations from people and decline them all?" I remember shaking my head at the Universe (as I often do!) and saying "Thanks a lot!" ;)

Then I got an invitation from E. He and I were classmates. We were friendly and got along well, but outside of a group project we'd worked on we'd never met outside of class nor had any outside communication with each other. I was really surprised when I got his invitation. My first instinct was to say "no" for the same reasons I'd had to decline the other 3 invitations. But then I thought "Hmmm... let's ponder... If I took a taxi, it would take me 10 minutes and $10 to get from here to E's.... Oh my gosh.... I could do that!" So I gratefully accepted his invitation.

It was one of the best things I ever did. I had the best time!

I didn't know any of his friends, which you'd think would have made things a bit more stressful, but it was entirely the opposite. Nobody knew me so I was taken at face value as just "me." Not me "the family member" or me "the professional" or me "the caretaker." There was no image I had to project, no role I had to fulfill, no expectations to live up to... I felt absolutely no pressure to be anything other than whoever and however I was in that moment. I could just be. It was like an amazing mental vacation. I laughed more that night than I had in about 2 or 3 years. We all laughed a lot. Laughing until your stomach really really hurts kind of laughter. It felt incredible.

I look forward to spending holidays with E and P every year now. Not just Thanksgiving, but sometimes Christmas, and Easter too. The food is great, their friends are fun, and my holidays are extremely blessed because of them. I am so lucky.

I've told them all this, but I don't think they really get it. I wish they did. Holidays with them are something I now look forward to all year round.



Grandy said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing!!! I am glad you linked to this in your recent post. I get it and I too am glad you have E & P. ;)

Melissa said...

Hi Grandy!

I was just catching up on comments and when I saw this one in my email I thought "she commented *where?*" Lol!

Yeah, they make me feel pretty lucky. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Grandy said...

You're silly, Melissa!!!

You linked to the post in your recent one. I was touched by what you wrote so I went in search of more. ;)

Melissa said...

Well I know how you GOT here! Lol! (I figured that much out! :) ) It's just that when I initially went to reply to your comment I looked and thought "Where?? Oh... it's THERE!" Lol!

I'm glad you liked the post :)