Merry Christmas One And All—Can Someone Give Me A Foot Massage?
Saturday, December 24, 2011

Update: To all of you emailing me—yes, I closed comments. It's Christmas Eve. You don't need to spend your time leaving me a comment. Go drink some eggnog and find some mistletoe and turn up Bruce's "Santa Claus is Comin' To Town" instead. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends which includes my sister, the Jewish/Catholic girl.


She's got the best of both worlds.

She gets invited to some very kick ass wedding receptions. (If you haven't been to a Jewish wedding reception, trust me, you need to crash one ASAP. The Jewish people throw a fabulous party. I'm pretty sure it's one of their Torah commandments: All Jews must have extravagant parties, including wedding receptions at 5-star hotels that involve major hoopla and fun circle dancing

My sister, the hybrid, is six degrees away from the famous Jew, William Shatner and Bono, the half-Catholic. 

And she gets to eat bacon. 

And I won't even mention how great a sparkling menorah looks in a window. 

But anyway. . . 

I know I haven't been around this month and as many of you already know, it is because my mother-in-law passed away. 

Grief hits hard. And it's something, at least for me, that comes in waves, a permeating dull sadness that nestles into my soul, rising up unbidden at the most unexpected times. 

Like the other day, when I was at the mall and I passed the Aerie store where just last year at this same time, my mother-in-law and I were there buying underwear for my girls. My mother-in-law was shocked at the sight of all the lacy thongs, set out in dainty, soft pastel rows like blooming spring flowers. I remember she said something about the downfall of society being there in that underwear. I didn't have the heart to tell her I was one of the degenerates involved in bringing about that very downfall, as I casually hitched up my jeans to hide the telltale pink lace peeking out of the back. 

We then found a little cafe table in the middle of the mall and had coffee because she was "just a little tired," an unknown concept in that Energizer Bunny of a woman's life.  

And now, a year later, I had just watched her take her last breath a few days before and I was standing in front of Aerie, feeling like none of this had really happened and I burst into tears right there as the Christmas shoppers hustled by me giving me curious glances. 

What I'm trying to say is, I have been trying to swim upstream through this tidal wave of grief and sometimes thong underwear undoes me and I haven't found the words yet . . . but they will come. They always do and when they do, I'll share them with you.  

And since we didn't get back home from my mother-in-law's until the week before Christmas and since I had done zero Christmas shopping, I've been a mite busy. Shopping, crying, baking, crying, decorating, crying, shopping some more, crying, doing laundry, profusely weeping, holiday fun and just a little more crying. 

My feet and eyes stay in a perpetual state of swollen. 

And here it is, Christmas Eve. I am still trying to catch up on laundry. There are unwrapped presents stacked in the corner of my bedroom, waiting for their festive foil paper. And I have to start my prep work for the crowd that will gather for my Christmas feast tomorrow. 

Oh, and then there's the fact that someone is bringing a priest to my house tomorrow. 

This degenerate is for sure going to hell after my hubs breaks open the big wine bottles and I can finally relax. 

Priest or not. 

But I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you, to all of you. 

For all of the kind words, the prayers, the gifts, the sweet notes, the love. 

You people are extraordinary and in all the blessings I thank the Lord for, you all are up there on the top of the list. 

From my house to yours, you lovely, lovely folks, 

May you have the most blessed of holidays and a new year full of only good things. 

With all my love, 
Joann








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