Alpha and Omega

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The beginning and the end.

The first and the last.

These last several months have been so strange. I feel at the mercy of overwhelming emotions, tugging me this way and that. I’m up, I’m down, I’m muddled, I’m scatter-brained.

So many lasts.

My oldest child is a Senior in high school this year. Every event that was once a matter-of-fact occurrence is now heavily weighted with significance.

Her last first day of high school.

Her last Homecoming parade and dance.

Her last Friday night football game, cheering from the stands as a student.

So many firsts.

My sister passed away this last July.

This fall marked the first family birthdays she wasn’t here to celebrate.

The first time I couldn’t mark her down as an emergency contact on any of my kids’ forms.

The first Halloween she wasn’t here to either walk with us, or for me to send her pictures of my kids in their costumes.

Thoughts of upcoming holidays aren’t helping.

Thanksgiving without my sister. What will we do?

Who will make the mashed potatoes? It’s always been her job. Always.

There have been years when my sister was running late, and the rest of the dinner was ready, but we waited however long it took for her to whip her car into the drive. Nobody else does the potatoes.

Maybe we just won’t have any.

Who will sit in her seat? Will we move the chair away from the table, pretend there is no empty space?

Will we move one of the younger kids up from the Children’s Table, pretending they’ve graduated up to sit with us?

How can there even be a holiday with this great, gaping void?

Why can’t the holidays just be put on hold this year?

I cannot even imagine Christmas.

This may be the last year I have my oldest girl home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She could get accepted to a college far away, meet some new guy, decide to spend next year with someone else’s family, sitting at their Grown-Up’s Table, eating their mashed potatoes.

This may be the last year my oldest girl is home on Christmas morning, sleepily wandering out in her pajamas with her long, tousled hair and wiping the sleep from her eyes, excited for the wrapped boxes under our little tree.

I know it’s just the way it goes. I know this is just life. People die. Kids move away. Life goes on.

Somehow.

My thoughts, my emotions are so jumbled, like an uneven load of laundry in an over-stuffed washing machine.

Up.

Down.

Muddled.

Scatter-brained.

The beginning and the end.

The first and the last.

Alpha and Omega.

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4 responses to “Alpha and Omega

  1. As always great share, love the honesty. I found comfort in listening to my friend Cynthia’s favorite music after she passed away or doing something that she liked to do etc…as a way to include her in my daily life or activities. In January it will be six years she passed and I still try to find ways to include her. They say time heals all wounds, its not really a lie. Time does help ease things a bit and help you be grateful for all they gave to your life. xoxo

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss Valarie. It’s so strange how we see people everyday on FB, sometimes even more than our own family, but we really know nothing about them. The holidays are always hard after losing a loved one. For me it was my mother. It has been several years since she passed away, but Christmas has never been the same. She was so close to both of my sons who are grown now, but each year when we get together the boys always start a conversation about grandma.They laugh and joke about the fun things she did with them and which one of them was her favorite. LOL! So she is still with us every Christmas and of course they always remind me that my pumpkin pie will never be as good as hers. Thanks for sharing this and letting your followers know you a little better. 🙂

    • Thanks, Ann. It’s just been an emotional year. When my dad passed away, I made a quilt from his shirts for my mom for Christmas. But I don’t really have anything of my sister’s…..so I just keep writing it out. Like quilting emotions.

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