As of 11am today, the holiday festivities are over. The last of the family that has been rotating through since December 10th has finally left. The wedding was great. Having my family here was wonderful. I feel as if my birthday and Christmas have been celebrated for quite some time. And having Bobby's family come and visit and have get togethers immediately afterward was nice. A small part of me would like to have a few more days to enjoy the decorations and Christmas music before jumping back into the craziness of life, but the other part of me wants to starting putting things away and prepping for the new year.
Despite predictions from the road crew that our road would be paved by Christmas, it's still not completed. Personally, I think there's still some work to be done before they start paving. I'm not thrilled with the steepness of our driveway now, nor that our driveway now comes out in the middle of a turn lane. The landscaping has been done on the border of our property and the school. Not thrilled that someone chose pine trees (enough of those pollen creating creatures already!) as one of the trees, but overall I am pleased with the placement and planting. Not sure someone thought out the reality of placing an oak tree where they did. Within ten years it will be extended to our yard, but we'll deal with that when the time comes, provided we're still here. The large oak tree in our yard that the school purchased and said would be gone is still standing, though I expect they'll lop half the limbs off in a few years as its limbs will soon be hanging over the turn lane in the road. I think I'd rather they go ahead and cut it down than chop pieces of it off like that.
Today is my parents' 54th anniversary. Mom says it saddens here that when people find out how long she's been married they act shocked. That used to be common. And today is also the anniversary for a college roommate - except her husband died the week of Thanksgiving. I simply cannot imagine being a Mom to a senior in high school and losing your soul mate a few days before the holiday season begins. The thought of losing a spouse at any time is absolutely horrible. But losing one around the holidays just seems extra cruel.
And the holiday loss didn't stop there. My older sister spent a week before Christmas break (and her daughter's wedding) counseling students and organizing counselors as her charter school dealt with the disappearance of an 8th grader. She was found murdered, along with her mother. Her step-father and his brother are in jail without bond awaiting trial.
Then my cousin Gary, in his 50's, died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. So my Dad was here for the wedding while his family gathered in AL for the funeral.
Meanwhile Bobby's friend and friend's wife, both whom have cancer, are learning a new normal as the wife returns home from what seems like 2 months in the hospital/rehab. She's now taking radiation 4x a week while he does his weekly maintenance appointments. And the list goes on and on....
Perhaps that is why my soul is ready to return to its busyness. It helps distract a little from the heartache surrounding me and gives me a reminder that life does not stop. People are lamenting on facebook today about how rough 2016 has been because of the number of entertainers who have died. And I'm thinking "So?" I know that sounds calloused, but those people have never been in their home for a conversation, never eaten a meal with them, never posted on their blog or Facebook page, never sent them a text, and yet they're carrying on as if the world has ended. The reality is, nothing in their life is going to change one bit because of that person's death, whereas the people who are actually close to them whom they can help and impact are all but ignored while they mourn the life of a person they don't truly know.
And that's my rant for today.