I remember, before CPS came into my life, how we spent the holidays with my son. I didn’t lose him until he was 8 years old, so as the years progressed from his birth until then, I wanted the holidays to become bigger than life the older he got.
The last year I had him, for example, Santa Claus delivered all his toys as he slept, in an all sports-related theme.
In our living room, my son woke to huge Nerf football goal posts on each end of our living room. Between the goal posts, Santa also left him an air hockey table made for kids, and a full size basketball free throw arcade game.
As my son awoke from his slumber his eyes went from half lidded to bright and wide as he found the magically fantastic wonderment that made the holidays what they were.
The night before Christmas, we had lined our yard with paper bags with lights, and sprinkled the grass wish oatmeal and glitter – reindeer food. My son knew the more oatmeal he spread would glisten and lure Dasher, Dancer and the rest of Rudolph’s crew to our house.
We baked cookies and left them out with milk and a note on the table for Santa.
My satisfaction as his Mama was the moments i cherished watching his sleepy eyes saw the goodies that was left in appreciation for how well he behaved all year.
In the week that ensued, Christmas became new years, with resolutions for self empowerment, self discipline and the hope for something better than the year before.
Of course, for my son, it was the excitement of getting to stay up late to drink apple juice as we drank champagne and did the traditional toast and kisses at midnight and the magical ball dropped in New York- which we always watched on TV.
The phone calls would then follow, calling all our family in our home state of Texas that we had leftt many years before. For an hour, out phone was our heartline to wish them a happy New Years… with the exuberant aspirations that believing in the mainstream world brings to the all-American middle class folx of times past.
So once the excitement died down, my son would innocently sleep soundly until the noise of the televised new year’s day parade would wake him.
Our home was filled with the scent of black eyed peas slow cooking in the kitchen and the sounds of men watching football as the women cooked and drank wine. All in the name of expecting good luck for the year to come.
Bigger than life.
That was my goal.
To make the magic of the holidays last forever in my son’s memories of his childhood.
Was I successful?
Only my son can say.
Our relationship was interrupted. Our traditions, severed, and the life as we knew it, deferred.
I remember the first time I spent new year’s alone – after CPS came into my life. No apple juice or champagne, no phone calls from family, for they failed to support me or be there for me once I lost my son, I had no more kisses for I was utterly alone, and no reason to celebrate, or cook,, or expect good luck.
My resolutions for the year to come had become a quest to merely survive myself.
Who was I?
I had become she.
It is now 15 years post-CPS. my life has come back to me.
I’m settled now in a marriage to a man who never knew me before the loss of my son. He only knows the stories I tell him over and over again in my post traumatic afterlife. it still hurts like it did the day he was taken,I won’t lie .
My kids are now two dogs that I spoil rotten, and new year’s eve consists of cuddling with them until midnight, watching the replay of the ball drop since I’m three time zones away now in California, talking about the crowd and how fearful we would be to ever consider going to such a celebration in this day and age.
we kiss goodnight.
Normally my daughter would call me but this year she’s suspended her family traditions due to the flu. She and her husband now understand the life as a family trying to create memories for her children.
My son and I did finally reunite… but as is sadly common in ambiguous losses – the reunification has been difficult, and hard for us both. Well I assume for us both, but I suppose I can only speak for myself. Its highlighted in my healing from the grief how many spaces there are between us – spaces that didn’t exist before CPS came into our lives.
Still, I relive our beautiful years together in many stories I tell my husband over and over again. I tell him about the apple juice and hope had back then, and he always listens even though allot of it he’s heard before. He sits with me, in those moments of mine, quietly reflecting, as I now pray that my son is safe tonight.
On the east coast, it’s the witching hour- 3am – when the year turns on the clock for me . Allot can happen n in the three hours past the ball dropping over New York City for a young man in his 20s now. A huge country away from me.
I kiss my husband goodnight here in Cali.
I will always hurt somewhere in my soul.
The morning of parades is gone for me, erased by the loss when CPS came into my life, though, as if they were yesterday, I still remember how it sounded. How it felt.
the hope is now that where ever he is, he is safe, and living a simple life, feeling content, and that this year will be better for him than the last.
As the saying goes – someone shot nostalgia in the back. Some one shot our innocence – in the shadow of a smile.
I hope my daughter recovers swiftly from The big that had invaded her holidays this year and her family succeeds and finds a prosperous life this year in everything they do.
I watch my husband vacuum, feed my dogs, and remind myself to pick up a can of black eyed peas before dinner, as we need all the luck we can get, in this day and age .
Oh the nostalgia of life.
It’s Almost Tuesday wishes all a happy and safe New Year in 2020.
In this divided society, I remind you to please be diligent, and be kind to each other. it may be the only thing to save us in this day and age.
If my children are reading this, know I love you more than all the stars above .