(Warning; If you hate Christmas, you may not wanna read this)… I feel such peace, even joy, this evening, that I simply had to write a little something, before I meet the Sandman. I just arrived home from Christmas dinner “in advance”, with my mother, her boyfriend K, and my brother. My mother and her beau go abroad for the actual Christmas, so then my brother and I will celebrate with my father and his wife.
The Great Thing about this evening was that it was so simple, relaxed and warm. We spent a few hours at my mother’s, with good, traditional food, candles, some old songs, talking and laughing.
(What a strange feeling; hearing myself laugh again, a sound which has been absent for so long).
Did I mention the food? Same as every year, but how I love it! We started with the cold dishes; egg halves with shrimp and mayonnaise, different herrings, salmon and gravy. Then we moved on to the hot plate; meatballs, sausages, brussel sprouts, and potatoes.
And of course, best of all; The Christmas Ham! Cooked in the oven ’til Perfection, and served with a sweet and strong mustard. (We have a special soft drink in my country that we drink with this, but I’m not even gonna try and translate it into English. Suffice it to say that it’s got the same color as Coke, but tastes 100% better! I’m sorry American friends, but it’s true!) After this insane amount of food, 50% of our small dinner party, got knocked out from this crazy feast and dozed off for a bit in the sofa and the bed (This is also known as “The Annual Food Coma”, in our family).
And we talked. You know, really talked. I hadn’t talked to any of them like that in weeks, maybe even months. I got to know every single detail that they thought was important to share. My mother’s boyfriend K had been to the hospital with heart problems, which I already knew a little about. But now I also got the stories surrounding his stay at the hospital. About the upcoming surgery, where they apparently have to stop his heart and re-start it, in hopes of getting a better heart rhythm (I didn’t even know doctors could do that! Scary).
K was all but driven mad by his fellow patient/”room mate” an 87-year old man with insomnia. This elderly man kept arguing with the doctors that they should just let his ole’ heart be left alone, and not try to make it better, cause he was “done living”.
I also got to hear about my brother’s education and suddenly thought; How can he be this grown up? He is five years younger than me and an adult since many many years. And still I see him as the tiny, shy little boy he was then.
The old need to protect him from harm, is still alive inside. The feeling of tenderness (that always somehow remains unspoken), welled up inside me again, hearing him talk about his future.
The stories wound their own ways, through the hours, like they do. After a while, everyone of us had emptied ourselves of words, and stillness ruled our little world. We had decided on not giving Christmas gifts this year, but our mother still gave me and my brother a contribution, just a little extra money, for our New Year’s celebration. She also wrapped up some of the leftover food from dinner, into different small plastic boxes, for me and my brother to take home, so we wouldn’t have to cook tomorrow. She had also written beautiful Christmas cards for us, with the text “I am always here for you”.
Love in plastic boxes, or inside an envelope, is sometimes easier handled than love uttered from lips. I do not blame my mother, I understand her. The way she was brought up, way up north in the 50’s in that small mining town, this was love; making sure the person you loved, had all that they needed. Actions instead of words… Me being a blogger, their way of showing emotions; despite being part of my heritage, is still foreign to me. I feel like my soul is immersed in words; I am consumed by the need to get the millions of words and sentences from inside my soul, out, for fear that they would otherwise make my heart burst. But there is still a simple beauty in the more quiet ways of expressing your feelings. I see that now.
-As I find myself drifting off to blissful sleep, I thank Today for joy and peace.-