Tuesday, December 26, 2017

All I Want For Christmas

I can hear Mariah Carey singing "All I want for Christmas is youuuuuuu, baby!" For the last month or so this song has hijacked the airwaves everywhere I've gone. Every radio station played it and every Christmas playlist featured it at least once! Resistance was futile, so this year, this song took over my brain... I couldn't escape it. I hummed, danced and sang along to it as I wrapped presents, washed dishes and even while taking a shower (usually my quiet time). The song grows on you! 

And then... I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. I want, I want, I want... I guess that's the part about the season that I don't love- that's the Grinch in me, I guess! I think there is so much need in the world and we talk about what we want. I know, 'tis the season for joy and happiness and giving, but I feel so bad for those who cannot be with their families, and they NEED them. I can't help but to think about my husband more than ever during the holidays. I imagine what we would be doing together, what our family photos would look like, if he were here with us. When I go shopping I always browse the men's section and wonder if he'd wear this or like that. I think about what presents we'd give each other; a scarf, that gadget he's been eyeing, a bracelet for me? Unimportant stuff. I'd settle for a high five just as long as it came from him being next to me- no guards, no time limits, no long drives, no goodbyes.
2009 Prison Style Christmas Portrait 
So the Holiday Season around my home is simply another season that we get to spend without our loved one. I do love seeing the excitement in my children's eyes and vicariously feeling the joy of innocence and anticipation as they await Christmas Day. When I was younger, my family would go to church on Christmas Eve, we would have a big dinner, family would come over, presents would be opened at midnight. It was awesome! As a little girl, we would visit our grandparents on Christmas Day and cousins from all over the island would congregate. It was the best time ever- until Three Kings' Day, that is.  

Today, everything feels different for me. My parents have been living in Florida for several years. My sister has her own family. My brother lives in New York City. Even my eldest child has branched out and started a family of her own (no babies yet). Although we come  together and carry on with our own version of Christmas... traditions 2.0- something is still missing. Before, I didn't feel it as much because there was so much noise (the good kind) but now things are getting quiet and the missing is getting louder. I don't like this feeling. 

But what about phone calls from my husband? Well, I don't usually expect a call on holidays. Prisons are run by guards and guards are people who are usually not too happy to have to work on holidays... do you see where I'm going with this? So, if I do get a call it's usually a very rushed one. This year I got no phone call (Insert sad face here!).  I'm used to that. When he was closer I would go visit him and the blues would subside. Being this far away is paralyzing, especially given the weather we've been having lately; traveling would be unsafe. So now I wait. When he does call, he will hear all about the presents and the fun from the kids. He'll pretend like he knows what they're talking about and then ask me to translate. I'll tell him that I love him and that I miss him and then I'll tell him that next year, all I want for Christmas is for him to come home (we'll get a good laugh). That has been the extent of my list every year since 1993. I know that the day will come when I'll get to put something else on it, but for now I'll just keep wishing! Except, instead of want I say need

Happy Holidays, everyone! 

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