It starts with Thanksgiving, I think. It's The First Little Piggie of all, who has to go to market. The hustle and bustle of people organizing who is going to sit next to who, how much wine to buy, how much cranberry sauce to really make. Then after each remnant is gone, WaLa! Christmas rears its magical glow, even if you are not ready for another broken heart and the Second Little Piggie wanted to just stay home anyway. It is all about the miraculous birth of Christ to be in awe of so many things: the stable, the poor pittance of no room at the inn, and a pregnant mother left outside to bear her firstborn son. The glitter is compounded by the heavens opening up, with choirs of angels singing, the wise men bringing gold, incense, and myrth, expensive gifts by anyone's eye at any time in history.
Then it is when the people start to leave. They go visit others in far-away places, and the freeways become thinned out once again, like they were last year. Visits back to the store to exchange sizes, place things on Layaway, decide what to keep and what to give to the poor. We cooked for the poor this year, and then we patted ourselves on the head for it, making sure that everyone knew. It was so beautiful; we couldn't help ourselves. God Bless those who bless others secretly, not telling a soul. For the Third Little Piggy just ate her roast beef as usual, unnoticed by anyone. But she was storing treasures in heaven, which is even better.
Today I am lonely and this Little Piggy wants none. My heart is heavy, my smile is fake, my laughter is coming from a place within me that shrinks away from the dreary, pretend world. I wish there was an easy way out, a way to leave earth without causing pain to my daughter. Oh, sure, other people would care but only for the initial shock of it, and then they would forget. In a year, no one would remember my daughter, no one would remember I helped with Theatre when I could barely stand up without vomiting, no one would remember that I was not from this world. This Little Piggy cried "Wee-wee-wee!" all the way home, but she made her way home. She did it.
I was different. God made me different and you know what? I'm glad he did.
I never had to steal from any one else's wallet, I never had to lie about where I was or wasn't, I never cheated on my husband, and God had to see that goodness in His own way. I protected my daughter even if it meant leaving her father, and I would do it all over again if I saw that it left her in shivers and tears. I had to protect her and I already answered to God for it, so don't judge me. I already made it to the door of Heaven, and God let me choose to come back, speaking as Angels speak and working to bless others.
Soon, it will be back-to-school again after Winter Break, and the 10th Annual Valentine's Day Party will be held at our house, no matter how small. Valentine's Day always sneaks around the corner for single people, just when we thought the 'coast' was clear. No, it rubs our 'being single' in our faces once again, making us feel like we are missing a mate. No, it slaps you in the face.
So I decided to teach my daughter that you don't have to have a man to be complete. You don't have to have a mate. So we have an all-girl party with mothers, daughters, grandmas, aunts, and a token brother who wears a tuxedo and pours the mimosas. The menu includes champagne, tomato soup, heart-shaped sandwiches, pigs-in-a-blanket, salad, and cookies. And all the crafts are set up in a line, so you make your own Valentine's Day Cards. Glitter, stamps, glitter markers, confetti, all kinds of crafts that Moms love to receive and treasure.
But how wonderful are the thoughts of the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate even now, as I write. How sweet were the hints of firewood I can still smell, flowering out from the fireplace and throwing out their crackles like popcorn that just make you smile. Life will go on, and all the pleasantries with it. The smell of strawberry hair, the singing that fills the house with glee. Those are the things that I miss the most. The sound of a child in the house, the laughter of children.
I want so badly to shrivel up in the fetal position and just wallow in self-pity, self-sadness. But I can't. Life has to go on, and the fall leaves are picked up with runny noses, to be replaced by snow and snowmen who come to life with magic hats upon their heads. We just have to look around to see the magic; it hides around every corner and under each table and behind every tree. Without us, there is no magic. Without us, there are no squeals of surprise and delight. We are inside our own book, we are the main character, and God sees everything.
So it is time to stop. Stop wallowing and sit up straight. Sit up straight and gain royalty. Gain royalty by spreading a smile. It has to be done today, for there may not be a tomorrow, and it has to be done genuinely, for God knows our hearts and our souls and that inner place where complete forgiveness abounds. We need to visit there more often, yes. We do. God, show us how. For our forgiveness is someone else's sin, and we need to forgive them before they can forgive themselves.
Now I will go lay down like a little kitten with no worries, and I will purr myself to sleep, knowing that I have forgiven. I want to be myself, loving and kind and smiling and beautiful, and I will not let anyone take that away from me. So I will pray and ask for forgiveness, and I shall also bestow forgiveness. In this way, I shall be made whole again, and the fire shall continue to crackle as my soul approaches the innocence and virginity of where it was before all of this happened.
And my soul will smile, because I will still be me. And I will thank God for protecting me for one more day, and thank Him for protecting me for one more night. And I will be grateful that I have found myself again, just as I was before.
Believe me, they have tried. But I took a vow and I'm keeping my end of it.