Just not sure if I am ever going to get it really right ~ This holiday season ~ This Season of Tears ~ She's been gone 19 years this Christmas Day ~ Seems like yesterday ~ The tears started earlier this year ~ Just before Thanksgiving ~ I realized on Thanksgiving that it is finally time to start my own traditions ~ So, yes, it is time to finally plan that getaway on Thanksgiving and Christmas ~ To just run away from it all ~ To not worry about trying to keep things the way they were ~ Because they have never really been the same since she left us that Sunny Christmas Day ~ I am tired of pretending that everything is normal when it's not ~ So away I go ~ But not this year ~ I wonder if Christmas will be sunny this year ~ I wonder if her light will shine down upon us like it did when she took her last breath ~ The aura of her spirit lingering with us as we said our final goodbyes ~ And thanked her for spending one last Christmas with us ~ The Last Best Christmas ~
I got nostalgic about the Santa Cruz Mountains today.
I spoke to a kind person on the bus about my time spent there and how Ben Lomond always felt like home to me. I had started a new job at the local university back in 2000 and found a rustic little studio near Highway 9.
I think back to those earlier days of peace and tranquility and had one of those "Little Did I Know" moments that everything would change so suddenly after entering an abusive relationship so long ago.
In so many of my survival stories, the Santa Cruz Mountains is the third character.
These mountains witnessed my isolation.
These mountains wrapped me in their arms when I cried myself to sleep, hiding out in Lil' Red's room on so many nights when the end was near.
Theses mountains wept with me each time I called the hotline from behind the knotty pine walls that separated me from him during my times of crisis, the same walls in which my head was bashed into multiple times back in the Summer of 2003.
These mountains held my hopes for breaking free and seeing my family again.
These mountains held my dreams that could not be deteriorated by any amount of abuse.
These mountains watched me grow into a stronger woman that final year.
These mountains kept me safe throughout the whole ordeal.
These mountains bid me farewell that hot July afternoon when I hurriedly packed up Lil' Red in the old Camry, backed down the alley, and courageously left my life in San Lorenzo Valley.
Just when I get so discouraged from the layoff from 2 1/2 years ago, I am reminded I am supposed to be where I am at this moment in time..
Along comes a mother of a new student pleading with me to take care of her daughter ~ the first in her family to attend college ~ "Watch over her," she says, "Let her know that this is a place she can come for help." I give her my card and tell her I will be here for her just like a second mother. I step around the counter, and we have a group hug. The mother cries softly. The money is tight ~ the hours are far less ~ in the job offered to me nearly 19 months ago. But it is times like these that make me realize how much I make a difference in a simple moment in time ~ on a seemingly routine day ~ the gesture of reassurance to a parent who trusts me to take good care of her daughter.