Last One Out
I'm not doing all that good today. Here I am, stuck at the office because I just had to make a few extra bucks in overtime in order to offset my bills and allow myself a creature comfort or two, and everyone else has left for the holidays, fighting traffic, queueing at the airport, rushing as they try to get home for the holidays. And me, I no longer feel the need to rush. What's the point? My home was with Ginny, my beautiful bride, my dearest, sweetest friend.
Dammit, I thought I was done crying. The past year and a half has been so rough on me, between losing Ginny as well as my job. I learned what it was like to have the power turned off in the dead of winter last year, not to mention face eviction. Unemployment sucks, but underemployment isn't much better.
But I guess I shouldn't be too sad. At least I still have my Banjo, and I have my own family to spend Christmas with, along with my newly-minted nephew, James. He is just so adorable, and he's starting to sit up on his own, which is terrific. And I've had DUers reach out to me when things looked their bleakest, especially one in particular, whom I cannot thank enough. And there will be food and laughter and a couple of presents under the tree and time with my family and loved ones.
Meanwhile, somewhere down in Houston, there is a meth addict. He has a friend who has a place where he can crash for the night, but that might be all he has of any value. His addiction and his refusal to stay in rehab have taken a toll on his own family. The final straw came when he tried to talk - or possibly intimidate - his grandmother into giving him money so he could go buy some more meth. Now he's been cut off, no longer welcome at home unless he is willing to accept help for his addiction for real. This addict is one of my relatives, someone I've known since he was a little boy. I can only sit here and hope that he's safe and warm and maybe even eating a half-decent meal this Christmas weekend.
Then there's the young woman I barely know who's the daughter of an old friend of mine. "Jane" has fallen head over heels for a young man whom she's known since grade school, someone who helped keep the bullies in check to make Jane's school days a little more bearable. But now this boy has grown up into a drunkard and a thief, and Jane's inflexible love for this young man is tearing her family apart. He just got out of the psych ward a couple of weeks ago because of all the trouble he's been in, and he celebrated his freedom by drinking for three days straight and causing a scene until the cops hauled him off to jail again. Jane doesn't care. She's vowed to stay by his side for Christmas, even if that means they're homeless, cold, hungry, and on the street. She deserves so much better than this.
I wish I had a little more Christmas spirit in me, a little more of the spark I used to have with Ginny at my side. Maybe tomorrow it'll start when I pay a visit to Ginny's mom and sister; it'll be so nice to see them again. But sitting in this office chair, that reunion seems so far away. Still, it could be worse. And for too many people, including those I care about, it already is.
I am the last one out this holiday season, and maybe I should thank God for that.
I'm doing better today; got to meet with my in-laws and had a great time with them. Got a phone call while I was there telling me that my meth-addicted relative is coming to see his family for Christmas - he hasn't been completely cut off yet; this is just the best arrangement for everyone. Hope endures.
I'll spend Christmas Eve night snuggling with the kitty when I get home, and then off to East Texas tomorrow. Merry Christmas!