I have been trying very hard to care about Christmas this year. I have a 9 year old and she’s excited and I want her to be excited, but there is so much else that I want.

I want certainty, but we only walk farther away from it. I want to be okay, but every year our family loses more.

I want the past back.

When my daughter was born she met four grandparents and three great-grandparents. I want all of them back.

I want dear friends who deserved so much better in their lives back.

I’m sick to death of losing people.

I want my daughter back. She used to be so happy and things came easily and there were only some times when we couldn’t make sense of her. Now anxiety has taken her over and there is no knowing where, why or how it will hit her and what we will be able to accomplish from one day to the next.

I want my dog back. I knew I would miss him but I never realized just how much, day to day. Just how much he was my comfort.

I want guarantees. I’m good at what I do, and I enjoy it immensely. I want those things to mean something. I want it to mean that I get a permanent job where I am appreciated. I’m tired of things crashing down around me and being forced to adapt.

I selfishly want my Gramps back. He lived for almost 100 years and I had him for almost 40, but the pain of missing him can be almost unbearable still, almost two years later.

I want my Dad back. I want Boxing Days at his house, surrounded by family he brought together for us. Family that I would only see when we gathered at Dad’s on Boxing Day. The loud conversations, drifting from topic to topic, memories and current events. The roaring fire.

I want my Dad back because if I understood then what I know now.

I want *me* back. I find her sometimes, crawling beneath the surface. She laughs wholeheartedly and makes bad jokes. She gets really focused. She comes up with good ideas. She gets on a roll when she knows what she’s talking about.

She wants to believe that good things can happen, she wants to enjoy the beauty and art in the world, but she gets tripped up so often that she spends all her time waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’m a pessimist. I have always waiting for bad things to happen. But over the course of the past few years, again and again, I have been proven right when the worst things have happened.

Now I tend not to just wait for bad, I wait for catastrophic.


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