A Lament for Grandmama

It’s that time again. Bachelor season. Now, I am definitely not one of those macho men who thinks all shows like this are “stupid” or “gay”. But, I do hate it. At least for the first five minutes. After that I start talking about the girls and how weird they are. They was a girl named “Shira” on there this time. Nikki was wondering why I laughed out loud at that name. This is why:Prince Adam eat your heart out. Wait, were they brother and sister? Oh, nevermind.

We had some delicious meatless spaghetti to go with our crazy girl watching.Nikki even made garlic toast out of whole wheat bread, smart balance, and garlic salt.

Yum.

I’ve hit kind of a slump with lunches. For the past two days I have had Nutella on one slice of whole wheat bread, carrots, and something from my Christmas stash (i.e. buddy fruits, larabar, or clif bar). Thankfully Nikki is making vegetable soup today of which the leftovers will make good lunches.

When I am not obsessing about healthy eating and stupid things I have said I like to ponder  important questions. Questions like: are fixed male dogs considered the eunuchs of the dog-verse? and if they are does that mean I don’t have to feel bad about calling Gawain that when he makes me mad? He just smiles and licks me either way.

The question I have been pondering lately is: do I possibly suffer from a very mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? I have been reading up on the disorder and have found these symptoms:

  • Increased appetite with weight gain (got me there)
  • Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness (well, one of those two)
  • Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon (yeah, but that is probably from poor dietary choices)
  • Loss of interest in work or other activities (there is not much interest to lose)
  • Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement (I didn’t know there was another way to move)

Please remember that humor is the way I deal with things that make me uncomfortable and that I am not making light of this very serious and real disorder. I think I really do suffer from a version of this that is very mild. I would even call it CAD (Christmasal Affective Disorder). I really really get excited when Christmas comes around. Like I always did when I was a kid, I eagerly await the day and the season and all that it holds. I hate how even more commercialized it has become, even so much that we hear Christmas songs and see Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. Obviously, these stores aren’t very thankful. I start telling Nikki “I’m starting to feel it, honey, I’m starting to feel it!” The it is the Christmas spirit, of course. Once the day comes and the presents are opened, I start going down fast. I get really, well, depressed. I really don’t know why, it is like all the wonderful feelings come to a mountaintop and crash into each other like so many sexually aroused mountain goats (isn’t that when they fight each other?). Maybe this can be traced back to losses in the family that happened around Christmastime. When I was younger my great grandmother died right around Christmas. I didn’t know her very well, but we visited her often and my grandmother loved her so I did too. I didn’t like to see the pain on her face on Christmas day. A pain that came from wonderful memories. Isn’t it weird how the wonderful memories are the ones that make us the saddest?

A few years ago (right before my niece and nephew were born) that same grandmother died. Right around Christmas. That Christmas was amazing and awful. All of the family was together, and we mourned and cried and laughed and cried. That grandmother’s (my mother’s mother) house was where most of my great Christmas memories were made. True, I have great ones from all of the grandparent’s, but it was at Grandmama’s house that my brothers and I waited at the top of the stairs. It was in the corner there that the plastic Santa stood. It was there that my brothers and I made a hilarious video about a terrorist who wanted to kill Santa Claus. You know, I started this search because I thought I might have Seasonal Affective Disorder, but the truth of it is that I have just experienced great joy and great loss around Christmas, and thus associate that with the season. When I get right down to it, the truth of it is that I miss those Christmases. I still have wonderful Christmases, but they are hard to compare to Grandmama’s house and the smell of sausage balls and peanut butter candy. I know what the problem is.

I just really miss my Grandmama.

 

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9 responses

  1. Christmas is starting to get better for me since the kids are really getting into it now, but I know how you feel. It’s just not the same. I feel like it has to do with our deep obsession with wanting things to stay the same and our fear of change. You know, the whole “never being able to go home again” thing. The smell of sausage balls, pulling out the fold-out table from the garage, and not being able to sleep in a room with you and Brandon the night before will always be Christmas at its best. Being in the house has a really weird effect on me at times. I try to push it away, but it’s nice to be haunted by the ghosts that used to walk these floors. Sorry, didn’t mean to get all literary on you haha.

    • No, bro, I totally know what you mean. I agree. I think we can still hook up the “us all sleeping in the same room” the night before Christmas. It is definitely on the table for next Christmas.

  2. I do too. I didn’t know her as long as you did, but she affected my life in a huge way. Every Christmas, as I make her recipes, I miss her. Standing in her kitchen and making candy, like I have the last two Christmases, is happy and sad at the same time. I cried a couple times this year. I imagine her watching B&E, smiling. I know she’d have been crazy over another “williams boy” and the girl she predicted for your mama. She was a wonderful woman who touched so many people.

  3. I am sitting here wrapped in the Christmas afghan Mama made for me the last Christmas she celebrated with us, tears streaming down my cheeks. I know at times it was difficult for us to travel back to Georgia every Christmas, but one gift I wanted to give you boys was the gift of my family traditions . . . . Christmas Eve at Aunt Dot’s; anxiously waiting for Santa in that bedroom upstairs (Carolyn and I slept in the same bed when I was little and I remember talking late into the night because I was too excited to sleep, yet knowing Santa wouldn’t come until I was asleep); coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought; Carolyn, Johnny and Jeff coming over and the fun of opening even more presents; Christmas breakfast of sausage balls and cheese eggs (Daddy always asking Randy if he REALLY needed to use that much cheese); and even that noisy, crowded Christmas night dinner. By passing on those traditions, I was able to share a little of my childhood with you. And it brought such joy to Mama and Daddy to share those times with us all. I miss them both every day and Christmas is the most difficult. But now we make new traditions to be passed on to Ben and Emaline and Austin while continuing to share the story of Sara and Frank so they will never be forgotten . . . . .

  4. Beautifully written Evan; wonderful comments by all. Angie said it well and reminds us all why we do all the running around an driving long distances to see each other around Christmas. These times are precious; these moment are to be treasured. Memories upon memories layered and woven just like a crocheted wrap to be passed on and not forgotten.

    • Thank you for your kind words and truths. I don’t know how this became about Grandmama, I sincerely wanted to write a piece about Seasonal affective disorder and that is just what came out. I like writing this blog, it is my own free version of therapy.

      I am very excited to start new traditions and hopefully to also pass on the old. In feeling if not in actuality.

  5. Now that I’ve gotten over my good long cry . . . it’s o.k. . . . I needed it . . . been pushing it back for several weeks . . . I just wanted to say that I am thankful Angie and I had parents who cared about family and tradition and taught us to do the same. Of course, the very thing that gave us such wonderful memories also makes us miss them that much more. Sometimes I think it would be so much easier now if they hadn’t been such good parents. Then, of course, I come to my senses and thank God for all the good years. I am so glad that we have continued to get together as a family. I know people whose families pretty much fall apart when the parents/grandparents are gone. We have not let that happen, and I am so thankful. Angie, I remember those Christmas Eve nights like it was yesterday . . . playing Winter Wonderland on the piano and singing . . . riding to Aunt Dot’s singing Christmas songs–most infamously Down by the Sea Shore . . . lying in bed together being so excited about Santa coming and trying to go to sleep . . . I could go on and on but I’m going to stop now before I start bawling again.

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