Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Best Christmas Ever

It’s just past nine pm, the sun is down and the blanket of  at night is creeping over Melbourne.  My kids (nearly 10 and a firm 7.5) and I trimmed the tree and put up some lights off my bedroom  balcony.  The lounge room is a mess with paper from wrapping presents, and pulling out xmas decorations, and my iPhone is pushing out  40’s, 50’s and 60’s xmas hits from Dean Martin to Michael Buble through to my speakers.  My little angels just scampered down in their robes to look at the house from the street and get the full imagining of the lights as Santa might see them.

They are down now, and as they drift off to sleep each in their beds, safe and sound, silent night just kicked in sung by other parents angels arranged in a beautiful choir. You my one, maybe two readers might be thinking what makes this the best xmas ever.  You see, a couple of years ago I left my wife of 10 years.  I left what I could only describe as a loveless marriage and a situation I just couldn’t resolve and maintain any sense of my own identity and humanity.  The details of the break up really don’t matter, but what does is my utter loss with regards to my kids.  You see, I didn’t expect to love being a dad to my two babies as much as I did.  When they were born, I became  a combination of Steve Martin in the Parenthood, Chevy chase in the Grizwalds, and Dr Huxtable (Bill Cosby).  

I think I knew it would hurt so much I just didn’t think about it, I was too afraid I would go back and that would be it, I would be a living dead man for the rest of my life.

The darkness that engulfed my life was indescribable as far as being a dad was concerned.  There were things that I did that gave my kids joy and filled me to the brim.  One was I loved whistling a little tune when I came through the door, to trigger the stampede down the hall way, and the rapture of hugs and kisses after work.  I loved kissing each of them gently on their forehead at night on my way to bed, that immediately disappeared. 

Once I got into my tiny apartment, all I could do was kiss the little one on the bottom bunk, and strain to get the big one on top.  It sounds trivial but for me it was another wound in a long line of wounds that had cut deep into my soul.

At the beginning of the journey, my life quickly psychological became a black hole as I attempted to restart my life in every aspect.  You see when people use the term, ‘lose your way’, its as literal a term as you can use to describe what I experienced.  Everything collapsed for me, and all I could maintain was a veneer of the ‘me’ the world saw, just for the sake of my kids, my parents and my close freinds. The truth was that all was lost in my mind, and I descended into an abyss of consciousness.  Booze and socialising took some of the edge off, but I began dreading the night, sleep and waking to an empty house in terror, where I would teeter into what I can only assume as being both madness and enlightenment at the same time, so sides of the same coin.

Slowly, ever so slowly the pebbles I was putting in place started to come together, In terms of being a single dad, rebuilding my work situation and physiologically coming to grips with what I did to contribute to the demise of my marriage, including learning from it and forgiving myself.

But tonight I speed towards the first xmas with my kids each in their own bed, a new home, a beautiful new girlfriend (we dated over 13 years ago, another amazing story and woman!), new car, and my work is looking not too bad!

Why the best xmas ever?  Well its been over two years, and I can breath now.  

The photo was taken by my daughter while I made pancakes the next morning!




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