The worst thing is to fight with the person you love the most at the holidays. Right now, my son is radio silent and at his father’s house. He’s supposed to come back Sunday, spend the night here and head home. I can only hope that we mend things before he leaves. If not, then my heart will be well and truly done.
We fought about the Covid pandemic and the fact that his roommate not being vaccinated puts my son at risk and further puts his father and I at risk when we see him. I told my son earlier in the week that when/if I come down again, I’ll get a hotel room, because then at least I have some control over my exposure.
And honestly, I want to see him, not the roommate and the roommate’s kids. The roommate was working before Sean decided to buy a house and move down there to share it with him. When Sean bought the house, suddenly the roommate’s depression was worse and bad enough that he “had to” quit working (his gig economy job), supposedly at the advice of his disability lawyer. I mean, who isn’t depressed? I went back to work 2 weeks after my daughter died. I can’t imagine anyone being more depressed than Paul and I were. In a nutshell, Sean is being used. And because this guy is his “best friend”, he is allowing it. That is not in my control.
But Sean could have gotten a Covid test before he came to see me. Considering that his roommate got me sick when I went down at Thanksgiving, and that illness has resulted in an ER visit for 10 hours (most of which was active treatment) and a home nebulizer unit that I’m still having to use, you would think that a Covid test would be the least he could do. But bad me, I didn’t insist on it.
So when I brought up the fact that the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire and putting people in the hospital, and when I said I’m not sure I would survive it (given the new diagnosis of COPD along with the new high blood pressure and racing heart rate), he got very angry with me and said I was taking all this out on his best friend. He didn’t seem to hear the part where I said I might not survive Covid if I caught it and that I needed to be so careful. I think he thinks I’m being overly dramatic. A family friend (close one) died three months ago when she caught Covid. She also had COPD. She died without family by her side because of how dangerous this virus is.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my son. That hasn’t changed. I will always love him. But at some point, I have to draw the line on what I will accept. Future visits will have to be preceded by a negative Covid test (on both sides). I don’t want to endanger him either.
This is the worst Christmas I’ve had since my daughter died, and that’s saying something. I have to leave in a few minutes to get my hair cut, because the last thing I want to do is waste a friend’s time or stiff her on Christmas. So I’ll go do that, and then I’m coming home and taking down the decorations that I took such joy and care in putting up. All of my Christmas spirit is gone and has been replaced by a deep sadness. I feel like a dementor got ahold of me (if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, look it up). I decorated the guest room for Sean and made sure that he had plenty of pillows, soft blankets, flannel sheets, potpourri in a Shaker box by the bed, a plaque that said “Home for the Holidays”, a beautiful candle, a picture of him and his cat on the wall, books a-plenty to read, and some of his favorite food. The house was lit up downstairs with two trees and plenty of presents under the tree. His stocking was full of some of his favorite candy.
It all seems to have been for naught. He is an adult, and he’s making his adult choices, regardless of how anyone else feels about them. I made my own adult choices in life, many of them bad ones. So I have to recognize that we will have periods of disagreement. But I have to protect myself. I wish he didn’t always have to learn things the hard way, because I feel some hard lessons are coming for him. Mom won’t always be here to help him pick up the pieces.
My heart hurts. My depression is tapping me on the shoulder. And I just want to crawl back under the covers. Nothing hurts me more than when my son shuts me out.
Please don’t say Merry Christmas to me. It isn’t one. I have several friends who are going through something similar, and I have other friends whose children are gone. It’s not such a great season for everyone, but I tried really hard to have a good one. It just didn’t work out.