The holidays are always a tricky time for me. They're very emotionally charged. 17 years ago I lost my grandmother and my family was never the same. Now, my remaining grandmother is ill and in a home. She doesn't recognize anybody anymore and she lives in the past. The last time she saw me, she thought I was my mother as a child. Needless to say, that broke my heart.
Also, three years ago I got seriously ill around the holidays and while with every year the memory fades a bit more, it's still there and I always remember it. Those were trying times and I'm glad I made it out, but again, everything changed. Some things for the better, but others were disappointing.
For the first time in a long time I truly looked forward to the holidays, but now I'm sort of swamped with memories. I keep dreaming about my grandmothers when they were still alive/well and it is wrenching and at the same terrifying. I feel guilty because I haven't visited my grandmother's grave in a while nor have I seen my other grandmother since she was placed in the home. It depresses me that she's there and I don't want to see her because I think I may lose it. I don't want to see her like that. I feel guilty for all those lost opportunities of talking to her and getting to know her better. Now, I very well may never know. I also feel guilty for being a stupid teenager and being too involved in my own crap and not noticing how she would try to get to know me more and teach me things. After all, she's the one that taught me how to play domino. She tried teaching me how to knit too...
My mother and I never talk about it, but I know that it pains her. She used to see grandma, but she stopped going too. I think it's because she couldn't take it either. I've thought of telling her that we should go, but I always stop myself. I don't think I can.
So for all those people who've lost touch with a loved one or have always postponed that chat, get to it. It's better that you swallow your pride or whatever it is that's holding you back because later on you may very well regret your actions. Get over yourself! Be thankful for everything and reach out. Otherwise, it may be too late.