Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

The Mask

I telephoned my Father this morning to ask how his Christmas and birthday went last Saturday.

Together with my brother Dave, my dad went to spend the holiday with my youngest brother Dan, who lives about thirty miles north in the heart of old-town Phoenix. I am so glad Dad got out of his house during his birthday and Christmas. His home is far too full of my mother's memories which would have been particularily hard on him so soon after her passing.

The perfect Christmas tree that I put up for my mother is still sitting on the hearth of my parent's fireplace. Hanging from two separate 'snowy' pine branches are the personalized ornaments sent by my sister Brenda: the heart with all of our names on it and the silver angel engraved with 'Mom'.

For the first time in over fifty years my father didn't see any brightly wrapped presents underneath the 'perfect' tree. No wrappings of colored foil paper; no bows in assorted Christmas hues; no needlepoint stockings hung from his fireplace mantle; no enticing aromas of roasted turkey or lemon meringue pie wafted from his kitchen. My mother, his partner in life was not there to do it for him this year. She is gone, forever. I doubt if her passing had ever felt so 'real' to him as it did last Saturday, Chistmas Day.

I Skyped Dad later this afternoon. He answered, but for the first time in weeks he didn't look very well to me. The holiday season has taken quite a toll on him. More than I expected to see. His hair looked a bit grayer, his bright blue eyes a little more dull, and his face appeared puffy and tired. Of course, he did his best to act like everything was fine, but even that attempt was not up to par. There were long, uncomfortable pauses during much of our conversation. Very unusual for the two of us. Our chatting typically flows very easily.

Perhaps my dad simply needs to recuperate from all of last week's festivities. Having to celebrate such a big holiday as Christmas, on the very same day as his birthday is often weary for him in a 'good' year. Having to do it for the first time with my mother no longer alive must have been immensely trying.

Everyone else it seems, has a bright and happy face at Christmastime. I'm sure my dad did his best to put on the same for everyone around him that day. But inside, deep within his heart and soul, he must have felt very alone. Inside, he was not smiling. My dear father mearly wore a temperary mask deemed necessary for the sake of all others.

Of course my father's heart is still broken. What do I expect?

This post first appeared on Losing Mom, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

The Mask


Subscribe to Losing Mom

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription