Jan 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

It’s that time again! Time for the obligatory holiday letter. Who can top the Kelly’s letter, though? Well, we can try. You will notice, I’ve got the mandatory red paper. So that’s a good start. Okay, let me begin.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!! GREETINGS TO ALL!!!!! (How was that? Did I put enough exclamation points? I put everything in caps and bolded it so the feelings were conveyed properly.) Okay, lets move on.

As you know, Linda has traveled afar this year, a one-way ticket to that cloudy place in the sky. Peaceful and restful, that’s for sure. Can’t beat the Kelly’s Cayman Island trip, though (wow, dolphins in the ocean, that’s something alright! Dolphins, AND a 60-foot slide! I’m sure it WAS awesome.).

You know, there’s really a lot of similarities between the year we had, and the year the Kellys had. For instance, little Brian Kelly’s tooth fell out. My little Jimmy’s heart fell out. Well, actually it was ripped out, but that’s just semantics. Both things, a tough part of life, right?

Little Shannon Kelly is taking ballet lessons (quite the little dancer!), and Liam Kelly starred in his high school musical, “Oklahoma” (I agree, we will be seeing his name in lights some day!).

Along similar lines, my Jimmy and Karen are both in psychiatric therapy, also showing some real promise for their future. Sure, Jimmy still needs some work. It probably isn’t polite to call your therapist a fucking asshole just because the therapist sputtered one of those lines people have been sputtering all year long since Linda went to “be with the angels in heaven,” like: Things happen for a reason…She’s in a better place…

And then Jimmy calling me a fucking asshole was uncalled for, just because I reminded him that “People mean well…He should have respect for his elders…his mother would want that…” So yes, Jimmy still needs some work.

But hey, the therapist says Karen has seemingly reached closure on the whole mommy-dying thing, even though I can’t figure out how the heck that could be possible so early in the game. I mean, I thought there had to be some grieving involved first. I’m not sure that locking herself in her room 24/7 is part of the grieving process or not, or that not talking to me in two weeks is part of the process either. And I’m sure the whole Head-to-Toe black thing has no meaning whatsoever, nor the fact she carved the words hate and die on her arm with a razor blade. I mean, what the heck do I know? I’m not a therapist. Maybe I have a “star” on my hands too, and Karen is an advanced griever.

Maybe I’m just the fucking asshole father who in no way comes close to replacing that beautiful human being that was snuffed from our lives. But hey, the Kelly’s know all about a Star-mom, having Completed yet another exhausting year! Phew! Right, Sarah Kelly?

I can relate to you, Mom-Kelly. All that carpooling you’ve been doing, the activities and events. They WILL find you dead on the side of the road! I mean, who DOES have time to breathe? Not the Kellys!

Well, same thing with our family this past year. One chemotherapy treatment after another chemotherapy treatment. Carpooling Linda all over the place, one doctor to the next . One experimental treatment after another experimental treatment. Trying to save one’s life isn’t an easy thing. Phew! Exhausting. Utterly exhausting.

I didn’t have time to breathe either, Sara Kelly. It WAS enough to drain the life out of a person. Oh, wait a minute. That’s Linda I’m thinking about. My Bad. She was the one exhausted all the time. Can you believe she had the nerve to be tired when it was
I who did all the carpooling? So yes, I do know what you’re talking about Sara Kelly. “They will find you dead on the side of road!”

But no, it was actually Linda who died on the side of the road. Not exactly “on the side of the road,” that was just a metaphor, same as Sara Kelly’s reference. But no joke, Linda REALLY couldn’t breathe. It’s very difficult to breathe when the lungs fill with fluid. That’s no fun, Sarah Kelly, so I completely understand it when you say you felt like you couldn’t breathe this past year. I saw it firsthand for myself. All the gasping for air and what not. It’s actually quite painful.

But you know what? I think the Kellys are right. All in all, the year did fly by! You’d think that when you watch the love of your life wither away into a skeletal frame, leaving me with what could best be described as road kill (that would be my Jimmy and Karen), you’d think the year would go by slow. But no, it went just as fast as the Kelly’s year. So you can see the similarities, can’t you?

Well, without wanting to copy too much from the Kelly’s letter, I too would like to wish everyone a joyous and healthy holiday. Of course, healthy is always at the top of everyone’s Christmas list. Let me tell you this, though. If it were really at the top of the list (which it isn’t, I was just kidding there), but if it were, some of us would be in serious trouble. Of course, only if you weren’t healthy. All I‘m saying is, it’s the one thing you can’t put on the credit card or buy at Macys. They’ve got everything you could possibly think of “online,” everything except health. Just can’t buy it, that’s what I’ve learned this year.

Well, without further ado, I would like to wish everyone a permanent farewell, because by the time you get this piece of red paper, I will have joined my Linda.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND GREETINGS TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Carolyn McGovern has been published in “Storyglossia,” “Shine,” “Clever,” “Skive,” “Delivered,” the “Chick Lit Review,” and various other publications. She is currently as work on her memoir

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