Merry (ACHOO!) Christmas
By Cheryl Lavin December 16, 2013 1:10PM
Updated: December 17, 2013 10:04AM
Christmas is almost here. Shopping is reaching the frenzy phase. Stress levels are off the charts. As we look forward to Christmas’ present and future, it’s time to look back at some Christmas’ past . . .
BLAIR: I began to get sick on Dec. 23. By Christmas Eve I was in bed. I had to get up in the evening to attend a small gathering of friends. I was bringing a major part of the meal so I had to go.
Christmas morning I awoke weak and tired. We were expected at my sister’s house for dinner and gift exchanges. I told my husband I didn’t know how I was going to make it. He told me to go back to bed. He said he’d pick up my mother and take her to my sister’s. I was thrilled! I was overwhelmed! I couldn’t wait to snuggle under the down comforter!
My mother lives 22 miles from us in the opposite direction from my sister, who lives 30 miles from us. My husband doesn’t have a lot of history with my family since we’d only been married three years. The fact that he was so willing to do all that blew me away. I slept all day. He called about 4 p.m. and everyone wished me Merry Christmas.
NOREEN: My husband and I had been married for five years. I knew he had a drinking problem when I married him, but I didn’t know the severity of it. Once we got married, the drinking became daily and he was often insanely drunk. Since I was pregnant with our first child, I dealt with it the best I could, including getting a court order to keep him out of the house while intoxicated.
The next four years were 80 percent hell on earth. The other 20 percent, when his children were over, it was the Brady Bunch. (He had a court-order not to drink in front of them.)
Cut to 2012. We separated, but on Valentine’s Day, I was feeling lonely. We met for lunch and had a great day and evening. But the next day turned into the same old drunken chaos. In March, I found out I was pregnant again. I filed for divorce and asked him to stay away permanently.
The baby was due in November. I asked him to come home for good and he did. Two weeks after our baby was born, he left. He knew the holidays were approaching and that I had no money for a tree or gifts, not even for food. Friends and family came through for us.
The week before Christmas was the baby’s christening. He didn’t attend. I asked him to come home for Christmas, hoping he would somehow become a changed man after seeing me and our babies. He refused.
Christmas was hard on me and the children. I cried but carried on. That was the best and worst year of my life. The best was my new daughter, the worst was everything else.
I lost a great portion of my life, my pride and my dignity because of him and I ruined my credit. But I pulled myself together and developed more strength than Superman ever had. This Christmas is going to be way better!
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