Yesterday I woke up with a raging headache. I cannot tell you how much of an inconvenience it was. Normally I would have done what I did first off, and that was call Sakura to see if he could come and sit with me, because I hate being alone when I am throwing up and so dizzy I am terrified I might pass out at any given moment. Normally, I would have done that and rested with him, knowing I was safe, until the headache passed. Normally.
But yesterday was my family Christmas party. That may not seem like a huge deal, but I had decided to go for the first time since Kitten and I got together. We went that first Christmas and then never again. It wasn't that I don't like Christmas with my family. I mean, okay, its always a little...different, with my family- but I always went before now. And Kitten wasn't the reason I wasn't going. It was personal, and I felt like it would be better for me not to be there. This year is different. Circumstances in my life have changes and made it to where I wanted to go, at least in some small measure. I'm on much better terms with my family than I was before, and there are a lot of other things going on in my families lives that make me want to be there.
I'm unsure if I've mentioned it here already, but last week my grandmother was in the hospital. They thought she was having a heart attack. She wasn't, thank god, and she was up and moving around much faster than I would have expected. This, however, put me in the mind of two things yesterday morning. The first was that I need to appreciate every moment I have with my family, because I am not guaranteed anything. The other was that if my grandmother had been in the hospital and was still going to family Christmas, then by god,- so was I.
So I spent a few hours struggling with nausea and my pain, patiently laying on the couch with Sakura, letting him feed me spoonfuls of anti-nausea liquid and sipping at tepid water. He helped me to struggle into a skirt and a long sleeved shirt and we headed off to the party. When we got there my family had already arrived, for the most part. My mom was at the store picking up last minute provisions and my brother came in shortly behind me. It was...overwhelming. At first because I always forget how huge my family is. I mean, we rent a community room because there is no house big enough to hold all of us. There were about 40 there, and I know we were missing a few people. The other thing was...well, my brother.
It was the first time I had seen him since the winter Kitten and I got together. Three years. He's changed. A lot. Appearance wise, he's taller if that's possible, or I forgot how tall he really is. He also wears much nicer clothing than he used to. His extremely long hair is gone (really long, like longer than mine) and he doesn't wear a beard anymore. And he was sober. Sober and clean. I haven't seen him that way since the both of us were in high school. Like a girl, I cried. It was embarrassing. He looked at me, hugged me, and then asked me why I was crying. I told him I wasn't, and he laughed at me and hugged me again. Then he told me he loved me. For the first time in a very long time, I believed him.
Of course, the happy reunion was cut short by me dashing down the hall. First, I needed to throw up. Too much emotion plus a migraine equals sickness. Then I wanted a moment to pull myself together. No such luck. My cousins and my grandmother and Sakura were all hot on my heels. Ah, the joy of family. Once I convinced them that yes, I was fine, they let me have a moment.
I spent most of the first hour sitting along the wall watching my family eat. Honestly, I wasn't very hungry because I was still feeling a little woozy, so I was happy just watching. Sakura and I chatted. I got a huge kick out of him telling me he was surprised that my family was so southern. Like, bless your heart, deep-south southern. Its true. I had never really thought about it before. But seeing my family, all of whom came by to encourage me to eat (because obviously Sakura wasn't going to eat if I didn't and we can't have a guest unfed!) bustling around the room and spending time together, it became very apparent that yes, my family might as well be somewhere in Georgia for how southern we are. And it was funny, too, to watch them try and get me to eat because they were worried about poor Sakura wasting away. It made me giggle, too, because I don't look too much like the rest of my family and my personality is very different from theirs. Sakura says he assumed my family would be more like a group of people from the eastern seaboard. That made me smile.
I was glad to see my cousins, whom I never see enough of. Lovey and her little sister Spurs were up from Oklahoma. I love seeing them. I got a kick out of Spurs, because she is such a little cowgirl, and I would never have guessed her for one when she was little. Now she's all grown up and sometimes I get a little misty eyes thinking of the two of them when they weren't so big. Now instead of talking about our favorite Disney movies or where we want to go on spring break we're talking about our significant others and our first experiences at strip clubs. Ah, growing up. I'm going to do my best to have them up to see me sometime this spring. I'm definitely going to visit them. I love Oklahoma. Plus any chance I get to see them is a holiday.
My younger cousins were there too, and by younger I mean, you know, in high school. (when did I get so old???) It was kind of funny to see them sitting at the table playing some sort of racing game on their smart phones. I remember when I was a kid we would sneak into the back room and play Nintendo when no one was watching. It brought back memories. All of my older relatives don't seem so old now. In fact, I was remarking it to Sakura, some of them are closer to me in age than my cousins. Its strange.
I was really happy when Kitten and Oscelot got there. They got off of work early so they could make it. I was able to introduce them to my whole family for the first time. I was thrilled. Everyone was so kind to them, and so loving. My great-aunt pulled me aside to tell me how wonderful she thought they were, and how she was glad to see I had found people who really, truly loved me. She said I had picked two women with very tender hearts and she was proud of me. It made me want to run out of the room crying again. I got a kick out of Oscelot telling me how huge my brother was. She's super short, so he looks like a giant next to her. It was hilarious. We got to take some pictures with the family, and that was nice. I can't wait for everyone to upload all of their pics so I can save them on my computer. I need a family album.
Anyway, it was a really nice time. I managed to sit down and eat some potatoes. My mom called me this morning and was horrified that's all I had eaten. She's bringing me over leftovers today I think. I got to watch my family interact with my chosen family. It was really, really nice. I feel better about this holiday than I have about any holiday I've had with my family since I was a child.
I hope that all of you are able to find something special this holiday.
PS- I'm adding some photos below, because I can. Ignore the fact that I look awful- I was sick, after all.
Here's me and Kitten and Oscelot. Nothing like a smiling family to make the holidays brighter, right? In the background you'll notice my two gargantuan cousins messing around.
Here's me and my mom and Punk. First picture like this in years. I'd like to add that last night my mom texted me to tell me thank you for coming. She said having me, Punk, the girls and Sakura there made it feel like Christmas for her, because she was with her family.
This is my three female cousins. From left to right: Spurs, Colorgirl and Lovey. They are just the darn cutest things. I'd like to mention, Lovey and Spurs are my height. Colorgirl is just super tall. Super, super tall.