xmas table 2_edited

My blogging friend of long standing, adinparadise, tagged me in her ‘Simple Pleasures’ post. I saw her tag comment minutes after reading the news about the tragedy that recently occurred in Connecticut and my thoughts were turned to the things I can be grateful for in the face of the sadness that those families are experiencing during this, the first festive season without their loved ones. I can’t begin to imagine how life continues after you have had to bury a child. I am estranged from my own daughter and my grief knows no limits, but I thank God every day that she is a healthy, beautiful and grounded young woman.

candle for connecticut
So, I turn to counting my blessings and looking for the simple pleasures that come with being alone at Christmas. Small things such as the unadulterated luxury of having as much time as I like to enjoy a pedicure, while playing loud, trashy music to sing along to.

pedicure time

The freedom to meet a friend for lunch and have no curfew.


Eating my supper outside, early and not worrying that it’s not a balanced meal. Mushrooms are vegetables, after all.

mushy steak

And through the grief and abjectly lonely moments, I have the support of my friends in AA; my sponsor – who will drop everything and come to me if I only say the word, those who call or email regularly and those who have made sure I have somewhere to be on Christmas Day.
“See, alcoholism is exactly like bubble gum. You know when you blow a bubble and it bursts, some of the gum sticks to your chin?”
Small, tentative laughter.
“What’s the only thing that gets the bubble gum off your chin?” she asks.
Sometimes I will chew grape bubble gum because it stinks and hides the smell of alcohol. I answer, “Bubble gum. You have to take the gum out of your mouth and press it against the gum on your chin and it’ll pick it up.”
Rae beams. “You’ve got it.”
Slam dunk. I am on the road to recovery.
“Only an alcoholic can treat another alcoholic. Only other alcoholics can get you sober.”
From ‘ Dry. A memoir.’ By Augusten Burroughs.
And then there are my blog friends. To you all I, I wish you a happy festive season and thank you for your support during the highs and lows of the past year.

xmas table



  1. I know what you are talking about Cin, without the support of my family and friends I would also be faltering this Christmas. There is a good side to alcoholism, we get through the other side

  2. You look beautiful Cin,love your hat! As for your daughter,she will come around,its just that we don’t have the patience,enjoy your christmas lunch 🙂

  3. Wishing you the very best of Christmases and I’m so pleased to hear you have several invitations of places to be. I do hope the estrangement from your daughter is for a finite period of time. xx

  4. Merry Xmas the Only Original Cin!!
    Do you have a bath tub in your cottage or the shower only? I like that thingikie(stand) in the showr.

    • I only have a shower, Sparky, and really miss having a bath. The thingikie *smile* is something I’ve owned for more years than I can remember. Merry Christmas to you 🙂

  5. 2012 seems to have been a particularly trying year for so many I know – and of course the USA thing is simply unimaginable.
    Hopefully, the next year will produce far better things.
    Have a super Christmas!

  6. I think all the challenges we face in life are to help us grow. We should accept them and overcome or work with them if we can. Be understanding to your daughter as she also has challenges to come to terms with. I say this from my experiences. Have a wonderful Christmas, Cin. I’ll be thinking of you, my dear.

  7. My Walking Buddy whose daughter was killed two years ago is experiencing her first sober Christmas. The feelings that are bubbling for her are raw, rampant and real scary – no alcohol to drink them down. She faced her family in a courageous gesture of being true to herself and told them she would be doing Christmas on her own, in her own home…no more plastic smiles.

    She and I are conspiring joy. We’re considering a walk through our village on Christmas Day to absorb the unique, uncanny and indescribable Christmas Day energy in an empty, silent village. It’ll be like extended early morning energy. Clean, uncluttered and endless peace that radiates from heartprints left after the rush of community.

    Yes, Christmas can a terrifically challenging times for many. Losses magnify and shout our names. No one intends it to be so!

    I really love you, Cin, and all you have accomplished. You are such a promise to others.

  8. Despite all the boulders tossed into your path this year . . . boulders that you had to climb over, dig under, or walk around . . . you are HERE in the NOW.

    You made it! Keep taking it an inch at a time. 😀

  9. Have a most wonderful festive season, dear Cindy, and may 2013 bring you much health, happiness and peace. May you continue to delight us with your entertaining blog posts.. Stay as beautiful as you are. YOU are fantastic! Hugs xx

  10. This post is the reason I started following you: its honest and brave. As others mentioned you’ve gone through the hardest part, next year will be clear sailing…
    I love the photo of you in your chapeau!

    I thought of you on Christmas day Cindy. I hope you managed to go on a hike.
    much love

  11. I hope you have a wonderful new year,full of hope and peace. We all have losses, but that of losing a child, I cannot even imagine.

  12. Whether you are an occasional chewer or a non-stop chomper, bubble gum chewing is bad for your teeth and is generally unattractive. Make a few behavioral changes and kick the bubble gum habit for good.

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