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Being Lorna … at Christmas (three times over)

December 20, 2010

1988

Good times! Ah the 80’s. White soul & funk, no kids, just moved out of home and living with my new boyfriend.

As is the norm, I ventured to my parents house on Christmas Day. Dad & Nan have been to church in the morning, following by a session in the pub. Granddad (avid atheist and life long tea-total) walked round to my parents house to join us. Mother was cooking, preparing a, erm, “delicious” Christmas dinner. My younger sister was still living at home, and at 15 was wearing skirts that were too short and WAY too much make-up. Dad & Nan came home, bit pissed and brought with them the vicar – that’s normal, right? We sat down to lunch. I was in a hurry as I wanted to watch Top of the Pops and we weren’t allowed to have the TV on during lunch.

There were normal pleasantries exchanged and as my Dad was in a particularly good mood, he complimented my boyfriend, who was of Jamaican heritage, that he was worth 10 white men. Bless him.

After dinner, there were gifts, few drunken arguments and everyone flopped in the lounge trying not to think about the copious amounts of overcooked food there was to eat for tea.

But within a year, I had given birth to my first child, my Dad was dead, my Nan was in a mental hospital and my Mum was living with a new boyfriend who beat the crap out of her. Good times?

2010

Wow. Christmas again. It’s come around really quickly this year.

If someone had asked me all those years ago what I imagined Christmas 2010 to look like, I’m pretty sure it would be absolutely NOTHING like this.

This will be my 3rd year spending Christmas being single. Contrary to all those fabulous women’s libber’s out there, being single is NOT empowering, it doesn’t make you stronger and I’m not better for it. It’s shit.

I’m lonely and all I want for Christmas is a boyfriend. But to be fair, that’s been the least of my problems this year. I started the year with 4 children. As my Dad had held my black boyfriend in such high esteem, I married him and we had two kids – divorced, then I married again and had two more kids, then divorced again (No be-headings fortunately).

As Christmas Day approaches, I find myself with 5 children. This time last year, I spoke with an amazing woman called Dee Haddon, the mother of the best friend of my 16yo daughter. She was dying from breast cancer. I offered to take her daughter into my home, to look after her after she died, to give her a new family. Dee lost her battle in August 2010 and this Christmas will be hard for her daughter. I’ve done what I can to make things “normal” but how normal things be for a 17 year old girl who has lost her mother? I have no idea what will happen on Christmas Day.

There will be tears of happiness, there will be tears of sadness, Santa won’t have everything we all want but I will have the 5 people I care most about in the world with me. Happy Christmas Kids x

2028

It’s 4 days before my 60th birthday. Who would have thought it?

Beat breast cancer, mother of 5 kids, twice divorced and finally happily married to the love of my life (I won’t name him, he’s never liked me living my life online!). I love Christmas!!

Today, for the first time in a couple of years, I have all my kids at home with me. Matthias, my youngest is in his final year at university, my eldest Courtney, is here with her 2 children and her boyfriend (she never got married, blamed me with all the divorces!).

Taylor has just finished the term at Prendergast School – amazing, she went there as a child and now she is deputy head! She’s managed to get through university, achieve an amazing career, get married AND have 3 kids. Suspect my bloody mindedness has rubbed off on her.

Morgan is just starting her doctorate at Oxford – no, I jest. She’s finished university and is training to be a boring accountant like her dad.

And Megan – she still comes “home” for Christmas. I’ll never be her mum, but as she says, I’ve always been the best primary carer in the world! She’s a successful journalist now and the mother of a lovely son, Dean. Just like her mum, she’s done an amazing job of being a single parent. There is no doubt her mum would have been hugely proud of her.

Oh, and guess what – best present of all, they found a cure for cancer.

It’s taken until I’m almost 60, but finally, I’m having the Christmas I always wanted. In love, surrounded by my kids, healthy and looking forward to many, many more Christmas Days like this.

:: Writer Lorna Jones blogs here, tweets here and does stuff for Pink Buddies too.

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2 Comments
  1. Haha What a fantastic post!
    I love the way you looked at it from the three time perspectives. Very engaging.
    Thanks for sharing

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  1. My Christmas Carol « Mother, Lover, Daughter, Sister

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