I have always dreamed of a Hallmark Holiday.
I’m one of those saps who would have loved to have gotten engaged on Valentine’s Day. Mother’s Day would best be memorialized with a feature in the local paper touting the town’s most loved and revered mother (me). And I have continually fantasized about getting that very special gift for Christmas. I’m not sure what that gift would be, but I always wished that someone somewhere would know exactly what it was that would make me swoon that season.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had wonderful holidays. I have a fabulous family filled with lots of sisters and we all get along. We’ve never had to worry about who is not talking to whom because none of us have ever mastered the art of silence. We have a few distant crazies, but none of them are harmful. I am truly blessed.
Bu, I still want that Hallmark Holiday.
This year, Max, my middle child transferred from a college two hours away to one 2800 miles away. He went off with the understanding that there were certain concessions that had to be made in exchange for the high tuition and far away campus of the University of Southern California. And, much to my sorrow, one of those sacrifices was that he couldn’t fly home for a long weekend at Thanksgiving and then again three weeks later for winter break.
Yet, I couldn’t help but sneak onto Expedia every other day to see if the airfares had miraculously plummeted. Instead, the basic roundtrip airfare doubled. I was tempted, but I stayed strong. I didn’t buy the ticket.
In mid-November, my daughter, a senior at University of North Carolina, started whining about her 500-mile drive home. We bought her a clunker of a car with the understanding that if she ever wanted to fly home again, she had to pay for her own ticket. About this time, knowing full well that he wasn’t, she asked me repeatedly if her brother was coming home for Thanksgiving.
I didn’t need much more than that to set my mind in motion. By Thanksgiving Eve, I was 100 percent sure that the whole family was in cahoots and would be surprising me the next day with my prodigal son at the dining room table.
Well, Thanksgiving came and went. The turkey was moist, the company magnificent. But still, there was a hole in my heart the size of California that could so easily have been filled with the purchase of a plane ticket to my Hallmark Holiday.