Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Goodbye will not be easy


Last updated 12/13/2022 at 1:42pm | View PDF

We are so close to Christmas that I can smell it, feel it, or maybe even dread it depending on your perspective. It's a wonderful time of year indeed, for most of us anyway. We scurry about with secret agendas, hiding gifts and sneaking away to wrap them. It's full of mystery, surprise, and wonder. We look forward to opening gifts, family gatherings, and seeing the wonder in little one's eyes. We hold onto traditions and recount stories of family not able to be with us and laugh, above all there is laughter. These are the things that we know as joy, I believe.

There are those who find Christmas a painful reminder of things and people lost, never forget them; they need our tenderness and our care this time of year. I will not pretend to know why it is that way for some, again I will say it is perspective. The first Christmas after my daughter died, my son had also shipped off to the Navy. So, I was down 2 kids that I couldn't have a conversation with, he was in boot camp and unable to call. It was such a hard time in my heart. I carried myself around like luggage and went through the motions of Christmas. I still missed them but I knew they would hate to think of themselves as the reason we didn't continue our traditions.

My oldest daughter loved Christmas so very much, she would get giddy the week before Thanksgiving and if she could, she would have her tree up already. She could be heard muffling her squeals of excitement when she saw the first house decorated with lights, it was her favorite. So, to honor her we made sure to have the lights and all of the festivities as normal, even though it was the most unnatural feeling in the universe. The husband she left behind was drowning in sorrow and we needed to lift him up and show him life had to go on for the living and that moving forward had to be the only direction to go. He was a young man with so much life still to be lived. I believe that when the ones we love leave us, they continue to love us despite being gone. They want us happy just as they did when they were here. Before my daughter died, we had time to discuss her funeral, what she wanted and so on. So, we did all that, but she also told me to not waste my days, she didn't want me to cry all the time. She wanted me to be happy and move forward and to help her husband find love again... I had heard that expression, "Fake it until you make it;" so I faked a smile...until it was a true radiant, from the heart kind of smile. It wasn't easy by any means but I made it through a very hard Christmas... not everyone can. I am not special I just had some guidance and a really good therapist. Those hurting through the holidays just have a special place in my heart.

Losing a life or a way of life is so very difficult. I had 29 years and 11 months with my daughter. Imagine having over 40 years as a way of life, the glue, the bond of the family designed to sustain for generations.

Our world changes and our need for gratification and fulfillment have become immediate. We no longer have the patience to wait for the news, we need it now and so in turn advertisers are also standing on that immediate platform because they follow the purchasers of their goods. I do understand this, however I do not like it.

This Christmas comes for me with the knowledge that my favorite newspaper is folding. No longer will I have her pages rustle as I read her with my coffee close by. I will no longer have a place to display my brain vomit. I will miss this paper in ways I am only now beginning to realize. How does one say goodbye to an icon.

I have taken this paper since the day I moved into our tiny house in Security. A very cute little boy from three doors down came knocking on the door, introduced himself as "Joey" and asked if I would like to take the paper. His cute little face (his mom stood at the end of my driveway) and the price were too hard to pass up. I have had this paper delivered to my house for over 30 years...every single week. I actually do not know how long I have been writing Oh My Word, I even named my arts and crafts, Oh My Word Creations because I just have loved this journey through these years with this hometown paper so very much. I keep praying for a Hail Mary...

While I will mourn this loss it will not be the same loss my friends will know as they close the doors and put to rest the final copy of the paper that their step father Carl started all those years ago. I know these transitions we face are supposed to compel us into new chapters and great adventures yet to come, it just doesn't make this stage of our current travels any easier. I wish them only peace, keep them in your hearts and prayers as we go forward. I can only imagine what they are going through... I send love to cushion every difficult step for them.

I am not ready to say good bye just yet, we lay it down for the December 28th edition, perfectly fitting, the final edition before the new year. This is my dread.

You can contact Alice at [email protected]


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