Honey, I’m home.

My self imposed hiatus was a surprise to me, too.

A few things had been set in motion that all came together, however and the gut punch that I really thought I’d successfully dodged for weeks now finally hit. It brought me to my knees and then smacked me a few more times while I was down for good measure.

Although I’d already made and communicated my plans to go solo on Thanksgiving and accepted an invitation from my sister for Christmas, I found out that two much loved family members had been abandoned on Christmas (and one on Thanksgiving AND Christmas) by the very people that I had wrongly assumed would make sure they weren’t alone on those days. That brought me some pangs of guilt, despite my assertions to myself that “this is no longer my circus nor my monkeys”.

After making it through the holiday relatively unscathed, I got the brilliant idea the day after Christmas to make a prime rib, using my beloved math method, and photographing every step from start to finish for a future blog, or perhaps for the cookbook I’m still threatening to write.

Hubby and I were married on the 26th. It had been our tradition to say “Happy Anniversary” to each other on the 26th of each month. That should have been yet another warning sign, or at least a nudge to perhaps do my cook-a-rama on another day.

I unstopped a lovely Cabernet for the base of the au jus. Probably shouldn’t have had a glass of it, but – well, you know. And, before the rib was scheduled to emerge triumphantly from the oven, I pulled out the carving set.

I’d bought that carving set for hubby just before our second Thanksgiving. We even joked when I gave it to him that “Today, you are a man”. But, dang – he took his carving duties to the next level. Seriously. He watched videos, read articles and perfected the art of carving a turkey into perfect slices so beautiful that they could grace the cover of a magazine as opposed to looking like pulled pork. Likewise with hams and, of course, prime rib.

Only this year, he wouldn’t be here to ooh and ahh nor to carve beautiful slices of the delectable roast. That, like so much else, is now my domain.

I’d already figured that I would at least need a day to “decompress” after the Christmas weekend.

So there I sat.

In my self-imposed solitude, I cried harder than I think I’ve ever cried – accompanied with deep, chest shaking wails of anguish for what seemed like an eternity. In a valiant attempt to spare my friends and followers any potential messages from someone crying in their eggnog while they’re celebrating family and friends, I quickly posted a “taking time off” blurb on FaceBook and Twitter and went back to weeping.

Every time I thought I was out of tears, more would show up. Makeup gone. Dogs trying to lick away my sorrow. Prime Rib timer slowly counting down.

I read somewhere long ago that tears are cleansing, that they’re meant to wash away the pain. As a card carrying woman, I’d long ago learned the value of a good cry – but this was soul rattling. The tears somehow helped to drive out some of the demons I’d been suppressing in my futile attempts at bravado.

Somehow, I managed to get the rib out of the oven in time and take pictures of the final product. I even had a slice – and toasted hubby with my glass of Cabernet, although my slices weren’t nearly as picture perfect as his would have been. But, you know, that’s okay.

My life isn’t as picture perfect as I’d hoped it would be, either – but after a healthy cry (one of many more to come, I don’t doubt), it’s not all gloom and doom.

And, I’ve realized that in my little online world, I have many, far too many, friends and acquaintances who are hurting too. As evidenced by the recent stream of celebrity deaths, and by the posts and tweets of people I hold so dear, I am not the only one trying to “fake it till I make it” through this first holiday that we find ourselves abandoned. None of us had throngs of people to mourn with – most of us had no news reports of our loved ones’ passing – and yet, our hurt is just as real, just as earth shattering, just as painful.

My online family has been my lifeline. It must have been the Cabernet talking when I said I’d be taking 6 days off. You’ve been here for me – I’m going to be here for you. So, gentle readers – I’m back. Dusting off the Boomities and prepping the Friday Bum Dance – but I’m back.

I’m looking forward to hopefully sharing wonderful things in 2017 in somewhat of a penance for all the crap we shared in 2016.

The book – oh my gosh – the book (“How The *Bleep* Did You Find Me?”) (Ahem – available on Amazon.com) – is selling and garnering great reviews.

Yes, there will probably be at least one or two, and maybe three, more books.

I’m making travel plans for the new year, and with them, I truly hope to meet so many of you and give you in person the hugs that have had to be internet based to this point. The part of my message that said “See you in 2017” is going to become as much of a reality as I can make it.

The rib was delicious.

The Christmas decorations are being packed away for next year.

I’m going to have to buy more makeup.

Thank you for “the cup of kindness yet” – let’s make this a Happy New Year.

I love you all.

One comment

  1. Steve Bayrd · December 28, 2016

    Beautiful, Judi. And brave. Atta girl! We fight on in their honor. (@SteveBayrd)