A Son Loses A Father Close To Christmas
A Son Loses A Father Close To Christmas

'Daddy's gone.'

I say nothing. I don't understand. Where did he go? I saw him just a few hours earlier. I knew he had a stressful job, he seemed down when he got back, ate dinner and watched tv with us. His usual custom after dinner was a smoke and a glass of something on the back porch. I hugged him goodnight and he told me we'd go rollerblading the next day. He's gone, though.

'Daddy was very sad, and he hurt himself. He died an hour ago.' She reached out to hold my hand and I saw blood on her sleeve. My dad's blood.

My dad died that night, a self-inflicted shot behind his right ear. We had just decorated the Christmas tree that night. I have not celebrated since then, until this year."

When It Starts To Go Wrong, Everything Goes Wrong

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When It Starts To Go Wrong, Everything Goes Wrong

"I came down with swine flu and had to wear a surgical mask. My deadbeat dad went to jail. And on Christmas morning I found my beloved pet parakeet dead on the bottom of his cage. My neighbors looked out their back window that day to see a sobbing 17-year-old in a pink bathrobe and SARS mask, saying a funeral for a dead bird in the middle of a blizzard."

A Family Fight Explodes After A Son Leaves

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A Family Fight Explodes After A Son Leaves

"My mom really doesn't like the holidays. Most of the family members she's lost have passed in December.

Christmas 2010 was bad. When I say bad, I mean, the worst. I live across the country and had scored a good job right after Thanksgiving so I had to cut my trip home short. I was only back home for two days and was set to leave Christmas midday so I could work on the next day.

We woke up Christmas morning and my mom had clearly taken a bunch of prescription pills to deal with her life that day. I'd had it. She gave me trouble for drinking and smoking but here she is taking a myriad of painkillers. I called her out on it and the crap hit the fan.

We didn't speak for the rest of the day until my layover in O'Hare. I got into it on Facebook with my brother who made some snide remark about the drama, then my dad called from his business trip to yell at me for starting trouble, then my mom called and screamed at me. I was yelling and crying in the middle of the international concourse at O'Hare.

French people were staring at me, I was bawling, and I just wanted to get out of there. I'm already a white-knuckle flyer, and I noticed some lake effect snow moving in. We were the last plane out before they shut down. Our wheels spun on the icy runway as we barely got enough speed going to take off.

I was hyperventilating and the flight attendants proceeded to give too many drinks. The best part of that whole day was getting picked up by my roommate and proceeding to drink for the remainder of the night. Forget that Christmas."

Brothers Have A Falling Out

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Brothers Have A Falling Out

"This happened about six years ago. I have one brother who has always been a jerk, even when we were kids.

I have five siblings, and we were all home for Christmas. We went to church late on Christmas Eve, then those of us from out of town went back to my parents' house to sleep. But oh no, not my awful brother - he went out with his awful buddies and got wasted that night.

The next morning, when everyone came back to our parents' house for breakfast, he was extremely hungover and being even more of a jerk than usual. Our family is very sarcastic, so I didn't think anything of it when I made a comment to him asking how he felt. The next thing I know he's yelling at me and trying to beat the snot out of me in front of everyone. Our dad had to jump between us so he wouldn't hurt me.

Obviously, I realized I made a huge mistake the moment the words came out of my mouth, but it was a little late. I ran back into the bedroom where my family was staying, still crying while my brother was yelling numerous profanities at me. Our dad told him to stop it, or he was going to throw him out into a snowbank. My family spent the rest of the day being angry at my brother for being a complete idiot and consoling me. I felt miserable of course.

After that incident, my brother and I didn't talk at all for close to a year. We still don't have that great of a relationship, but it is civil."

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