It was my son's 17th birthday this week. I was unable to get him anything. That fact has broken my heart. He asked me for $5.00 to add to the $5.00 he had so he could look for a winter coat at the Goodwill store. His search was unsuccessful. While we were snowbound at the new home, there was no school for three days and on Thur. we were all stir crazy. My oldest went with us to look for a coat at TJ Maxx. He found one for $40.00 and Sam got it for him along with some new headphones since his had broken. Then at Walmart, Sam got my son a Packers t-shirt to wear to tomorrow's game, and an inexpensive pair of gloves and hat. The night before Sam brought home an ice cream cake and treated the boys to Taco Bell. So I want to believe that my son had a birthday of sorts. He received a few things. Not much and some were necessities. It hurts the most that I was unable to shop and get him anything.
While we were at Walmart I found a decent looking jacket for only $7.00. I wanted my son to get it and then we'd return the $40.00 one from TJ Maxx. I truly thought it looked warm and sufficient. Sam agreed with my son that we should keep the more expensive one. I regretted that we'd gone to TJ Maxx first. If we'd gone to Walmart first my son would have probably been satisified with the jacket there. It kind of amazed me that I was in this Walmart (a store I rarely set foot in when my husband was alive), regretting the non-purchase of a $7.00 jacket! Who would ever have believed this would be my reality following my husband's death? Pinching and counting pennies out of necessity. Being unable to afford birthday or Christmas gifts for my sons.
I know this low point is just temporary. Once I start working life will improve. But while we're here it is such a low point to be. I feel dragged and sucked under the poverty, worry and anxiety. I am becoming obsessed with food again. I am not eating much, throwing whatever odds and ends can be put together and concentrating on feeding the boys. They seem to have stomachs that are bottomless. Everyone seems to be hungry. There is food at Sam's - nothing fancy but at least filling. I am here back at home for the weekend wishing I'd taken some from his home because our kitchen is bare. But the boys were so anxious to leave I didn't. I figured we could make it a couple days.
I have a vision of a Christmas tree just filled with food. Do you know the ones that they sometimes display hung with sugar cookies or gingerbread men? Two years ago I hung a tree in my kitchen just filled with gingerbread men. I used a glue gun to fasten red ribbon bows as hangers. It was very cute. Now I imagine a tree filled with ribboned chocolate covered pretzels. And those little chocolate ball and santa ornaments. And loads of sugar cookie angels and bells to keep company with the gingerbread men. I think I could be creative and come up with some other food items to hand up there too - candy canes, popcorn garlands...
My son told me today he feels down about not having any money to afford gifts for his friends. Last year I knit and crocheted some things for his then girlfriend - a pink scarf and ski band. I will offer to do that again. Maybe I can come up with something for his buddies - key chains or a wrist band. It is pretty lame I know. Needless to say I am not in much of a holiday mood and do not have much holiday cheer or spirit. I just want this absolute miserable year to be over - the year of my divorce and losing my home.