Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas fun

On Christmas, when I was 14, I did what I always do and went to my father’s house to spend the day with him and my stepmom (and her family). See Christmas Eve morning was time with my mom, and the evening was with my dad's family, but Christmas day was always reserved for my stepmom's family. He met me at the front door and we went out for lunch instead of going inside the house. At lunch he told me that I was no longer welcome as part of my stepmother’s family, and since he always did Christmas with them I would no longer be welcome in his home on this day. Not going to lie, it crushed me. I felt like my world had ended because my stepmom’s family had been the only stable family I had known my whole life.

Then my dad dropped me off at my mother’s house with a brand new laptop and $500. I called Tyler and I hiccupped and cried my way through the ordeal that I had just been through and he was at my side immediately with Trip and Jane. It was decided that I needed to do something to cheer up FAST. So we all piled into Tyler’s new Christmas Audi and we went to Disneyland. Despite feeling like absolute shit, I laughed, I smiled and I had one of the best days I had ever had in my 14 years on this planet.

And that was the beginning of our Christmas tradition. Every year after that, no matter what was going on, we got together and did something spontaneous just so I wouldn’t be alone on Christmas. The following year we went to Mt. High, the year after that we went to Rosarito Beach in Mexico, the year after that we went to Bear, the next year we went to Magic Mountain, then it was Vegas, then Santa Barbara, then San Diego, then Laughlin, then San Francisco, then the Madonna Inn, then Solvang (we wanted chocolate), and finally this year we came full circle and found ourselves back at Disneyland like we did when I was 14. And that’s when it hit me, I have the best friends in the world.

What is so amazing about our trips, at least for me, is how long we have continued this tradition. 12 years of us banding together and celebrating Christmas as a family because I didn’t want to be reminded that I was alone. We have lives, jobs and families that have taken us all over the world, but for Christmas no matter what, we are always together. Just trying to even imagine all that my friends have sacrificed for me over the years is incalculable and completely overwhelming.

People always wonder how I was so lucky to turn out the way that I did when they look back at the life that I have lived. The broken homes and abuse, the drugs and alcohol, the abandonment; stronger people than myself would’ve given up a long time ago, but I never did. I never gave up because I always had my friends at my side and I KNEW they would never let me fall. I don’t know why or how I came to be this lucky. I guess it’s not for me to figure these things out. I just know that without them in my life I wouldn’t be the kind of man I am so proud to be.

I know this can’t last forever. One day we are going to have husbands and wives, then kids and grandkids. One day we are going to have to give this all up and just look back on all the good times we had and smile. But for now, they are my world and I love them more than I could ever put into words.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Oh my fuckin' Oprah, you don't how LUCKY are to NOT have to spend Christmas with FAMILY!!! Friends> Families everyday, any day. My family is dumb, Christian and boring, but they insist I spend the holidays with them. :(