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    Posted December 14, 2008 by
    Merritt, British Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Debate night in America

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    This picture was taken of my grandchildren at our last Christmas together. There is another one that I used to affectionately call the little "blonde kid." They are now adults, or close to, and again I wll not see them for Christmas. It's been over eight years. My daughter is an angry person who has taken these children away from other grandparents as the mood suits her, and has caused an already broken heart to suffer even more.


    After the suicide death of my husband, I came to be a year round widow. This man was the love of my life, and adored the step-grandchildren as if they were his own. He even tolerated my daughter. Christmas is not the joyous time it once was, for me and many like me. We have lost our husbands to death and have had our families desert us. It's as if we're some kind of pariahs.



    We have tried to make adjustments, but it doesn't work for all of us. I spoke with one lady whose only daughter spends six months of the year in Mexico and this year her son has decided to join his sister. He leaves tomorrow.



    I have been told to "join something". Well, I have joined just about everything there is, but that doesn't even come close to the comfort of a husband and family.   I wonder, when I see things like "Toys for Tots" and all the begging that goes on at this time of the year.  When my kids were growing up, and times got tough, as they sometimes did, we bought one little thing for the kids, but I made their gifts.  And the homemade gifts were much more loved as time went on, even though the gifts became more expensive.  And even when the marriages came, as they do, the homemade gifts were much more loved than anything that could have been bought or donated by some charity organization.  We talk about "green"  things - well - this was one of them years ago.



    Most of us widows wish for the end of this life. It is too painful to be here, and the only reason I, and the many like me, are still here is for the wonderful companions we have. Our dogs. And we only pray to outlive them so that they won't have to be introduced to a new life at an old age, and possibly be mistreated.



    And make no mistake - we loved our children and our grandchildren.  They'd just prefer to forget us and the wonderful Christmases we had together.



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