21.2 Home for the Holidays

Most people would be surprised to know that holidays for the Joneses remained unchanged after the divorce. Mary and John were content to still celebrate together for the sake of the children. They were amicable and didn’t want to break up the family during the most important times of the year. Tim, Susie and Phoenix were the most precious beings in their lives. They didn’t ask to have their family broken up and shouldn’t have to suffer because of their parents’ issues. Amiability worked and made the divorce easier on everyone.

But, then they had that heated argument weeks ago, and things transformed quickly. One minute they were friendly and the next they were enemies. One moment, John thought Mary dating someone he knew was an intriguing thought. He even poked fun at her. But the next moment, it was the most abhorrent idea he ever heard. How did he even get to be upset about that? They were divorced! What she did on her own time, and who she did it with was her business. 

This Winterfest was the first holiday they were estranged. John caused much so pain throughout her life, but she always managed to remain civil. Now, civility was out of the question. She couldn’t stand even being in the same room with him anymore. Mary had always prided herself on being able to smile through every situation, but not this time. How had their relationship come to this? The drama between them cut deep, and she hated not being able to get over it. Truthfully, it hurt so bad, it felt like getting divorced all over again.

The Jones children were all grown up and free to spend their time however they pleased, and it made Mary anxious. Holidays for divorced parents were litmus tests. Which parent did they love more? Spending time with parents was not an accurate measure of love, but the situation planted crazy thoughts in her head. Being alone on Winterfest was a real possibility, and she didn’t know how to handle it. The children hadn’t decided what they would do yet, but going to John’s was the better option seeing as how he still grieved.

Mary was in a beautiful, new relationship, but not even Reed could save her from spending Winterfest alone. His parents retired and moved to Sunset Valley, and he went to see their new place. She would have asked to go with him but thought it was a bad idea. She broke their son’s heart and ruined their future business plans. Enough time had passed for bygones to be bygones, but if they were anything like her father, they still held the grudge. Mary had enough drama in her own life without adding a new layer. Perhaps instead of fretting over everyone else’s holiday plans, and feeling sorry for herself, she should prepare herself to be alone in her festive home.

21.1 Poor John
21.3 Everyday People

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