Christmas is all about family. And when you're forever missing one, days like Christmas hurt. Actually, seasons like Christmas hurt.
Three stockings hang on our mantle. I think about how Lydie's will be empty on Christmas morning.
|3 stockings and Lydie's tree|
I hear my old favorite Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is you," on the radio and I want to hurl. I change the channel, but in the stores, I can't get away from it.
It makes me angry now. What I want is a moot point.
It's Benjamin's third Christmas and the first one where he has gotten into Santa. I always thought I'd downplay the Santa thing, the lying to my kid thing. But I find myself being caught up in the allure of it. Santa made an early stop at our house to pick up Benji's "cee-cee" (pacifier/soother) and Ben hasn't napped since then. I am kicking myself for not waiting until he was back at school to do that. In the middle of my maternity leave is not the time for the kid to stop napping. No naps equal a badly behaved toddler, who if you recall, is already quite "spirited" and a stressed-out mom.
It's our second Christmas without Lydia. Our second Christmas with one name missing on the presents under the tree. Justin and I have talked about writing letters to our girl and placing them in her stocking. It's a nice idea, but I'm not sure what I'd write besides, "I love you. I miss you. I wish you were here."
And it's our first Christmas with our rainbow Josephine. I know she'll make the day brighter for me and my whole family. I'm so very grateful to have her here, safely in my arms.
I think back to Christmas a year ago, when Lydie should have been less than two weeks old and instead had been dead for 7 weeks. I cringe. I am in a much better place now. The grief is still there, as it will always be, but I am learning how to carry it. Some days are better than others, but most days, I try to focus on the love.
This year, unlike last, there will be joy on Christmas Day. But there will also be deep, deep sorrow. If I've learned anything over the past year, it's how to feel those both at the same time. In my happiest moments, I'm so deeply missing my daughter. As Angela Miller explains, "No matter what, you are always missing. No matter what, my heart will always ache for you. No matter what, life will only be as good as it can possibly be, minus you."
I guess like everything in my life now, it's complicated. Christmas is complicated. Life is complicated.
Thank you all for your friendship. I wish all of you a peaceful Christmas surrounded by love.