Eight years ago, in April 2008, I lost a baby who was due on Christmas Eve… and then lost another later that year, who died inside me at 3 months gestation and had to be removed from my body in mid-December. I think of them at this time of year. I think of them while I trim the tree, while I make cookies, while I listen to holiday music. I still have this. I open it and smell it every year.
It still hurts. In quiet moments, at this time of year, I hear echoes of Christmas laughter that never actually existed and never will be. I still cry for them. For sure, there is sweetness in what I have, which is very much, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t any bitter with that sweet.
I do not share this to evoke sympathy for myself or to bring anyone down. It is merely a gentle reminder: This time of year is difficult for so many who would do almost anything to feel more joy, and it is difficult for a great variety of often unknowable reasons. As always, remember that everyone is dealing with something, fighting something, and needing something. Without needing to know exactly what aches in our sisters and brothers, we can still offer kindness, patience, and love during times of heightened stress and pain.
Don’t worry about me, please, but send some extra love and peace to other people during this time. Look for those opportunities; make those moments possible. Give a smile to a stranger, hug a friend a little longer, hold a door, pay a tab, let someone ahead of you in traffic, say a kind word.
Kindness, above all, heals and strengthens.
Sending so much love to you all. <3
No matter how carefully you stored the lights last year, they will be snarled again this Christmas.
There’s a little something that pulls at my heart this time of year.
I don’t talk about this stuff very much any more. I talked and talked and talked about it a lot for awhile. I even mentioned it a few straggling times once I’d mostly grown quiet about it. A lot of friends and strangers questioned my resistance to healing. I don’t know if this is just something about me, an excessive emotionality that disallows me from ever really letting go of the deepest pains.
Maybe everyone is like this. Maybe you are. Maybe you aren’t.
It still hurts me at this time of year when I think about the babies who are not here, the one who was due on Christmas Eve, the one who quietly died in my womb in December and then had to be removed. Two of my kids won’t get presents from Santa this month, nothing to do with being naughty. They just didn’t make it. They never had a chance to be naughty. They slipped away before I ever had a chance to hold either of them.
I’ve always loved Christmas. I still do. But this little something pulls at my heart now too. It’s a melancholy kind of joy I feel nowadays during the holidays.
I choose to feel the happiness of the season, because most of the time, I do have a choice.
But when the tears come, I let them take over for awhile. That’s a choice, too. A mostly healthy one, I think, regardless of what anyone else might believe. When they dry up again, I hold onto all the joy I can find, and while I let the pain visit, the joy is where I remind myself to dwell.
May you all find the greatest joys and dwell in them for the rest of this year and into the New Year. xo
Frankly, it’s 54F outside right now, and the forecast high for today is in the 60s. On a couple of days next week, it’s supposed to be in the 70s. I will now duck your thrown punches. So, pretty much, no, it’s not really very cold here in Austin, TX.
Last year we had snow a week into the New Year (we were still living in Nashville). Braden expects it this year, and I keep having to tell him we will probably not see it.
No matter the weather, we’re enjoying some Christmas spirit in our home right now. We’ve been tracking Santa already and are currently watching The Polar Express. I sense there will be cookies consumed later today – along with our usual brunsli and spitzbuben, I made these monsters yesterday. Hey, at 433 calories a cookie, it eats like a meal! (Better get out my stretch pants.)
It’s been a wonderful holiday season, from the lights to the tree and the anticipation of the big day itself. Braden’s first time sitting on Santa’s lap and talking to him was a rousing success. My heart definitely grew to three times its previous size.
Now it’s Christmas Eve, and before I completely lose myself in:
- trying not to cry at the insanely joy-filled excitement spilling out of my son (already failed)
- The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- a pile of wrapping paper, tape, and cursing ribbons
- smoked salmon, crackers, wine and… yeah, really need to put on those stretch pants soon.
I wanted to share a little ditty with you guys that John and I recorded (home studio + talented musician, FTW!) earlier this month for The Fifth Annual Blogger Christmalhijrahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, hosted by Neil.
Just click the link below to listen to our version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside. And whether it really is cold out for you or not, I hope this warms your heart and spreads a little of our Christmas Joy to you.
From our family to you and yours, have a very Merry Christmas.
Happy Holidays, my friends!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without this wonderful How-To from everyone’s favorite gifters.
Also available on YouTube.
Merry Christmas to you all. May you find love and joy (and maybe even some genitals wrapped in pretty bows) today and for the rest of this season.
it’s in every wide-eyed stare
that seems to light up
his whole face
while softening mine
it’s in the way he views lights
sweetly breathing the word,
my heart stops for a moment
it’s in the excited, rising
pitch in his voice as he says
“Santa” and “Cwissmas”
that puts a twinkle in my eyes
it’s in his sincere concern
when he asks me with
worry stitched across his face
“Am naughty, Santa bwing no pwesents?”
i have to stifle a laugh
it’s in the mirth with which he replies
“That’s wight! If I good, Santa bwings
pwesents! on CWISSMASSSS!”
when i remind him there’s still
i love him no matter how naughty he is
it’s in the way i can feel the joy
as he does because he
reminds me how to
i have a reason to let go and smile
he runs the years back
on my rusty clock
just by being himself
the ultimate gift in life
he is wonder and light
and i am grateful.
I need a little break from my sorrow. You do, too.
Time for a favorite amusement of mine around this time of the year.
I think I might just post this Every.Single.Year.
Perfect gifting solution for today’s economy, right?
You’ve got less than a week now, fellahs. So buy that box and get out yer scissors.