Christmas last year was brutally painful for Shane and I. We had only buried our son twenty-six days before it's arrival and had it not been for our girls, we would not have bothered with it at all. When I think back to last year's Christmas and being a freshly bereaved mother with a newborn and toddler to take care of, I shudder. Thank goodness for autopilot, that automatic survival mode that kicks in after you've suffered through something traumatic, otherwise I'm sure our kids wouldn't have had Christmas at all. While we did make it through the holidays last year, they were far from joyous. Shane and I overspent in an effort to compensate for what we had just been through, spoiling the girls and trying to give Lorelei something happy to focus on. Truthfully, it was excessive and awful and no amount of spending filled the void that Calvin's death left in our lives. It was a season of numbed sadness with pasted on fake smiles and empty hearts.
I was so completely out of tune with the season last year in fact that it was the end of January before I realized the wrapping paper was still on the floor from Christmas morning and that my tree was so dead I would have to snap the branches off to retrieve my ornaments. I didn't send a card or mail a gift. The only reason Christmas came to our house at all was for Lorelei and Georgia. I don't think I could have put together Christmas dinner if I had tried, in fact I did not resume cooking anything until Calvin had been gone about six months.
But this year feels different. This year I want to feel the joy. I want to spend the month of December happily wrapping presents, decorating and baking. I want to spend evenings curled up on the couch in my pyjamas with our girls watching Christmas specials on television. I want to feel at peace. Truthfully I am excited about the holidays and the hope that the new year will bring a positive change with it's arrival. I don't expect everything to be sunshine, roses and lollipops however, I know there are still some difficult times ahead for us. The recession and Calvin's death ground Shane's business to a halt and times are tight financially. But it's the hope and promise of a new year that keeps me looking forward in anticipation. It's the first time in over a year that I have anticipated anything without a feeling of dread in my heart. Yes, I will miss our son dearly on Christmas morning as the girls rip into their packages and gifts and I'm sure there will be moments in the day itself that bring a feeling of melancholy. I expect it. I also know that I have lived through the worst Christmas of my life and that it is behind me and I survived. That in itself is reason to celebrate. So for now, I embrace the coming holidays in all their Hallmark glory with hope for joy and change and acceptance in the year to come. Hugs to all....
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