I use affiliate links on some of my blog posts. This means that I could make a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Read my full disclosure here.
I have always loved Christmas. The enchantment of a house full of lights. Laying under a Christmas tree smelling that familiar pine scent. Emotionally fueled Christmas music. The magic of church services celebrating the Savior’s birth. The warmth around the tree as my family gave and received tokens of love. I have so many special Christmas memories, just too many to recount.
Even as a teenager I took the Christmas spirit my parents taught me and ran with it. I wanted to help make Christmas extra special for my brothers and sister, just like my parents made it for me. I baked lots of cookies while listening to the newest Christmas albums. There were long, hard searches to buy tons of meaningful gifts. I truly believed, and still do, in the magic of the season. That hasn’t changed. I drive the Hubs crazy with my love of Christmas and it seems to start earlier every year! Just the way I like it.
This morning, my 32nd Christmas Eve, I woke early. I took the dog pack downstairs at my parents’ home and cuddled up on the couch with a new blanket. The sun had still not risen above the horizon and the world was quiet and still. As I sat in the stillness, the hollowness overwhelmed me.
It Should Have Been Perfect This Year
This would have been Christian’s first Christmas. While he wouldn’t have remembered it at seven weeks old, I still would have had the joy of beginning to make his Christmas memories special and creating all the magic I love. It would be the beginning of sharing my favorite holiday with my son and getting to introduce him to the madness of my family at the holidays. And yet as I sat there, I realized all the things I lost the day he passed. The magic of being a mom at Christmas and teaching my son to be giving. Seeing Christmas magic and Santa through my child’s eyes and experiencing things for the first time with him.
I Don’t Want to Celebrate
I’ve had some tough Christmases in the past, but nothing holds a candle to this one. The girl who loves Christmas more than anything can barely even think about it. Until a week ago I wasn’t even sure I’d give gifts, let alone celebrate. I didn’t listen to Christmas music. I barely helped mom with cookies, and Christmas movies, my huge collection and addiction, those have been non-existent. Tomorrow will be twenty days since he left us and my heart is just hardly in it.
Yet again I feel robbed, like I did during my pregnancy. The thing that makes each year end so beautiful is the one thing I can’t stand to face. Because it will never be quite right without my Christian. The joy of the season has been ripped from me because he is gone. I want to celebrate, I really do. But I can hardly bear it because I should be doing this with him.
As we prepared to take our usual five dog, two person trip to North Carolina from Florida yesterday morning I longed for a memento of him to take with us. I wanted it would to be like he was with us because I felt guilty leaving without him. I grabbed a photo our hospital social worker had given us the day after he was born. The Hubs put it on the dashboard and we took our boy with us in that way.
What Should Have Been
But it’s only a shadow, a beautiful memory and fantasy of what should have been. We should be taking non-stop photos. Introducing him to the sights and sounds of Christmas. We should be cuddling while watching all my favorite holiday movies as our families fight over who bought him the best gift. It should be one long seasonal party with Christian as the center of attention. My heart is broken and the sadness I feel about my favorite holiday is almost more than I can bear.
I want my son. I want the life I envisioned when I found out I was carrying him. I want that Christmas miracle I prayed for so hard the last several months. I want everything in my world to be right again.
But this year of all the years of my life, I must settle. Settle for the comfort of our families surrounding us in love. Settle for the sweet memories we had for 29 days. For the loads of attention and affection of my sweet Aussie pack. For a Christmas season unfulfilled and unsatisfying. As the holiday begins, one thought continues to resound in my brain and has since the night he passed; I want my son!
Merry Christmas Christian Rory Alan. May your first Christmas be sweet in Heaven. Mommy and Daddy miss and love you more than anything in this world.