Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Winter's here again

Most of the beautiful fall foliage has been blown from the trees. The flowers have stopped blooming. The grass has turned brown and instead of summery dew drops covering its blades in the mornings, it's covered in icy frost. The nights are chillier and the darkness comes quicker each day. All absolute signs that winter is among us once again.

And, with that seasonal shift, my heart has gone into a wintry place again as well. This time of year is really challenging on those of us with heavy hearts. We wear pretty convincing masks of happiness the other months of the year, but with the holidays being about family and such, it's difficult for those masks to hold up against the grief that resurfaces every year at this time when we remember our tiny family members who aren't here but should be.

As much as I love Christmas (I really do, despite my annual bout of the blues), it's hard for my heart not to drift back into sadness while decorating and shopping. It's not constant, mind you, but I'm always aware of its presence while I'm pretending that I'm okay for the masses.

But, I'm not okay. I keep wondering when all of this will become more manageable and not sting so much. Will I forever be muddling my way through the holidays instead of embracing and enjoying them? When will I be at peace with my boy not being here for the holidays - or any holiday? Or will true peace always elude me - the gift which I need most?

I try my best to keep a stiff upper lip around the girls, since they're too young and innocent to understand. They deserve to have joyous, giggly holidays that aren't dampened by their mother's heavy heart. But, it's not always easy to paint a smile on your face when you're falling apart on the inside.

The holiday hoopla is just too much for my tender heart. I sometimes wonder how I'd fare if I skipped it altogether. Just pretend it's another month or time of the year so I don't fall into that holiday vat of grief. But, I can't do that. Selfishly, I would love to be a Grinchette for the entire month of December. But, I just can't because of everyone else.

So, instead, I'll have to try even harder at pretending I've been swept away with all the happiness and joy that the season is supposed to hold. Or, maybe Santa will slip a sliver of peace into my stocking this year ... or at least something I can build from to help me limp through this chilly time of year.

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