The Holiday Spirits

I’ve been a mute blogger lately. There have been some good days and some bad days. As always, my sweet Lettie is bringing me joy times a million.

Overall, I think I’m doing ok.

The holidays, though. Oh, the holidays. On the one hand, I’m incredibly excited for Christmas. Lettie sill has no idea who Santa is, but she’s going to love all the boxes and wrapping paper. I have no doubt that she’ll get caught up in the happy energy of Christmas morning. I can’t wait for that.

On the other hand, these December days are dark. They are literally dark, of course, thanks to the approaching solstice, but they are also dark inside my mind. Despite the beauty of the season, it feels like a season of missing to me. Missing my mom, who I spent every Christmas with for 35 years. Even her last Christmas, a Christmas that included an ER visit because she couldn’t stop vomiting, was still better than the alternative—her not being here at all.

Then there’s Gabriel. I should have been about six months pregnant now. I should have a big pregnant belly. I should have spent this season dreaming of what it was going to be like when our family welcomed a new member in a couple of months. I should have had a newborn this April.

But Alas. I was not meant to spend this Christmas with my mom or with a baby growing safe inside of me. If I were, they would both be here with me. Not meant to be, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t miss them, ache for them, cry for them.

I love my family. I’m grateful for them, always. I look at Lettie in wonder every day. How is she here with me, in this world where life is so fragile? How did I get so lucky? But underneath all that gratitude is a sadness so wide and deep that it takes my breath away.

Even if you’re not a Christian, the story of Jesus is still a beautiful story of enduring love. Christmas honors His birth—a day full of joy, no doubt. But Jesus left this world too soon, long before the world was ready to say goodbye. Many grieved His passing, but the truly faithful believed—and still believe—that He was still with them. They knew that His love was not lost.

I love my mom. I love Gabriel. If I didn’t love them so much, I wouldn’t be so heartbroken. And somewhere in this great big universe, they love me right back. That’s the thought I’m holding onto in the middle of all this sadness: their love is not lost.

True love never is.

6 thoughts on “The Holiday Spirits

  1. Tanya, I understand completely. But I want you to know that Peggy and I both remember the Christmas two years ago as one of the best of our lives. You and Tim broke the news of your pregnancy, and we were thrilled. Yes, Peggy ended up in the ER, but that didn’t diminish her happiness. Nothing did. You gave her something to dream about and look forward to. Our conversations always started with “hello, Grandma” from that day on. That’s what I want you to keep in your heart this Christmas. How much Colette added to Grandma’s life, even before she was born.

  2. This is a truly beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt writing with the world. My favorite line is, “Not meant to be, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t miss them, ache for them, cry for them.” Yes. Feel it all – the love and the sadness. They inform each other, and add to the depth of this life we are all trying to navigate, in this season of extra beauty and extra grief. Love to you and yours.

    1. Thank you, Miss Rhea. It is hard to feel both of those things sometimes, but I am learning that the happiness is sweeter if I also let myself experience the sorrow. I hope you guys have a great holiday. Give that ray of sunshine Olive a kiss for me!

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