Time Warp Tuesdays: The Holidays

I know I’m late for the Time Warp but that’s okay. I still want to participate and the linky’s open all week so I will. I urge you to do the same.

Today’s topic is the holidays. I have to admit I was unsure if I even had a post about the holidays. I kind of don’t. I do have two post written on Christmas but neither of them really tackle the meaning of the holidays. They are both just quick posts that summarize where I found myself on those particular days.

In 2009 I was pregnant for the second time, waiting for my NTU debacle to be over. Because they had waited until the last possible day to schedule me for the NTU, and because Isa always measured four days ahead, she was too big to do the scan. That meant I could only get the blood work and receive a significantly less accurate estimation of my chances of certain birth defects – weeks after I would have been given an estimation by the actual NTU. Christmas of that year found me feeling sick from the Zo.loft I had just started in an attempt to control my overwhelming anxiety and sure that we’d get bad news from the second blood test. Even though I had every reason to be joyful, my anxiety made it nearly impossible.

2010 was a very different Christmas than the year before. That year my family was visiting my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmother in St. Louis. I was elated to be there, sharing my daughter with her adoring extended family. I spent most of the visit capturing wonderful moments shared with family on my new iPhone’s new Hipstamatic app. I didn’t have much time to write on that trip so instead I posted photos every day for six days (if you’re so inclined you can see them all here: Part I, Deux, Three, 3.5, IV and 5. Christmas day was the fifth day of those installments.

At the bottom of the Christmas day post I also mention something else:

I know that holidays can be a very hard time for those who are in the IF trenches or have experienced a loss. I’ve read man posts about those struggles in the past few days. I’ve spent much of my happy Christmas wondering why I get to have so much while other’s have lost so much. I wish it weren’t that way. I’ve been trying to show my support through comments but have not always been able to do so. Please know that I am reading everyone’s posts and keeping all my blogging friends in my heart and in my thoughts, now even more than always.

On of the reasons I’m late posting this is because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I must admit, I’m looking forward to the holidays. I can’t wait for Isa to run to the tree (even though she has no idea what’s underneath it). I look forward to a simple celebration with Mi.Vida’s family and then mine. We have no room for a tree or decorations in our tiny apartment and I’m eager to spend time in warm houses with twinkling trees, roaring fires and Christmas carols blasting in the background.

Of course, not all is merry and bright; we’ve gotten some less than stellar news this year, right in time for the holidays. MiVida’s crappy raise has been far out shadowed by my father losing his job. This will be the second job he’s lost in nine months, after three long years of unemployment. His age, position and amount of time unemployed make it very hard for him to find something. If he doesn’t again soon they will be forced to sell the house they’ve been working towards for almost 20 years. Despite these set backs we’re trying to focus on what we have – our health and our families – which I know many people are missing this holiday season.

The truth is most people in this community suffer more than celebrate during this time of the year. I’m never sure quite what I should say about the holidays as I don’t want to rub salt in anyone’s wounds. Last year I posted all those pictures because I knew I had very few readers and I figured the ones who had stuck around that long probably wouldn’t begrudge me some shots of my daughter on her first Christmas. This year I feel differently. I have more readers and I know they find themselves on all different places of the family building and loss path. So I choose my words carefully, or omit them completely.

So what should I say about the holidays this year? Above all else I am thankful, so utterly and overwhelmingly thankful for all that I have. I will never forget the void I feared would be present in my life and every day I’m grateful for what I have, for what I know other people want so desperately. I hope that every one of my friends who still find themselves in the trenches, who will never completely heal from their losses, know that I’m thinking of them, holding them in my heart and hoping that next year things will be different somehow.

2 responses

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. That has to be devastating for your parents. The market is truly brutal right now. My dad retired at about your dad’s age. They sold their house and moved and it was terrible.

    Thinking of you…that’s a really tough situation. (((Hugs)))

  2. So happy that you decided to do the Time Warp with me this week! I was so excited when I saw that you had linked up and couldn’t wait to read your posts…

    I too am so sorry about your dad. My dad has been out of work twice in his life and I know how hard it was to find the right fit later in life. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers your parents way.

    As for the rest of your post, I appreciate your mixed feelings this time of year. I think that is so common in our ALI Community, as you said. Whether those feelings stem from your own experience or the empathy you feel for those still in the trenches as you put it.

    “The truth is most people in this community suffer more than celebrate during this time of the year. I’m never sure quite what I should say about the holidays as I don’t want to rub salt in anyone’s wounds.”

    I appreciate your words here and I am sure many of your readers do too. You are so thoughtful and sensitive to those who are struggling and I commend you for that.

    I also think it is possible to be happy for ourselves and sad for others at the same time, as well as vice versa. During the hardest times in our journey through secondary infertility and loss I used to tell our friends and family, who worried about hurting my feelings by talking about their pregnancies or having multiple living children, just that. “I can be happy for you and sad for me at the same time.” And it was true.

    Was I jealous of what they had and I didn’t at times? Sure. But as jjraffe talks about in her awesome It’s a Wonderful Life post today, we can and will always find things to envy about other’s lives and it is likely if they stand back and look at ours they’ll feel the same way. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all have wonderful lives when we are able to appreciate and be grateful for what we have (as you do so well at the end of your blog entry here), more than we dwell on what we wish we could have.

    One of my favorite quotes is, “Happy people don’t necessarily have everything… They just make the most of everything they have.” Great words to live by.

    I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas! I am so grateful to have found you and your blog this year and look forward to continuing to follow your journey in the new year! Thanks again for doing the Time Warp again with me this week and just about every week since I began it a few months ago. You rock! xoxo

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