Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MIA, Christmas trees, old wounds, and the like....

First off I'm going to warn you... this might get a bit long so grab a soda stretch out and prepare for a novel! Not really a novel but maybe a short short story....

Second - Do you remember two posts ago where I announced at the end that af had finally decided to show up to the party and I was disappointed but relieved the wait was done? Well... darn heifer didn't actually show up. I got one redder than pink tp event and that was it. I've had some (sorry if its tmi but if you are an infertile, you should or shortly will understand) spotting lately but very minor and very intermittent. I've decided that this could be one of two things... A. Something has derailed af's train be it the met or the hsg. B. Well I won't go there. No I haven't tested and right now I just can't. I'm petrified. I tested the day before I wrote that last post and that was it. I can't bring myself to do it now.

Enough of the newsflashes though. Let's get on with the post k?

When I was little my dad's first cousin and his wife lived beside us. Mom, dad, and (hmmm..) Fran and Frank* did everything together. When we were born we tagged along. Fran and Frank had no children and Fran had been told it wasn't an option. We became her "children." She would make things for us and do our hair for picture day. We all went shopping together in their super nice van that Fran got because "It was a great deal" (yeah. I raised my eyebrows at that one too). At Halloween we dressed up over there and had our fun, At Christmas they decorated all sorts of stuff and we went over to make ornaments for the tree.

We were all one big happy family.... until my little brother was born. That seems to have been the last straw for Fran and Frank. Within a couple of years Fran and Frank moved away and found a different group of people to do things with. They "borrowed" their children too but would almost flaunt it at church gatherings and such. To be honest and mean as little ill will as possible they became snobs. They hurt my parents deeply and said very hurtful things and did some pretty nasty things to mom and dad and I know that most of it revolves around the fact that my mother had three and Fran had none. It irks me.

My mother says they just didn't want children but the past few years have taught me a thing or two about that stuff. I can't buy that. I just can't. I know that pain and bitterness and it scares me. I see how they gave up and became angry people. They still are to this day angry people. I hurt for them. I hurt for the pain they had to experience as my siblings and I grew up beside them. I wish I had known then as a child that they were hurting. Maybe I could have helped ease it somehow. I've considered writing her a letter but she is so bitter now that I just think I would offend. I want to reach out to her and say "It's ok to hurt. I'll hurt with you for a while." but I can't.

This brings me to the holidays and the tree mentioned in the title (told you it was a book! It's ok go have a pee break... I'll wait.......... better? Ok almost done....)

Some of my fondest memories in childhood were in their back yard or out shopping or arts and crafting it in Fran's dining room. I remember how the house looked when we popped in unexpectedly and I can't shake the memory that when we were expected the house was different. There were things for us there and the mood was lighter. It keeps circling back to their Christmas tree. I remember that tree and for whatever reason ( by now you all know my mind has bizarre connections) I connect that tree with their pain. This year it was a struggle to put up our tree and to mail out Christmas cards. I know there were so many things they did just for us and the ornaments on the tree were one. The tree itself I wonder sometimes about too. Hubby and I actually for a very short moment considered not putting one up. I love Christmas but for a short while this year I just didn't want to bother.

Christmas has always been about the children. The very meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of a child. A tiny miracle. A gift. It hurts so badly. We are lonely for children and the holidays are especially difficult. It seems silly to buy presents for each other. We do have some family traditions and don't get me wrong, I love spending Christmas with our families and I wouldn't trade the time I have with them for anything, but there is something missing. I want to have our traditions to add to it.

I always get so excited and overjoyed around this time. I love to give and do for other people and there are so many chances at the holidays. It celebrates the things that I have learned are most important in life and once a year my family slows down to enjoy and do with me. This year there is a blue empty aura surrounding the season. The glow and happy times are still there but as odd as this sounds there is like a presence that I am constantly aware of in the background or maybe a lack of presence. One of those feelings when you stop opening gifts and just sit back inside yourself and watch all of your loved ones. You know how you get that full and blessed feeling and take a memographic photo? Well this sort of sits there with that feeling and when I stop to watch and overflow with joy and love there is a sad tone to it too.

I warned you that this was a hard one to explain but I tried. I know Christmas is a couple of weeks away still but most families spend those weeks shopping and standing in line to see Santa. I don't have those things to keep me busy and I am sure I am not the only infertile that feels like that. I want to give you all a hug and let you know that I know. I hope we can all find our joy this holiday and give ourselves time to grieve and visit with the children in our dreams.

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