Sunday, December 28, 2008

The best gift of the year (more of a tell than a show)

This Christmas has been one of my favorites. Our family had such a great time this year and as corny as it sounds, we loved each other more than we have in a long time. With that being said, I have struggled internally the past few days. I feel so selfish. We had such a great opportunity and blessing to celebrate this year and yet I have these empty holes in my heart.

Behind the smiles and joy, I had some serious aches that left me with an unsatisfied or incomplete feeling as everything drew to a close. The first obvious hole is of course a very raw and painful one. I felt like Hubby and I were frauds as we hung ornaments on our tree and set out decorations in the house. Our tree never saw a gift underneath it and there were no children to snap pictures of in front of it. As painful as it is however, this is a wound that has been there a very long time and is felt every single day.

The other pains are empty spots in my life where others once were. I have a difficult time letting relationships go and I often feel like I have a tangled web of missing people following me everywhere I go. It always seems to hurt more acutely around the holidays. This year for whatever reason, I really had a couple of people on my mind. I even dreamed about them. I prayed and wished to run into them, knowing they would be near home for the holidays. As Christmas came and went, my heart sank, and I shrugged, hoping that maybe someday we would cross paths again.

Today, one prayer was answered! I hung back after church today to see what my parents were doing. I usually just go on home, but I thought maybe we could all go out to eat today. We hemmed and hawed a bit between two restaurants and finally headed out. As we sat down, a familiar voice caught my ear and I turned towards it instinctively. Recognition flooded my heart and I smiled as I saw the owner of the voice. The father of my best friend throughout school was standing at the buffet table talking to his youngest daughter. My heart fluttered for just a moment with hope, but I am no stranger to disappointment, so I just sat there trying to plan my next step.

Now, a bit of background info... This friend and I were actually part of a trio. We were all the very best of friends and even dressed up as three peas in a pod one year for Halloween. When I was raped, our relationship took a hard hit and we all fell apart. The last week of my senior year, we came back to each other briefly before heading out in separate ways to grow up. This particular "pea" and I just never kept in touch very well despite several visits and many desperate attempts to salvage our friendship. Eventually, I got married, moved, and the visits and calls stopped. I haven't seen her in almost eight years. I miss her so much and of all the things I grieve most from my rape, the loss of her friendship is probably the most painful.

I heard from my sister that she and her husband had a little girl a few months ago. My sister was friends with her sister through fac.eb.ook and I managed to get set up on there just so I could see the pictures. I cried for days that she had a baby and that I had missed it. I also cried that she had one and I didn't. Then I cried for being so selfish and bitter. I emailed her sister and asked her to pass along a message. That was the last I heard though.

Anyhow, I sat in the booth with my parents and my palms began to sweat and my heart started to race. My eyes followed her dad back to his seat, but I chickened out and looked away before he reached the table. What if she didn't want to see me. What if this turned out to be another disappointment. She might not even be there I reasoned. They did live 500 miles away after all. Still, this tiny voice kept urging me to look. It was the first Christmas they would have with their new baby. Surely they would visit.

Her sister made her way back to the table and once again I followed her with my eyes. This time I summoned up enough courage and followed her all the way. My heart stopped. There was my best friend. I just stared for a moment. I held up a hand and whispered breathlessly to my mom that I would be right back. It was like one of my dreams. My feet carried me on their own accord across the room. I stopped short with trembling hands and tapped her on the shoulder. The joy that flew into her eyes overflowed my heart. We hugged and then without a word she turned and held out her hands toward a car seat. "Look," was all she could say.

I peered into the eyes of one of the most beautiful little girls I have ever seen. It was so surreal. Perhaps it sounds a bit dramatic or silly, but I could see our past, present, and future in that child. She would someday giggle like we did and carry on the traits I loved best in my friend. It was an amazing moment that I will cherish forever.

Her family greeted me with so much love and I felt as if I had never left their lives. We exchanged numbers and emails and more hugs. Our meeting only lasted a few moments, but it will stay with me for a lifetime.

As I made my way back to my seat, tears glistening in my eyes, I whispered a thankful prayer for the best present I have gotten so far. I didn't eat much and my parents' conversation was merely white noise in the background. I could almost feel the hole in my heart heal itself and warmth flood my body.

On the way home, the tears flowed and I again thanked the heavens for my blessing. Then, daring only to whisper it silently in my heart, I prayed that perhaps I would be fortunate enough to heal two holes in my heart this year...

Show and Tell

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Michelle said...

This is a beautiful post. I am glad you got to reconnect with an old friend. It is always nice to do that. I too hope you can heal 2 holes.

JuliaS said...

What a lovely tale - thank you for sharing it. My wishes and prayers too that you are able to fill more holes.

Cassandra said...

Wonderful that you could reconnect with your friend and recapture the joy you used to feel in the baby's future.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

A wonderfully beautiful reminder that sometimes the things we thought he have lost are simply misplaced for awhile. I'm glad you had a wonderful experience with her.

Kristin said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so glad your prayer was answered and some holes in your heart were healed.

Stacey said...


I really enjoyed reading your blog and your story about reconnecting with your best friend. You write so beautifully and your last sentence made me smile and made tears come to my eyes. Wow. what a story.

You have a beautiful web page. :)

My name is Stacey and I too have been diagnosed with PCOS and am TTC as well. My husband and I just got married on Aug. 2, 08. My PCOS diagnosis came when I was in college back in 2001, so I have known for a while that getting pregnant may take some work. Right now, all I am taking is glucophage to balance my insulin levels and am only doctoring with my family doctor. Since I married my husband, I moved 3 hours away from my family and all of the doctors that I was going to. So, as you can see, I am starting all over again in trying to find an OBGYN and possilby a fertility specialist.

I just started blogging on December 15th. So, I am pretty new at this, but am enjoying it very much. I find the source of support, especially with Christian women wonderful!

My prayers will be with you and your husband this year as you TTC. Have a blessed day and I will look forward to having you stop by my blog page and take a look when you get a free moment.

Many blessings,
Stacey :)