Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday

For the first time in months I finally have an opportunity to spend some time curled up on the couch in front of the Christmas tree. Every year I look forward to this moment. It is the first snow of the year. School is cancelled and I can stay up late in the silent peacefulness of winter. With my schedule what it is, it is very difficult to find any time to do this, so when I do, I cherish and treasure every second. Tonight is no different.

I actually hate winter. I dread it with a growing anxiety every single year. As the days grow shorter, my sadness grows stronger and I fight to muddle through until the sunny green days of March. Usually I am already struggling by this time of year and I really try to embrace Christmas and the holidays to help propel me through to spring. This year, I am surprised to find that the sadness has been replaced with a quiet melancholy that only rears its head in those precious quiet moments I try to steal here and there.

I try to allow myself this. I think I need those reflective moments alone in my head to acknowledge the feelings I try so hard to put away all year. Christmas is especially hard for infertiles. I know Hubby and I have struggled quite a bit in years past over simple tasks like putting up the Christmas tree. This year there is hope. I did not hesitate to put our tree up. I wanted to embrace the hope and the happiness I had. We are in our new place, and even though our child is only a wish and a dream in our hearts, I feel content and happy.

This year my melancholy lies in memories where it should be rather than in the fear of an empty future. As the snow swirled furiously to the ground tonight I remembered the last snow we had in our small town. Hubby and I drove cautiously through the town snapping pictures to take back to my grandfather. For reasons unknown to myself, I felt it was my top priority to find a way to show my grandfather the beautiful snow that blanketed the ground. I brought the camera back to him and slowly scanned through picture after picture. It was the last real moments we shared together. He struggled to talk, but he nodded his head and smiled as the dazzling snow flashed across the screen.

I can't look at those pictures yet. He was sick for so many years and our family, without ever saying anything out loud to one another, worked hard to make sure that each Christmas was special and meaningful, especially as it became clear that our time with him was drawing to an end. I miss him so much tonight. His birthday was yesterday. I felt his absence deeply, but I am so thankful that he no longer has to suffer like he did. I know our time was spent cherishing every moment and I am so thankful for those moments now.

Tonight I will smile at the memories we had, I may cry a few tears, and then I will look forward. Hubby and I have so much to look forward to this year. In the next few days we plan to contact someone about adopting a child and hopefully this can be the last year we spend as two. I will admit, the anticipation of another year without tiny footprints running through our home is the main source of most of my holiday sadness, but for the first year I feel like I might actually have a little bit of Christmas for myself.