DH and I were married in September 1998. Beginning with Christmas 1999, I've written and mailed a Christmas letter to family and friends each year. Usually, I do a month-by-month or season-by-season rundown of what big events happened in our household during the year. As the majority of our family and friends live out of state, I like thinking that I'm "updating" them on things they may not have otherwise known about.
I have a Christmas album dedicated to these yearly letters. It has a copy of each year's letter, and includes the photo and/or card which accompanied the letters we sent. Each winter, I enjoy re-reading all of the letters. It's a neat reminder of what has happened since DH and I were married. From our first post-college jobs to getting our first pets, to announcing the birth of Emma...our letters capture all of the events which stand out as we reflect on each year.
This year's letter was the 10th Christmas letter I've mailed. Yet it was the most difficult to write. As I started to write this year's letter, I noted that Emma had her first hair cut the first weekend of January. This was a big event for us---most kids don't wait until they turn 4 to get their hair cut. But Em had such fine, baby fuzz hair and was nearly bald until she was 2. She didn't really have "pony tail" hair until she turned 3. So, though I felt lame including it in a holiday letter, Em's haircut was mentioned in the Christmas letter this year.
The next significant event of 2009, was my miscarriage. January 13th is when I was told that I was miscarrying Peanut. I came to a standstill. I wanted to include this in my holiday letter, as it was definitely a significant event in 2009. I tried. At first I included the miscarriage. But it was really difficult for me to keep a lighthearted Christmas cheer type of tone when discussing the despair I felt at losing a baby. Thus, I decided not to mention it at all.
Therefore, the entire time I was sifting through my calendar, asking DH and Emma what events stood out for them in 2009, and writing our yearly letter...I kept thinking that the event which stands out the most for me would not be included.
Shortly after mailing off the Christmas letters I eventually composed, I participated in ICLW---International Comment Leaving Week. It's an event wherein blog writers commit to reading and commenting on 6 other blogs every day for a week. As it is sponsored by Mel the majority of bloggers involved are usually part of the ALI (Adoption, Loss, Infertility) community. Two days after Christmas, I came across a blog I don't think I've visited before. I was struck by the post... The blog author and her DH had endured the loss of their sweet baby boy at only 18 weeks gestation. I was saddened for their loss. If I still hurt a year later over a baby who I never met, imagine their heartache at having to deliver, hold, and say good-bye to their infant?
What I was especially moved by, was the writer's Christmas card. She and her DH had dedicated their entire card to the memory of their sweet Baby, and to thanking their family and friends for the support they've received. Why didn't I think of that?? Two parts of their Christmas greeting stood out to me: First, " Unfortunately, the plan for our lives was a little different than we anticipated." YES! That line called out to me---my 2009 outcome was also very different than I anticipated. And second, "Christmas seems the most appropriate time to share these blessings and thank everyone for the amazing amount of support we have received. Your prayers, caring words, love, and kindness have truly changed our lives. " YES! As I continue to move on (and still long for another child) it is important for me to be grateful for the outpouring of love we've experienced this year. Thank you, to the blog writer at My Journey with Endometriosis your words described exactly how I am feeling and helped me find closure for 2009.
So if you are reading this, thank you. To those who let me rant and vent and ramble when I need to , I appreciate you. To those who've been there for hugs in person or hugs via the Internet or telephone, I have felt your love. Thank you for the prayers and well wishes and caring. I truly appreciate it!
I went from being misty-eyed while decorating for Christmas (dwelling on not having a newborn) to being even more grateful and appreciative for what I do have. Farewell 2009...I bid you adieu and thank you for the lessons learned, family treasured and friendships gained.
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