I’m finally getting a chance to go through the Christmas pictures. As you can probably tell, I have no idea what I’m doing with my camera in the dark, early morning Blurry pictures do tell a story though, don’t they? The hustle, the life, the work or lack thereof put into a photo and the immediate necessity to just capture it already – regardless of it’s quality. #herestomorecrappyphotos
In all seriousness I put “learn to take better pictures” on my 2014 list of goals. We’ll see how that one goes. I get bored reading about ISOs and whatever else it all involves, but I’d like to get better.
Back to Christmas. Christmas was so good. It was actually more like a week of festivities, and we’re right near the end of it. Saturday was Christmas at Pete’s mom’s house, Monday was our seventh anniversary, Tuesday we spent some times playing games and watching the cousins tear up my sister-in-law’s house, Wednesday was a day of travelling, cooking, relaxing, presents and catching up, tomorrow we hopefully get to celebrate the seven years (that actually feel more like two decades) of marriage (yay!), and Sunday… our baby turns a whopping ONE. First of all, that isn’t happening. I’m in denial. Something about her party in two weekends from now will help it feel more official. I think. Second, I just want a break from my break I’m exhausted, but a good and full exhausted. The kind of exhausted that makes you want to take a super long nap just so you can jump up and start all these ideas rolling around in your head. And then hug and squeeze life and be okay with a few things slipping out of your hands just as long as the important things stick around.
So somehow we survived Christmas. And when I say “we” I’m actually talking about myself. My family rocks and rolls this time of year. Evelyn has learned their ways. I was holding my breathe and just waiting. I thought it might catch me by surprise. Grief, you know? Christmas Eve I decided I wanted to go down to Texas Children’s and donate a parking pass for another NICU family in need. A family member did that for us when Jenna was in the NICU and well, that gift brought me to tears. I hope it touches someone else. It made Christmas feel more complete and special being down there and doing something in her honor. I won’t get to meet that family but I was able to write them a little card of encouragement and I got to use one of my own cards for it I went to visit Jenna afterward at the cemetery. I felt completely inadequate because I didn’t have any flowers or gifts to bring her but I wanted to see her. I talked to her. I feel so strange talking to her, but after a few sentences of awkwardness I started to feel a connection. I doubt she can hear me but something tells me she knows more about this life than I can see. Something about death, it is so silent. You beg in tears and heartache that you might feel a nod of agreement or a hesitant reply or a whisper in love. But the cars keep rolling by in the distance. The leaves keep rustling and falling and the sun keeps beaming on and lighting up this planet as if chaos never visited your doorstep. The world keeps turning. And then one day you find yourself turning again with it. I felt that surge right there on the ground with her. The full circle my grief has made these past four years. I have to assume it will continue to grow and learn and take on new formations.
Christmas felt like Christmas again. And it feels strange to admit it, but it’s true. I’m not leaving her behind, I am bringing her into this new world of light and peace with me. I’ll remember her in new ways and this year we really did.
Christmas felt like Christmas again. I don’t know how that happens. Do you arrive in this place of acceptance? Do you seek it actively or does it just happen? Does the full plate of raising babies water down grief for a while? The biggest question for me is, will it last? Someone once told me (in another context), that you might want a lot of good things in life, but it is what you want the most that will be yours in the end. I don’t know if that’s true for grief. I really don’t. All I know is that this place is a good place. And I will keep chasing this. The place of real pain, real peace and everything in between.