I don’t know how it is possible that I lost Charlotte three years ago. I keep thinking that this is the second anniversary and then I realize that two years ago, Ryder was here. It has really been three years.
For some reason Christmas time has hit me a lot harder this year than in the past. The first day I started listening to Christmas music, there was a slow song on. It was Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was him with his irresistible blue eyes that sang to me in the wee hours of December 19th three years ago, when I was in the throes of labor, before I asked for an epidural. It was him that was with me in the lowest hours of my life. And now here he was, as he is every year, singing to me about his dreams for snow on Christmas morning.
How different Christmas time has become for me.
Yes, it is still the most wonderful time of the year and I love seeing this season through the eyes of my children. But no matter what, there’s still one missing, she left six days before Christmas and despite it all, there is still a sadness that hangs over me. I don’t mind listening to the sad, slow songs though because it proves to me that the heaviness on my heart is relatable. And they bring me back and make me feel. It’s all I’ve really got left.
Maybe another reason that it has been a tougher year around this anniversary is because for most of the year we stay so busy that it is easy to push the grief away. It’s not as hard to focus on it when there is work and school and endless training for endless races, and two boys with abundant energy and life itself but Christmas brings it home. I can’t hide from the songs, the holidays, the weather, the fact that the middle of December is the saddest time of my life.
Because of how blessedly busy our lives are these days, I haven’t nearly had enough time to devote to writing and I think that may be affecting me as well. While one of my outlets has increased exponentially, the other has all but ceased to exist. I keep thinking that one of these days time is going to slow down (or I will learn to wake up before the sun gets up to workout), but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe that will be my resolution for 2017.
A month after Chase turned two, Brad and I talked about trying for another baby. That turned into eight months of negative pregnancy tests, a heaping helping of frustration, elation at expecting a daughter and then a baby lost at 22 weeks. About a month after Ryder turned two, I started thinking about another baby. The timing of this year’s angelversary is exactly when I would want to think about adding another child to our family. But as I’ve written about in the past, it is truly a wish and one that I know better than to act on.
When I lost her I found a silver lining in the fact that we hit the hardest holiday milestone straight out of the gate. At the time, it never occurred to me that it would change the face of my Christmas forever.
Most days I pinch myself and wonder how I got so lucky. Other days, like today, I remember that this isn’t the happiest story in the world. I miss you Charlotte and I promise I will miss you every single day for the rest of my life. I hope that you are surrounded with hugs and kisses this time of year with both your Nana and Papa. I hope you know how much your are loved and how much we all wish you were here with us. I will love you forever.