The First Christmas

The Last Christmas

This season is a strange juxtaposition of joy and sadness as we remember the ones we love who are no longer with us. Last year was especially hard because it was the first Christmas after the loss of my two children to miscarraiges. Today I’m writing about it on the Knoxville Moms Blog. Here’s a little peek: click the link to read the full text.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

That may be a common description of Christmastime, but honestly, from October-December 25 is my favorite time of year. Here in East Tennessee, October means mild days and cool nights, perfect weather for camping, hiking, and enjoying the majestic fall colors in the Smokies – in other words, family time. Thanksgiving is the one time of year we travel to visit my extended family, a very tight-knit group of about 70-80 folks crammed into my aunt’s Mississippi home, then another trip to my grandmother’s house in West Tennessee. And then of course Christmas, the season of goodwill and cheer. On Christmas Eve, my brothers and I still set out cookies and milk and spend the night at my parents’ house (now with all our spouses and kids in tow) to await Santa’s gifts in the morning. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever else, the holidays are all about family.

And that’s what also makes Christmas the most difficult time of year for many people. For those facing the recent loss of a loved one, the holidays hurt like hell. Even with all the laughter and food and people around the table, your eyes are always drawn to that empty seat and your thoughts to the person or people not present.

That was me last year. In 2014, I lost two babies to miscarriages within a few months of each other. I think it’s true what they say, that the first year is the hardest. Every milestone since those losses has burned in my heart, longing for the cheeks not kissed, the snuggles not given, the laughter not shared. My 4th baby (the first that I lost) would have been due in October 2014. While I spent much of that month outdoors with my three older kids, I constantly longed to be home in bed with a newborn. In November we traveled to see my family, only five people in the van instead of six, and I was devastated to be lacking a pregnant belly with a baby due in January. Christmas came, and I bought presents for only three kids, so desperate to have another stocking on that mantle.

To read the rest of this post, please click here to visit the Knoxville Moms Blog. I love you! I need you! And Merry Christmas!