My stomach is full, my house is clean once again, my children are happy to have had so much time with cousins...Thanksgiving is over.
Today, on this day after Thanksgiving, while so many are out shopping and getting the best deals they can, I am sitting at home working in my sewing room. My thoughts are swirling about in my head as I reflect on the last day.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to have holidays and know that someone is missing? Have you experienced it?
Emma was alive to celebrate 1 Christmas, 1 New Years, 1 Valentines Day, 1 Easter, 1 Fourth of July...that's it. No Hallloween or Thanksgiving for her. Never a Labor Day party, and she was too young to remember any of those holidays. For the last 6 years I have had holiday's and birthday's without her. For the last 6 years I have wanted to leave an empty spot at the table for her. For the last 6 years I have not said much during the actual day because I don't want to make anyone else uncomfortable.
However, this year, I hosted Thanksgiving. I made place cards and when I did, there was one left over. I wrote her name on it. I just wanted to know what it would feel like to write her name and pretend that she was here, that she would get to help me make pie and set the table and make decorations like her brother did. I just wanted to know what it was like to say her name in a way other than how I do...dripping with longing. I just wanted to pretend, so I did. I pretended that she was at her cousin's house having a sleep over and she would be here with them. But she wasn't.
Holidays are a glorious time of year, but they are also so hard for those of us who are facing them without our children.
While you are giving thanks for all you have, please hold your little ones extra tight and remember those of us who have empty arms, either partially or completely. While you are celebrating, be gentle with those who are facing their first holiday without their babies, they might not want to do any celebrating (and that's okay). While you are having a fabulous time, remember those who aren't and say a little prayer for them to have their burden lightened.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to walk this path...well, now you know a little more...it is a hurt that never ends. But, the love, support and understanding of family friends helps and makes it just that much more bearable.