Warning: this is not a feel good post about the holidays.
I didn’t realize it until just now, but today was hard. I hate that it’s hard, because I want to be beyond this, to be more “healthy” than this…I want all of the emotional and spiritual progress I’ve made over the last couple of years to make these days obsolete, but that’s just not the case.
Today my son and I decorated for Christmas, and in so doing, I pulled out my box of ornaments that I hadn’t touched in a few years. There, inside the box, was the ambush. Physical ties to a previous life. I got married at Christmastime, did I ever mention that before? My ex and I would say that all the Christmas lights everywhere were also in celebration for our wedding…it was a nice thought. Anyway, getting married at Christmastime meant that we got quite a few ornaments that said “Our First Christmas”…and when I opened the box, there they all were. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them…save them for my son? I didn’t think he’d really care – I’m saving other things from his dad and I, and these ornaments won’t really mean much to him. Give them back to my ex? I figured he probably doesn’t want the reminder either…so, I just put them awkwardly into my trash can.
To celebrate our first anniversary we had a combination birthday/anniversary party (did I mention that my birthday is coming up? Also kind of depressing…), and we asked our guests to bring homemade Christmas ornaments as their gifts. The cheesier the better. I loved that party, and all of the crazy ornaments we got…and those were in the box too.
And then there were the ornaments from my ex mother-in-law, who sung my praises while we were together…and who now, regrettably…but understandably, wants nothing to do with me.
It hurts. All of it.
So I’m sitting here, looking at the happy family pictures plastered all over Facebook, with my trash can filled with “Our First Christmas” ornaments, and I can’t help but tear up. I am trying so hard not to be envious of those parents that get to share their child’s delight with their spouse – it feels like the other parent is the only person who truly gets how wonderful this little human is. At this point any timeline I might have had for my life feels decimated, and although I am extremely grateful for what I have, it sucks that there are only two Christmas stockings to hang up. I guess this is just part of it, part of the mourning, part of the inevitable…and while most days I am just fine, there are definitely days when it still stings.