Holidays, family reunions, weddings – they’re all so hard. Not because of something our families have done, not because it’s hard to be around them, not because we don’t like them. I hear people grumbling about these events simply because they don’t wish to be around their families – that’s not me. For me, it’s a huge reminder of everything I am missing. I feel this deep hole so much more so when “all” the family is gathered. Because I know it can never be ALL.
We were reminiscing about some interesting Thanksgiving stories earlier this morning, some carefree times. Know what they all had in common? They were 2011 or earlier. Because 2012 was 3 weeks after Reagan died. And that year, and every year since, I’ve felt this hole inside of me that at times only seems to be growing bigger. My children are not here with me. I’m missing seeing the joy on their faces as they taste pumpkin pie for the first time. They won’t be helping me in the kitchen. Reagan would certainly be old enough to this year. Their little sweet faces will not be sitting around our dinner table, will never entertain the other kids at the kid table, will never fight over who gets the biggest piece.
This is our first Thanksgiving without Lucas. And it’s catching me off guard with how hard it is. With Reagan, it was SO recent, it was all I could do to get through the day. But Lucas? He was born 5.5 months ago. The pain and grief is not quite as raw. But, here we are. Unable to get through the day, unsure how to go on. I so desperately want my sweet boy back. I want his cries to be adding to the chaos of the day. I want these tears to be simply because I’m overwhelmed, not because of overwhelming grief. Knowing there is a good chance it was my fault makes it so much worse, adding that layer of constant nagging guilt.
But this is also the first Thanksgiving without Noah. Without his twin. Knowing that I should be pregnant, 17 weeks. Knowing that, if I didn’t have my Lucas to hold anymore, we should be celebrating these lives growing inside of me. Instead, I am empty. Barren. Broken.
Of course I am thankful for my children that I get to raise. I am learning more each year just what a miracle they are, how special they are, how blessed we are to have them. But it does little to take away the pain of so many children we’ve lost through the years, named and unnamed, public and private. I so long for that day when I will be reunited with my babies and our family will once again be complete. Living in this broken world, well, sucks. The only hope I have is the Hope in our future together because of our Savior. Some days that brings me great peace. Some days are still very much a struggled to even get through the requirements of the day. Today happens to fall in that second category.