I find holidays hard. And I don’t think I’m ever going to get over it. I became pregnant with Erin in October of 2006, about 5 months after Cora died, so I was pregnant through Cora’s would-be first holiday season. But honestly, I found no comfort in it because I knew from experience that pregnancy was no guarantee of a baby, and I was skirting the edge of real terror at any given moment.
But even being pregnant didn’t change the fact that that Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas I was supposed to have a baby, not be expecting one.
Holidays change when you have a child, and I knew that from hearing others speak of it (and I just knew that logically, it would be true since having a child changes everything else). But a child’s death also changes holidays, in a way that you can’t really expect.
I feel like I say this every time, but I truly do appreciate having my living children to celebrate with. However I’m missing one. And I always will be missing one.
Yesterday, my daughter’s elementary school had their annual “Turkey Trot.” But just before that they had a little memorial for a boy who died of leukemia this summer. He would have been a 6th grader this academic year. They planted a tree in his memory, and it has a plaque. My heart broke for his parents and what they went through with the long battle before his death, but at the same time, I felt such envy. They got 12 years with him. They have pictures of him, alive and well, and happy and smiling. They knew his laugh, and his likes and dislikes, who he was. I can’t imagine how hard it was for them, but at the same time, I wish I had those memories. I wish I had any memories, and not just imaginations.
I wish I could remember Cora’s Christmases, instead of imagining what they were like. I wish I could remember her Halloween costume choices, instead of just imagining what she would have wanted to be.