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It Doesn't Feel Like the Holidays Anymore

I am realizing that the holidays will forever be a perpetual struggle for me. I am so sad right now and I just can't shake the feeling that I am on the verge of tears all of the time. It's like I'm walking around breathing onions b/c my nose perpetually burns and I feel like I could cry at any moment. I really loved all of the holidays before and I am still trying to find the things that I love.

I have not been doing well lately. I am going to the Christmas activities that my children asked about but being in the holiday spirit is really hard when you feel like you should have osmeone else there who isn't there with you. I have been invited to events with adults and while I never do not want to get the invite, I do want to be able to say no to things grafefully and for my friends and family to understand. I do feel bad when I don't come but a lot of my friends and family have smaller children around during the holidays and I just do not want to hear about the things that they are doing right now. Most of the year, I LOVE to hear about all of the things that these kiddos are up to, but at the holiday time it is so very hard to be happy or to mask the tears when I feel so much jealousy that my friends are still getting to create those memories with thier children.

I know that it is awful to admit something like that, but it is honest and at this point, that is all that you can get from me. Honesty. I am never going to lie to you. I am going to be honest with you and I promise to be as gentle as possible, but I just do not have it in me to lie or try to hide things. I just don't have that energy anymore. My energy is focussed on keeping my shit together because there is so much going on that I feel as though I could break at any moment.

Thankful for the Time I Had, Jealous for the Time I Don't Have

One of the things that I love is shopping for gifts for everyone. I take pride in spending time picking out gifts and making sure everyone on my list has the perfect gift under my tree. I love buying gifts for my family and even my friends. I miss buying gifts for my little girl. I see things that she would like this time of year so for the most part, I was done shopping at the beginning of November.

I am so thankful that I got to cherish so many family and holiday memories with my little girl. I am so lucky that I got to spend so many years home with her. I even got to each lunch with her pretty much once a week after she started school. I volunteered in her classroom, was a room mom. With my littlest love, there were no more kids at home, so I got to do all of the things with her. Those memories of being able to do things with all 4 of my kids will forever be the memories that I cling to the most.

I am so thankful that I got to have the life that I lived. I am so lucky that this was my path. For as bad as things have been, I still got to be mom to the four most amazing humans whom I have ever met...I just wish that they would have all said goodbye to me rather than me having to say goodbye to one of them.

I remember before Adeline was born thinking that our family was complete but feeling in my heart like there was still something missing. When Adeline was born, that missing piece made us whole. Life was perfect in so many ways, but then losing her has left me with that same feeling. It's like I can't be settled or free because there is something that is not there that should be.

Keeping Traditions Alive Amongst the Pain

Traditions are important. One of the things that I will forever remember Adeline telling me was that her favorite Christmas tradition was our Christmas Eve gift. Each year I got the kids new pajamas, books, sometimes a movie, sometimes snacks or drinks. It was a small gift but a gift that meant time together as a family for we would sit together and read our books. I decided this year that when children are born into my family that I would start asking their parents for permission to give them a yearly Christmas eve gift. I completely understand if this is something that they would like to do for their own child and I would never cross that boundary, but if they will allow me to, I want to give Christmas Eve gifts in honor of my sweet Adeline.

I told my kids today that until the day that they die, I would be giving them Christmas eve gifts and that I would send them for their whole family. Althea asked if I would send them to her family of cats,. She plans on cats instead of children. I told her that I would have to find human and cat matching pjs. LOL! Throughout the entire holiday, I have been reflecting on how I want to be able to offer a way to honor my favorite little girl and what better way to honor her than to committ myself to her favorite Christmas tradition.

I would love to hear your holiday traditions, the ways that you keep your children alive after they have passed. Traditions make me smile.

Our. family also does an Adeline ornament exchange each year. You pick out an ornament that reminds you of Adeline in some way and then we exchange them and get to keep the one that we get in the exchange game. I am so thankful for this time with my family and I absoltuely adore seeing all of the special Christmas ornaments and things each year as we decorate our trees. The stories that were shared during these moments make it all the worthwhile.

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