Thanksgiving wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t really good either. Not the fun holiday I have enjoyed for the last 36 years. When I arrived at my parents’ house, my dad asked, “Are you okay?” which I appreciated as it acknowledged that this Thanksgiving was different. I tried to stay busy in the kitchen with my mom. Before we sat down to eat, we stood in a circle and held hands to pray. My dad kept it pretty short (possibly because my sister’s semi-new boyfriend was with us for the first time and he doesn’t believe in God:( ). He prayed for God to help us to find things to be thankful for this year. That was pretty good. But I had secretly wished beforehand that he would mention Luke in his prayer this day. Something like, “Thank you for our Luke who is in heaven with you”. I just wanted a mention.
When we started to eat, my dad said he wanted us all to state what we were most thankful for this year. I did not like this. My mom immediately said, “To start with, we are all here!” My heart felt stabbed–We are all here?! It is so glaring to me that we are NOT all here. I know she didn’t mean anything bad by it and she misses Luke too, but it still bothered me.
As my dad went around the table asking what we are most thankful for this year, no one other than my mom really had a clear answer for him. When he got to me, I said that I didn’t know, but I guess Josh. (I am thankful for him, of course, but I that felt like a generic, cop-out of an answer). As I sat there and we continued to eat, my heart urged that it is Luke I am most thankful for. How could I not have had that answer immediately? It felt like a betrayal to him not saying so. As soon as my sister’s boyfriend left to go to the bathroom (he actually has lost a baby too with his ex-wife, but I don’t know him very well so I feel awkward being very personal in front of him), I blurted that I wanted to change my answer and I was most thankful for Luke. This made me start to cry so I sat looking at my hands and crying, while my sister rubbed my back. It was quiet for a minute. It was a little awkward, but I was glad to finally have his name mentioned on the holiday.
Here is what he would have worn yesterday.
I did have a few happier moments laughing at the annual dog show we traditionally watch and snapping my sister’s hot pink thong underwear as she crawled on the floor wiping up a spill.
I am very thankful for you friends in this loss community. I am so glad to be able to connect with people who really do understand. I think of you all often and pray for you. I hope you made it through yesterday with at least some little moments of calm and peace and hopefully even joy. At least we have one down!
I got a Thanksgiving card from my classroom aide who lost twin boys 39 years ago. I think she meant it in the best way and if I read it in a stronger, better mood, it almost seems good, but it still bothers me. She points out all I have to be thankful for and tells me to smile. I know I DO have a lot to be thankful for. I should be thankful and I am. But I’m also sad. This Thanksgiving cannot be the normal fun time with family and food. I will see my family and we will have food and I’m sure some happy moments, but there is a hole. The empty spot she refers to hurts. It can’t be filled by my husband’s new job, good health and other people. I don’t even want it to. I do want to be thankful to my Lord, but I also want to be aware of my Luke who is missing. I think it’s okay to be sad about that. I don’t always want to count my blessings and smile. I choose not to feel like I have to all the time. Whether she or anyone else likes it or not.
I got this very thoughtful present from Bethany. It is so perfect to honor my Luke this Christmas. When I showed it to my mom, she started crying. She doesn’t cry often (unlike me, I am a big crier, even before this loss). She said, “Not much makes me cry, but that makes me sad.” Not that we don’t rejoice that he is in heaven because we do. She then talked about my grandma (her mom) enjoying Luke in heaven and being with him. That is always nice to think about. I love my grandma and she was excited for me to have babies. She had 7 herself. She even left me a baby quilt when she died, for a girl. It has paper dolls all over it and real fabric clothes you can put on the dolls. I hope I get to use it as well as the froggie quilt my mom made that we decorated Luke’s nursery around. I really enjoyed having a tearful moment with my mom. We talk about Luke often, but I’m usually the only one crying. This new thing happens to me where I try to hold in the sobs, but it sneaks out in squeaks, actual high-pitched breaks in my speech.
After church today, a girl I’m becoming friendly with stopped to say hi with her 18 month old son. He is very cute. They were also at a Pampered Chef party I went to on Friday and I couldn’t help watching him toddle around and explore. He seems to be a very agreeable baby and didn’t cry or cause any trouble the whole night. When she fed him spoonfuls of soup, he kind of danced by moving his body up and down. It was adorable. I joked to the pastor’s wife (who made a point to sit by me, I think maybe she’s looking after me a little extra which is very kind), “I’d like to order one like that.” Today his mom asked him, “Can you say ‘hi’ to Sara?”. He waved hi by opening and closing his little fist and then he grabbed my Luke necklace. I said, “Do you like my necklace?” and his mom told him “That necklace is for Luke….He would have been your playmate.” Although that truth pierced my heart and made me instantly tear up, I was happy for the acknowledgement of him and the chance to hear his name. Then she added, “Maybe the next one.” I said that I hope so.
We’re only on month two of trying again, but I can’t help but hope so hard each time. I’m almost afraid to even talk about it, I want it so much. Please pray for God to prepare my heart for whatever His perfect timing and plan is. I know it won’t take away the pain of not having Luke and no one can replace him, but I long for a baby with all of my being.