Be Enough Me: The Best Present Of All

Every year, when the turkey’s gone, our bellies full, and the dishes done, I start to get that excited, fluttery feeling in my heart. I crave the smells of a Douglas fir, cookies fresh from the oven, wintery air that’s frosty on my nose. My fingers itch to wrap presents, hang ornaments, and write cheerful holiday cards. I start my mornings with flavored coffees–pumpkin and cinnamon and peppermint. Bing Crosby, Elvis, and Harry Connick, Jr. serenade me on a daily basis.

It’s Christmastime. My favorite time of year.

Every year, as the tree goes up in the stand, and the lights are untangled and wrapped around the boughs, there’s a smile in my heart that can’t be erased. Each tiny ornament has such significant meaning, it’s a celebration as I unwrap each one. “Here’s the one from the year we got married!” I exclaim. Or “This is the first one you ever bought for me!” And “Oh, I forgot about this one! Look, Brian! It’s the silly kitty with the flowerpot on his head!”

Others hold more emotional memories: the white angel holding a kitten for the spring when Eddie died, the glass ornament with the cancer awareness ribbon bearing the date of Brian’s surgery. These baubles bring tears to my eyes each time I see them.

Each ornament is placed on the tree with care. Silver balls and glass crystals are added as the perfect light catchers. The blue bow goes on top, and the snowy white tree skirt below. Now comes my favorite part.

We turn off all the lights in the house, except the tree. We stand back, hand in hand, and just look. Music plays quietly in the background. A cat sniffs at a low-hanging branch, feigns indifference, and curls up beneath it instead. The blue lights are cool, bringing winter to our mild, warm climate. In silence we stand, contemplating. I’m sure Brian is looking at his handiwork, looking for gaps or blank spots, searching with his eyes to find an imperfection he can fix.

My eyes fill with tears as I think about the child we are without again this year. My heart breaks a little more. My arms ache. I wonder if we’ll ever have the chance to share all this love with a child of our own.

“What do you think? Should we add one more strand of lights?” my husband’s voice rocks me from my reverie. I look at him, bathed in blue light, a smile on his face. My hearts swells, heals, fills.

I know there will be a night sometime soon when I’m at home alone. I’ll turn off all the lights, lay beneath the boughs of my Christmas tree, and weep: for the child that wasn’t created this year, for the emptiness of my womb, for another Christmas gone by without the laughter of children to fill our home. That will be the night that I allow myself to feel those feelings I stamp down on most every other night of the year.

But tonight? Tonight there is too much joy in this room to dwell on sadness. I sigh, wrap my arms around my husband, and say, “If we add many more lights, they’ll be able to see us from the International Space Station.”

“Isn’t that the goal?” he jokes. And I silently thank the fates that I still have him in my life. My husband, my partner, my best friend…the best present of all.

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4 thoughts on “Be Enough Me: The Best Present Of All

  1. Kir

    wow, wow….I am a fellow infertile (I did have my twins after struggling with Infertility for 4 yrs and one very successful IVF..but I know about those Holidays where my tears fell and my heart felt empty. its true that your husband will become every more dear for pulling you back from the brink and holding your heart for you.
    My Christmas wish for you is a dream come true, a baby in your arms in 2012.

    thank you for linking up and sharing this story. HUGS to you.

  2. angela

    I love that your tree and your joy in the season also give you a place to safely let out those pent-up emotions. I hope for you that the magic of the holiday season works well into the new year and that you will be blessed with a baby to help ease that ache.

    Thanks for linking up with JBE; I am so glad you have your “best gift” with you to share every holiday moment.

  3. Simoney

    O Abby
    This story just tugged on my heart
    tears came to my eyes
    I wanted to just be able to reach out and hug you

    Seven years we watched our dear friends struggle with this Christmas wish. Sven years where they would take themselves away from their fertile extended family and hibernate together somewhere.
    But NOW, well, lets just say that this weekend just gone, my Scrag and my dear freind’s SON spent a weekend together… with their daddies… while my FRIEND, she stayed home with her DAUGHTER.
    I will pray for you my sweet friend; if you want to meet my freind, her name is Sammy, and she has a blog where she has shared her journey as she followed through the process… it began as a prayer, a wish and a hope… and now it’s a dream fulfilled at LONG LAST.
    I pray Abby that the joy in your heart right now will stay with you this Christmas, and that fresh hope will sustain you.
    Much love from Simone xx

    PS I will email you my friend’s blog address

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