Wishing You Could Skip The Holidays

From our good friend: Jennifer Nevadomski, M.S.

The holiday season has begun!  This is a wonderful time of year for many of us, although for some it can be the worst time of the year.  As we celebrate this time of good tidings and cheer, my thoughts are with those families that may be having a tough time this holiday season, for whatever reason.

I am of Italian heritage.  Years ago, after the death of a loved one, my relatives would spend months wearing only black, and the holidays would be fairly simple: no Christmas cards, no decorating, and no partying.

I remember when I was 13 years old, a cousin passed away.  She was only 36 years old and left behind two young children.  From that year on, my grandparents never decorated again for Christmas.  Although they still gave us presents and my grandmother continued to cook dinner, it was never again the same for her.

This past September, just ten days after my two month old was born, my grandmother passed away.  She had been sick for some time, and was eighty three years old.  I had a hard time jump starting myself to prepare for the holidays this year, but I have four little children and cannot “skip” over Christmas just because I may not be in the Christmas spirit.  And although my grandmother didn’t celebrate the holidays after she lost her niece, I am sure she would want me to make sure my children have a great Christmas.  Once I started Christmas shopping and put up the tree, it was easier to get into the spirit.  Although for me, I will never forget how Grandma always made Christmases special.

As parents, we often have to put aside our own feelings for the sake of our children.  That might mean pushing ourselves to put a smile on our face when we really want to cry.  That might mean sacrificing something we really want to get that special toy for our child.  That might mean putting up a Christmas tree and sending out cards when you really want to skip right over December altogether.

I have always loved Christmastime.  Even though Christmas this year will be hard without my grandmother, seeing the smiling faces of my four children on Christmas morning makes Christmas that much better.  And as wonderful as it is, I am also reminded of another Christmas that was not so wonderful, and I did not have four beautiful children to brighten it up.

Before my oldest daughter was born, I lost two pregnancies.  I found out I was pregnant in December of 2000, and I found out it was an ectopic pregnancy on December 27th.  I had surgery on January 4th and came home January 5th to see the house still fully decorated for Christmas.  I cried for hours while my family took the decorations down.  I lost another baby only four months later, and once again was in a terrible place.  Before getting pregnant with my daughter, I started to put all my thoughts down on paper.  I wrote a poem and started to write about my bumpy road on becoming a mother.  I now have four beautiful children, although I didn’t think I would ever get to that point.  I became a Family Therapist to help other women and couples who were dealing with pregnancy loss and infertility, for I found there was not much available for me when I needed the help.  After my daughter was born, I published “Becoming a Mother”.  I have been truly blessed with my family.  But every Christmas I am reminded of that awful season.  Here is the poem I wrote:

Me…

Imagine for a second…

How a little girl dreams of becoming a mother –

A role in her life unlike any other.

Dreaming of the day she can hug her baby

“I’d like to have two or three, maybe.”

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

A young woman is pregnant, and just found out.

Her feelings are mixed without a doubt.

She’s so thrilled yet a bit scared of the thought

Of the job ahead and everything to be taught.

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

The pregnant woman has just been told

Of a poor diagnosis that is two-fold.

Her tube is bad, the baby has died,

How upset she is and how she has cried.

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

Two months of torture, being so sad –

‘Could the remaining tube be just as bad?’

Then to her surprise, the wonderful fact –

She’s pregnant again, the tube is intact!

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

The woman and her husband in weeks of pure bliss

‘We’re having a baby!” How great is this?

Looking forward to finally meeting the child growing inside.

The joy of ‘parents-to-be’ – just imagine their pride!

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

Visiting the doctor, expecting a heartbeat.

‘The baby has died…’ – this child they’ll never meet.

A feeling of numbness, unable to speak,

Trying to stand, but feeling quite weak.

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

The awful trip to the operating room…

It might as well have been her tomb.

For the second time, her child has died.

For the second time, they’re taking the child inside.

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

Her husband wishes she’d return to herself,

As he looks at all the angels she’s collecting on a shelf.

Becoming a mother has taken over her life –

‘Is our family destined to be just husband and wife?’

…that was me.

Imagine for a second…

That little girl dreaming is now a wife

And she still has the dream she’s had all her life.

She would have never thought that what would be true

Is that here on earth she has no children, but Heaven has two.

She knows that God will one day bless her with children she’ll bear,

She holds onto that dream, and holds onto that prayer.

…this IS me.

In memory of two little souls I’ll never forget.

You’re looking down at Mommy, I bet.

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One response to “Wishing You Could Skip The Holidays

  1. Thank you Joy!
    Amazing that now, almost ten years later, I have been wonderfully blessed to be the Mommy of FOUR! Happy Holidays everyone! XOXO

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