Monday, December 17, 2007

A magical time of year

Christmas is this magical time of year. It's a time when all is well in the world and all is at peace. It's a time when family is together and stories of wonder and amazement are shared with the precious children in everyone's life. It's a time where no matter how cold it is outside, inside is warm and toasty.

I love Christmas time. Christmas has always been this time where all wrongs can be righted and even the coldest of foes can stand together and sing merry songs together. Christmas is a time when miracles take place.

I am married to a wonderful man who brings Christmas alive in our home. He brings magic to Kaitlyn's world and how can anyone not love that.

It doesn't feel like Christmas right now. Yes, it's cold outside, our tree is trimmed our decorations are up and the stocking wait for Santa to fill in just a week's time. But this year, it's different. This year we smile the smiles, we tell the stories, we sing the songs, but it's not there. Our home is emptier. Even though our home has the same people in it that were here last year, there is this huge gap that can't be filled. This Christmas, there should have been two little ones under the tree digging out what Santa brought them, instead there is only 1. While Matthew's spirit is always with us, it isn't the same as having him here to love and to hold.

I think there are many things that make that gap even more present, even more cold and evern more noticeable. Be it lost friendships, familiar places being packed up, the coldness of the unknown that the future holds or the constant reminder of how different this year is from last, it is not the warm holiday season that I spend the whole year longing for.

I hate being by myself. Even if it's just in a doctor's waiting room or driving back from dropping Kaitlyn off at school. The loud echo of silence is a powerful sound that allows the wandering mind to wander to places it shouldn't wander. I do my best to never be in silence. I avoid having Kaitlyn away from me at all costs. I know there are probably some that are annoyed by the constant chatter their toddler brings, but I yearn for it. I need the chatter to stop the mind from wandering. I'm sure some people do not understand that, and really, I don't expect them to. Unless you have experienced any of what we have this year, you wouldn't. I went 10 long weeks of only seeing Kaitlyn an hour or two a day, I intend on making that up to her come hell or high water regardless of the opinions of others.

I am incredibly thankful to the friends and family who call just to chat. I hate picking up the phone to call people, the idea of bothering them or risking making them feel sad or bad isn't something I want to encounter. I am grateful for the time spent with those who enjoy our company. I am happy to have the people in my life that I do. I know those people will never know or understand how much a simple call or e-mail means, but I hope one day I can return the favor.

So this year, we'll smile the smiles, sing the songs, wrap the gifts, trim the tree and we'll do it all with heavy, lonely hearts and the constant reminder that even on Christmas, our family will never be whole again.

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Matthew would have been 4 months old

Matthew would have been 4 months old yesterday.

There are times when it feels like a million years have gone by since Matthew died and there are times when it seems like it was just yesterday.

The time Matthew was here was so perfect that it doesn't even seem like it was real. If it wasn't for pictures, the short video we have and his things, I don't think I would believe that he was even here.

Thank you for the sweet thoughts, e-mails, phone calls and messages yesterday. It really does mean a lot.

With anything we do, I keep thinking about how Matthew would like it. Things would be so different. I bet by now Kaitlyn would have changed at least one diaper. His circumsision would probably be totally healed and I'd bet that he'd be a smiler by now. I wonder how much more his hair would have grown or thickened up.

I adored Matthew so much. I still do. I think there are still times that I pretend that he's still here. He was so good at cuddling. And really, I had no problem with it.

I already had our Christmas outfits all ready and set for holiday pictures. We were going to wear dark grey. Kaitlyn has a new Tommy Hilfiger dress and Matthew was going to wear a sweet sweater vest and bright red tie. There are so many things he never got to wear.

I know I have changed so much since Matthew left us. Even though I worked so hard to get him here, I think I didn't take him for granted. I didn't appreciate him or what a miracle he was. I thought frequently about how amazed I was that he was here and he had made it, but I don't think I understood exactly how miraculous that was.

Sometimes, I feel so much pressure to continue to be something to everyone. There are times I get so frustrated and want to scream from the top of the highest building to cut me a little slack.

I miss Matthew so much, we all do. He was such an important and valuable part of our family. It's so hard to try and find the best ways to honor him and keep him a part of our family.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Good Friends

I use to think that maybe my "tiffs" with some people were because there was something wrong with me. Maybe I wasn't a good enough person. So, I started trying hader. I tried to be more thoughtful, I tried to be more understanding and I tried to be a better friend.

But things didn't change. To the same people, over and over again, nothing I did was good enough. It isn't/wasn't many people, just a small handful. I still tried, I still hoped that things would change. Who doesn't want everything around them to be roses?

For every negative encounter, I tried harder. I somehow managed to ignore the hurtful comments, the never ringing phone and the constant disregard for my feelings. I just thought, if I tried hard enough I could "win them over."

Only very recently did that change. Very, Very recently I realized, maybe it isn't me. There are other people who I don't have to try nearly as hard for and they are amazing and loyal friends. They are there for me through anything and actually make an effort to be a friend.

So maybe, just maybe, it isn't me. Maybe I am actually a good and decent human being. Maybe, the problem is within them. Maybe, they themselves are uncapable of being a good friend? Or maybe, they just don't want a friendship with me. I have no hard feelings towards that and am all too happy to accept it.

In this instance what can I do? What should I do? I've told them before what it is that I need from a friend, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

I've decided that for these people, I should try to take them as they are. I should stop trying so hard to turn them into a good friend. I have good friends that I love and adore and am so proud to have in my life. It would be great to turn these people into good friends, but I think I left my wand in my other purse.

The thing that really upsets me, even though it shouldn't, is the constant trash talk behind my back. I just don't understand why people talk about others when they aren't there. What exactly does that resolve? Does it make you feel like a better person? That, and the whining to Dusty.

If I had a problem with someone, I would NEVER put Dusty in the middle of it. He hates confrontation and he hates when people can't get along. So far, I have taken all of my deeply hurt feelings and stuffed them into a little bottle that I keep with me. I keep him safe from any of it. I hate drama and I KNOW he hates it more. I also know that despite what anyone might think, he has been through a helluva lot this year and I would never burden him with anything else. It isn't fair to him. And even though I know he would chose my side day in and day out, I would never dream of asking him to pick sides. I love him too much to do that to him. Better yet, Dusty does the same for me. I explained to him that he is welcomed to listen to the whining, the venting and the thoughts of others, just keep me out of it. I have enough on my plate with no desire to add more.

So, I guess I have to make resolutions. I have to get thicker skin, keep my guard up and realize that I am worthy of good friends.

I don't think negatively of the others, I truly don't. I want nothing but happiness and good fortune for them. I want their lives to be sunny and warm surrounded by loving friends and family. I will not take their actions, words or thoughts personally. I will not hold my hurt feelings against them. I will instead learn from them and with any luck and hope grow from the lessons learned. Maybe one day, things will be different.

I would like to deeply thank everyone that has been there for me through the fun happy before pregnancy times, to the sad, dark times following Matthew's death. Your friendship has meant the world to me and I will always be grateful and thankful for your kind words and loving thoughts.

Monday, December 3, 2007

New Boundries

There was a time when everything was peachy keen. I'll refer to that time as BH (Before Hospialization).

During that time, we were all happy. Sure, I think we were a little neive. We believed that nothing but good things could happen to us. I thought I knew for certain who my true, honest friends were. I really did. Sure, there were ocassionaly misunderstandings and once in a great while, some hurt feelings, but nothing that couldn't be repaired.

When I was in the hospital, I started to wake up a bit. I think I realized that for some, you have to really explain what it is you need. Be it a phone call once in a while, maybe a short visit, maybe even just an e-mail once in a while.

When Matthew came home, it was more of the same. Some people were absolutely awesome and amazing and some people couldn't be found. Again, things were discussed and I thought that my thoughts, feelings and expectations, albeit low, were known.

In Matthew's passing, I've learned so much about friends. You cannot make someone be a good friend. You cannot change people or who they are. And if they don't get it after 3 or 4 times, they probably aren't going to get it. I don't think this makes them bad people, but it does mean that I have to change what friendship means to me.

BH, I didn't have a hard time where I really needed to lean on friends. Everything was happy go lucky. Looking back, I think I lulled myself into believing that some friendships were more than they were. I blame myself for that. I wanted this ideal world to be true where I was as close to people as I thought I was and really, I wasn't. I was so silly and naive to even think I was.

Turns out, I'm always going to be the bad guy to some. I'm not sure what it is or why it is, but it is and that's what matters. And really, I'm starting to be Ok with being on the outside looking in. Being on the outside means I don't have to participate in as much of the drama. Being on the outside means the hurtful comments or remarks hurt a little less. Being on the outside means that I know what to expect. I know that the first to leave the room is the first to be discussed.

To fix this and ensure that I spend my precious time wisely, I'm setting new boundries. There are some things we will only do as a family. For example, if Dusty isn't available, neither are me and Kaitlyn. He can be my support in times when I need it. I need to learn not to be so trusting to some. I hate opening up to someone just to know that it's being spread around like the day's hot gossip. So, I need to stop doing that. I need to keep my guard up and high and lean on those that have always been there for me when I need to lean.

I am sad that it has to be this way, but really, I don't know any other way for it to be? I don't have all of the answers and I don't know of a better solution. I just know that I am at a point in my life where I have to protect myself and my family before the feelings of others.

I am sad that I don't have the friendships that I had. But, I don't blame anyone for it. I can't change who people are and I wouldn't want to. Just as I wouldn't want others to try and change me. I am a passionate, caring, loving, enthusiastic person who trys so hard to be there for anyone. Maybe one day, things will be different. It's something I can hope for, something I can want, and something I can accept may never be.