Dec 16, 2009

There's Something About The Holidays.

There's something about the holidays that make me want to run and hide.

It didn't used to be that way. But then I lost something and I've never really ever been the same.

I used to be excited about the shopping. But now I'm old and my feet hurt.

I used to have so many funny things that happened; things I couldn't wait to write about, journal about. Now I find myself saying, "What blog? I don't have a blog."

I used to look forward to that big JC Penney catalogue that came in the mail. Now it's lost in a sea of bills, invites and past due notices.

Somewhere along the way I lost all the feeling that Christmas is supposed to provide. The warm fuzzies. The twinkle toes. The shimmering lights and all that.

Somewhere along the way I grew older, more concerned. More jaded and pessimistic. Somewhere, and at some time, I grew scared of what was supposed to make me joyful. And cold towards what should have made me warm.

And now here I am. Oh, don't get my wrong, I'm not the Grinch or anything. I love seeing my kids look at Santa. And there's nary a carol in the world that doesn't make me cry. But there's still this piece of me, in me, that's missing. A piece that, try as I might, I shall never get back. Not ever.


Loss sucks.

Pardon my language (I figure my mom quit reading this post at that exact moment), but truth be told it sucks. It stinks - and big time. It hurts like heck and it never leaves. Oh, it might let up now and then, and from time to time it eases to the point of only a little twinge. But it never leaves, not really. It hangs around, like a splinter that got under the skin and decided to live there. Forever.

My husband has this blue place under the skin, on his knee. I will never forget the first time I noticed it. "What is this? And why is it blue?" I remembered asking. He told me that in the fourth grade the mean little boy that sat beside him jammed his pencil into the AG's leg. (Under further investigation it was finally revealed that the AG was not entirely innocent; as if there were ever any question.) He is nearing 40 now and that pencil lead is still in his leg. Just under the skin. You can tell its there because of two things: 1. it's blue and 2. no hair grows on his leg just over the place where the lead is. A forever reminder that at some point you should quit telling the bully beside you he needs a hearing aid because he might just jam his pencil......

Well, you get the point.

And that's kind of how I feel right about now. Blue and hairless. No, I'm kidding. Well, I don't know, "blue" is a good word to use. But I feel like I have something just below the skin, obvious to all if you look for it. And yet not outwardly apparent if you don't. But there. Under the skin. Blue.

Sometimes when I want to feel better I draw myself a big tub of water. I go buy a People magazine (even though I'm not supposed to spend money on trivial things this time of year) and I read it from cover to cover. I dry off and I hurt less, for almost two, three hours.

Other times I close my blinds, turn off my lights, turn off my phone and watch a good movie.

Other times I pull my children in close. Smell their hair. And pray to God my thanks, over and over and over again.

But around the holidays - when it hurts the most - I find myself wishing I could do something else. I wish that I could walk - alone, with no around me, watching, listening - into the stable. I wish the picture of that nativity scene, for one moment, was frozen in time. I wish that I could bend down under a starry sky. Kneel on a blanket of itchy, smelly hay. And just stare into the eyes of a child.

I suppose it would be a nice reminder that "since the children are made of flesh and blood, it's logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death." (Hebrews 2:14)

I wish that I could smell the myrrh, touch the gold. Hear the baaahing.

I wish that in that moment everything and everyone were frozen, but He and I. And I could look at Him and touch Him. That I could "turn my eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

I don't know, maybe it's just me.

No picture on earth can compare to the one I see in my minds eye of that night, that nativity. And to think about it makes me hurt a little less. And smile a little more. It makes me remember that He came for me. And had there just been me, no one else, He still would have come. That way. That night.

Yes, today's post is kind of personal. But it's Christmastime and well, around the holidays you can expect for me to get all personal and sentimental and sappy. In 2005 the holidays changed forever for me. And whereas you might have found me laughing and giddy and all "deck the halls" back in 2004, a short time later things changed for me. And now my pain lies just below the surface. Blue.

And so may I be so bold as to say:

Thank you Lord.
Thank you, that when I close my eyes and cry at this time of year,
I cannot help but see you in a manger filled with hay.
I cannot help but be reminded that the flesh you wore was mine -
and it was filled with pain and sin and utter disappointment.
And still, you took it on. And wore it.
Making my hurt, your hurt.
Making my pain, your pain.
Making my sin, your reason.
Thank you that every loss I've ever had was no surprise to you.
And every tear I've shed has been saved.
And thank you that instead of coming to this earth in a splash of royalty -
in a palace full of kings and thrones -
you came in a barn.
Full of splinters and straw.
For you knew that one day, when I closed my eyes,
I would need to envision something realistic.
And I know splinters better than I know fine china.
So thank you, for thinking ahead.
All my love, Melissa.


Connie said...

That was such a beautiful post. Most of us have those blues, in one way or another this time of year.... you poignantly pointed out that we ALL have so MUCH to be Thankful for, being so VERY blessed that Jesus came and suffered for us, the unworthy, the unthankful (at times) and gave His All for little 'ol us! Have a Very Merry Christmas & know that He loves us more than we love our own children! That is SO amazing!
PS I LOVE the song you quoted! Turn you eyes upon Jesus!

Sayrah said...

You touched me today more than you will ever know!
Thank you!

Candice said...

A Christmas miracle that left too soon...

I am giving you a big hug right now all the way from Spring Hill!!! said...

Bless your heart. May the Lord bless you in ways that just staggers your mind. He already has with Remi & Rocco but something tells me He's not done with you yet Melissa. He's got something wonderful in store for you.

Sissy said...

While this in no way really compares, but I think about the baby that we were supposed to have back in May and wish she was here with us this Christmas. When I was hanging stockings I wanted to have another one, one that read her name, one that said "baby's first christmas." I had to take a moment and go stand outside, and just let the pain wash over me. When we took our picture for our Christmas card, I wanted her in it. I wanted to say "from Charlie, Sissy and baby." I didn't get to do that, but I imagine my pain is way less than yours.

I pray that the baby (named Olivia by her mother) is happy and healthy and being taken care of with love. I pray that she has a full belly and someone else is hanging her stocking.

Okay, now that I am crying while leaving this comment, I must go find the tissues. But, I love you and am thinking of you.

Rose said...

Oh how I wish I could give you a great big hug right now. I am in tears reading this post. You my sweet friend are so loved by God and me. Praying for you during these difficult days ahead. Knowing that you are sad, makes me sad. I love the prayer. I remember Elisha with you and am praying for you. Love you.

StitchinByTheLake said...

My heart is hurting with you. blessings, marlene

neeki said...

I'll never forget that perfect Christmas morning when Pastor Tom broke the news to us about little Elisha. I sat there and sobbed and sobbed, wishing I could do something to ease your pain. But I had forgotten.....Jesus is the only one who can do that. And THAT is why He came.

Love from Spring Hill. We miss you.

Trish said...

You are beautiful when you're blue.

I pray for peace for you and your family.

Kaye said...

My heart aches for you and my prayers go up for you. It's good to know that you know where to turn to ease your pain and you have such a realistic and beautiful way to handle it. Thank you for being real. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post. A tear-full post. My heart aches and breaks for you, but that babe in a manger - He LOVES you, and has come.
Prayers, peace, comfort and joy be YOURS in the name of our Risen Lord.
Blue...wrap yourself in Him.
Love and prayers - and may this be a Merry Christmas!
PS - The good news, we'll all celebrate together - we're one day closer to Glory than we were yesterday.

Jenny said...

I don't think Christmas will be the same for anyone who knew you at TSC. Sweet Elisha taught us all so much and continues to do so. Praying for you this Christmas and celebrating with the angels on his birthday. (Can you imagine the party you get in Heaven...oh my!!!!) Love ya girl, Jen.

Tinika said...

That is the most beautiful prayer. Would you mind if I reposted it with a link back to you? It was lovely.

Lisa said...

I love you.

Maria said...

I needed to read this today...I, too, send you love from Spring Hill.

Karen Carter said...

Wow this one was so raw and sweet! I know you are hurting and it makes me sad too! I miss my parents to much at this time of year and I never feel more like an orphan than December! But then I remember how God will NEVER leave me and how He has filled with life with so much magic. I am praying for JOY!! for you this season. Go get a Chick-Filet peppermint shake and that will be a start! Hugs to you....Karen~

katy said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful, touching post...seriously, thank you. There are so many hurts in this world, so many sad and awful things...I have three children, and while they drive me insane sometimes, at the end of the day, my very worst fear, would be to loose one of them. I've lost friends, family, and other loved ones...and it hurts like heck, but my children...Oh... they are my children... and I can't imagine them not here...with me. I'm where they belong. When I picture Our Father giving His only Son, how my heart breaks when I take the time to let the hugeness of that reality sink in. Melissa, I'm praying that He takes on a little more of your "blue" for you, because while He doesn't deserve it, and He doesn't have to, you are His child, too...and He WANTS to do that for you. And while you can't visit that sweet scene from years ago, where Jesus laid in a manger, I pray that you can at least go there mentally, and bring a little comfort and healing back with you. Big hugs.

Perksofbeingme said...

I hope you know I've been thinking about you a lot recently. I hope you are doing well. xoxo

Karen Carter said...

Just sending you love today! Karen~

sara said...

to help me, my husband gave our family a memorial stone for the 2 babies i lost a couple years ago. it simply says, "two little hands we will never hold, but we love you just the same.
mom and dad"
my older children clear the snow off it and make sure the flowers are nice around it.
keep your spirits up, your baby is with the angels!