Posted: December 20, 2012 in me

Since the day my niece has taken her first breath, I have not expected a Christmas gift. Yes, I expected them before that. Even in my 30s. Her being here taught me that lesson. Now it’s learned. That lesson has trickled to the other holidays. And my birthday. And Tuesdays. Slow, surely. I’ve given up my role in my family. I’ve stopped acting  like the helpless one or weak one or the lost little lamb in order for them to focus on somebody who showed up with a clean slate. That’s what you do for kids. Or should.

At Christmas, disgusting as it may be at times, I enjoy watching her tastes change. Her excitement levels increase and decrease with certain types of gifts based on her stage of development. I also enjoy those moments that she’ll stop and dig under the tree so “Somebody else can open one!” And there always is one. That’s my mom. And that is how we all got to those moments. My mom. The woman who can make glorious celebrations out of the most financially stressful times. With CASH. And heart. And sacrifice. And planning. And I still don’t want a present, but I accept them. For her.

And now here we are. The Christmas of 2012. My niece’s 7th Christmas. It will be a Tuesday. And that’s all. Because she won’t be here. So I am sad. No, I am devastated. So devastated I can barely see the monitor as I type. I cannot lie and say I’m not sad for myself. I am. But I’m sad for my mom. I’m sad for that little girl. Sad she won’t get to have that day of memories with us. Not even an hour. Or a minute. There is nothing more painful than genuine love which cannot be expressed.

I don’t understand adults. I don’t understand relationships. I don’t understand family. I don’t understand addiction. I don’t understand divorce. I don’t understand this. I don’t. The only thing I do understand, is she taught me what true love is. I just don’t know how. But I do. And I hurt. I HURT.  My eyes, throat, body, heart & soul. So I’m not excited about Christmas. I’m not excited for Tuesday. Yet all of me hopes she is. And that this year’s lesson for her, will be different from mine.


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