The holidays are almost here, and I must admit I am quite apprehensive.  We expected these holidays to be the best ones of our lives, because we would be sharing them with our brand new son.  But just like everything else in our lives, they have been flipped over and turned around, transformed into something grueling and raw and painful.

Thanksgiving, eh?  More like Thanks-for-nothing.  I just do not have much gratitude to spare for this past year.  Although I am thankful that Lu is healed and healthy, and that we have each other and our family and our friends to help us along, it is all cold comfort compared to the what-should-be.

The godddam what-should-be.  It is inescapable.  But I should have known that there really is no ‘should be’ in this world.  There is only what is and what isn’t.  And this isn’t going to be fun.

One thing that was very nice was the way our families took the time to speak with Lu and I and to see what we wanted to do for Thanksgiving this year.  We had the veto option where we could have said we wanted it to be a small family affair instead of the multi-family party that it always is in each of our houses.  That felt wrong to us, though.  Changing the way we celebrated the holiday by excluding our extended family would have made it even worse in some ways.  It would have revealed just how powerfully screwed up we are, that we had to cancel Thanksgiving because we couldn’t handle it.

The fact is, we can handle it.  There will be tough moments for sure, but that’s our everyday life now.  The hardest moments are the ones we each have to go through all by ourselves: in the car alone with an invisible carseat, half-asleep in bed on another empty morning, caught stricken in public when we’re asked some innocuous question by a stranger, those are the moments no one can protect us from.

At least during Thanksgiving we will be surrounded by people we love who will ask nothing of us and simply shower us with care and support and insist upon laughter because we just can’t help ourselves when we’re around our amazing families.  We refuse to let the cruelty of the Universe dictate our lives.  We will push through no matter how difficult that day will be without Silas there with us.

I will stuff myself with turkey and sweet potatoes and beers and gravy.  I will retreat to the bathroom or out back to shed tears if need be.  I will play with my beautiful young cousins and chase Oren around the house with a grin plastered to my face.  I will hang with my bros, I will get hugs from my aunts and taunts from my uncles.  I will listen to my father swear at the world as he gets Mom situated, the table set up, and food out of the oven.

And in my heart I will try to be thankful for the few brief hours that Silas was with us, but I have my doubts about being able to overcome the gaping chasm of loss that has hollowed out my guts.

I guess that just leaves more room for turkey.

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