the holidays

well they are sweeping in like a hurricane, right?  so many specific dates, so many memories.  this season last year was probably the most exciting time in my life.  i was pregnant, working, i treated buying gifts for my family like a part time job.  i had started shopping in october for addy.  we spent thanksgiving with our friends and then i worked all night at carters.  i loved it, the excitement, all the shoppers, the endless lines.  christmas was magical, as it always had been since 2010 when jim and i planned our wedding for 12/4.

alayne came up and visited us in november.  we talked and watched millionaire matchmaker, jim ran out and got us mcdonalds "you know what sounds good" she came and saw me at work.  we talked about life and what the past ten years had held for us, ten years, ten years of our life had held surprises and hard times but we were happy.  both of us were happy.  she was interviewing for a new job and i remember being so proud of her.  our lives had taken such different paths, but she was down in north carolina with her place and her friends and a good career, kicking ass, taking names.

that was the last time she saw us together, whole.  the next time everything had changed.  and in that moment we just sat there, i sat there in my room and talked with her about our lives unfolding and what we wanted to see change, but overall how content we were.

sometimes i don't know why we take pictures.  they are so insignificant compared to flesh.  the sharp lines of a photo never truly doing justice to the softness of your baby's skin.  the shadows never truly highlighting what their eyes look like when they meet your gaze.  the smile of your husband's mouth never truly matching what it felt like when he caught the corner of your eye.

i wear out my pictures, flipping through the ones of elly, trying to feel the fire but feeling detached.  trying to engage the pain but left numb.  there are only so many i have, she was only five weeks.  and i stare at her face and try to feel what if felt like to hold her close, to hear her breath in the bassinet next to me, and it escapes me, it escapes me after six months.  and i package it up and i put it away like a box.  like a box not to be opened, but even when i try to open it- it eludes me.

and now, now i trudge through the holiday season and the onslaught of memories that accompanies it.  five years of memories and one year of "if only."  damn i miss my family.

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