I did not know how hard this photo would be to take.
With broken family ties, the holidays have been a source of unease in the recent years. I grew up surrounded by family members on the holidays. With each passing year the voices have quieted to just us. And I realized how much I needed the noise this year.
We chose to avoid family drama this year; with us trying to figure out how to maneuver the holidays without Logan we didn’t think we were emotionally or mentally prepared to deal. The very thought of being surrounded by the different personalities that encompass our families gave us anxiety. A very nice lady donated a Thanksgiving Dinner to us, we rented a nice pile of movies and planned to camp in our basement. Sounded like a nice plan and for the most part it was.
Josh worked Wednesday so Thanksgiving morning when I woke up, I was alone as Wyatt was still asleep. I thought, I’ll drink a nice cup of coffee, eat some donuts, hang out on the couch, get some me time. I settled in downstairs and decided to catch up on some of my shows. It just so happened the latest episode of This Is Us featured a storyline of miscarriage. And while I didn’t have a miscarriage, it still struck a cord. It seemed like every show I attempted to watch would bring me to tears. I felt alone and my heart and my arms felt empty. Something was missing. Something I couldn’t fix.
Once Josh got home and Wyatt got up, things weren’t so gloomy anymore. We had our Thanksgiving dinner, watched movies and setup a couple of our Christmas trees. We even ventured to put up lights on the outside of our house! We brought Logan Bear out, propped him up in a chair to watch us. And while the day progressed effortlessly, there was this underlying ‘something is not right’ feeling. The house felt too quiet. There wasn’t the normal unhealthy spread of food littering the kitchen. No little boy to treat with the yummy spread.
With the lack of extended family involvement, we’ve decided to start our own new traditions for the holidays. With that in mind, we went to a christmas tree farm with the idea of cutting down our own tree, seeing Santa, picking out special ornaments for the kids (Wyatt and Logan) and just enjoying family time. It started out well enough, Wyatt rode the little train and we took family pictures. Wyatt picked out a cardinal bird as his ornament and I picked out small flannel boots for Logan. While waiting in line to see Santa, I realized we had left Logan Bear at home. I began to feel uneasy and guilty. I told Josh we couldn’t take a picture of Wyatt with Santa without Logan. Not only did I feel like we couldn’t, I simply refused to, I did not want to. Logan needed to be here for this. I felt guilty for leaving him at home. Josh ran home while we waited in line. When our turn came up, Wyatt crawled onto Santa’s lap as I quietly said, “We lost our son earlier this year, may I please sit him on your lap?” To which he replied, “Of course.” As I stepped back I began to cry. It was a moment Logan was supposed to be apart of. He would be 9 months old yesterday. I don’t know what it was about that moment that popped the cork. As Wyatt climbed down and I reached for Logan, Santa laid his hand on mine and with a nod said, “Bless you.” As we walked away I couldn’t stop crying, which of course alerted Wyatt to my predicament. I simply explained to him that I was missing Logan and I wished he could have been here to experience this with us. For the remainder of the day Wyatt kept Logan bear by his side.
Later that day we went shopping for a few of Wyatt’s christmas gifts. As I walked past the aisles filled with the baby and toddler toys and the rows of baby clothes I just felt taken aback. I won’t ever get to buy Logan a Christmas gift. I won’t get to watch him slobberly chew on his wrapping paper. I won’t ever get to see his face light up with excitement over the toy he’d been asking for all year. I won’t ever get to sit him on Santa’s lap. I won’t ever get to fill his stocking.
In a way I am thankful family wasn’t here. I didn’t have to pretend to be interested or ignore the jabs for drama. But at the same time, the whole holiday felt unnatural. I think I would’ve welcomed conversation. I wanted to feel the overwhelming love that family brings at the holidays. I feel like Josh and I are inadequate to give Wyatt that overwhelming feeling of love. A part of this family is missing. It will always be missing. We will never be full. So I’m left with the ever looming question, are we enough for Wyatt? Losing Logan has left me feeling inadequate. Unable to reach my full potential because part of me is gone. Many times today I have wanted to cry. I haven’t felt this much sadness, helplessness and loneliness in a long time.
We have a hard 4 months ahead of us. We hesitantly walked through Thanksgiving. We have Christmas next, which I’m thinking I will really struggle through. Logan’s 1st birthday is in February and his death anniversary is in March, same day as our anniversary. Please keep us in your prayers. Neither one of us wants to admit the struggle bus we’re on. Instead we both keep pushing it back down, telling ourselves we are doing okay. I miss him. I don’t think I say it often enough. I really miss Logan. I’m always telling people that Logan is in a wonderful place, which he is. I tell people how blessed I am to have gotten the time I did with Logan, which I am. I tell people how he has changed my life and encouraged me to start my foundation, which he has. But none of those amazing things change the simple fact that I miss my son. No matter what face I wear day to day, underneath all that strength, is a little voice in the corner crying for her son.