Sometimes holidays aren’t joyous. There is no anticipation of seeing parents, relatives, family. There’s no visiting people who love you and know you because they raised you.
Sometimes holidays aren’t households full of families, long tables set for dinner where love is emulated over food and stacks of presents await opening under a lit tree.
Sometimes holidays aren’t anything but empty days that remind you of all that you don’t have. As you look around you see and hear about other people’s plans and you feel like you have just experienced a great loss all over again.
You envy the excitement, laughter, fullness of being loved by so many and you wonder what that would even feel like. To be surrounded so that you didn’t feel so lonely. To be noticed so that you didn’t feel so invisible. To be loved so that you didn’t feel so worthless.
Every year, the holidays come and every year they take another piece of my heart. Especially when I see the sadness on my children’s faces as they too wonder why it is only us when others have so many. I try to give them all of me but I know that it isn’t enough. They will grow up never knowing the love of an extended family. If I could give them one thing it would be that.
Instead, we make do with our own little family. We put up the tree, decorate cookies, wrap presents and listen to Christmas songs. We do our best to make the best of what we do have, all the while knowing exactly what we’re missing.