Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas without Leah

Well Christmas is approaching, and I'm so not into Christmas this year; I'm sure you know why.  But with that being said, I'd still like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  


There are no lights outside our house, we don't have a tree, no stockings are hung, and the furthest I got doing any kind of Christmas decorating was stringing some garland up the banister.
The thought of hanging Leah's ornaments on the tree without her being here doesn't make sense.  Even going through all the bins in the garage full of the decorations seems like too much.  
The garland I put up?  That was a new purchase - no memories are attached to it.  That's the only way I can walk up and down the stairs without sighing to myself.  
Why did I buy it?  Because I thought I'd want to decorate for Christmas, just like I have every other year.  But in comparison to the rest of the non-decorated house, it looks silly.

I ordered a personalized doggie stocking for Sam - it's sitting in my office.  
I even bought 2 ornaments for Angel Leah in Germany - they're laying on top of Sam's stocking. 

We have no set plans for Christmas.  I'm leaning toward a plan of just sitting at home and pretending like it's any other day; that is, if on any other day TBS showed A Christmas Story for 24 hours straight.  Maybe we'll venture out to a movie theater, since for some reason they are open on Christmas day.  

I was thinking the other day about how quickly the past year has gone by - and how in a lot of ways things are back to 'normal'.  We live as if we never had a child because we have no living children.  No toys are strewn across the living room floor - no bottles sit in the sink - and the laundry never includes tiny socks, fuzzy blankets or drool soaked bibs.  I don't buy diapers, and my car is carseat-less.  Unless you went into Leah's old room and saw her unassembled crib and bins stacked up to the ceiling with toys, clothes and blankets - you'd never know that once upon a time not too long ago, a baby lived here.

In the living room we have her teddy bear urn, some of her favorite toys, and pictures; lots of pictures. 
In my office, which was Leah's downstairs room, my desk sits where her crib once did.  Sammie's pen is where the recliner used to be.  That was Nurse Ann's spot to sit overnight.  And sometimes I'd sit there and watch Leah sleep in the mornings.

One of the things I miss the most is the way Leah would smile at whoever fetched her from her crib in the mornings.  Still sleepy, hungry, and probably not too comfortable with stiff sore skin; she'd look up at us with the best smile.  It wasn't her smirk and it wasn't her regular happy smile.  It was 'You again! I know you, I'm happy to see you, and I love you'.  The last month or so she didn't smile at us like that in the morning, but her eyes still said the same thing.  

This past year has also taught me a lot about how other people react to our grief.  
I have blood relatives I've known my whole life who all but ignore me, because they don't know what to say to me.  Which is fine; I get it.  If the shoe were on the other foot I may not know what to say either.
And then I have relatives I've only recently re-connected with who have been awesome.  They don't avoid talking about Leah, they're not scared to talk to us, and they don't see any reason for there to be 'weirdness'.
Also, there are these wonderful perfect strangers I've never met, that I only know via this blog, or Facebook who email me just to say they're thinking about us, who have sent us cards, gifts, their own hard-earned money; just because of what Leah meant to them.  

These last 12 months haven't been easy, by any stretch of the imagination.  
2009 was a challenge with Leah.  
2010 was a challenge without her.  
2009 was full of heartbreak while watching Leah in pain; changing bandages and clearing her trach.  
2010 was full of heartbreak because of the simple fact that she was gone. 
It was full of firsts without Leah.  First birthdays without her.  First Easter, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas; which was the day last year that Leah's condition took a turn for the worse.  

But I said it the day after she passed and the same still stands true today, almost 1 full year later - I'd rather live with heartbreak without Leah than have her here in pain that I couldn't ease no matter what I did. 

2011 can't come quick enough - it has to be a better year.  




12 comments:

Emelie said...

I think of you Meg. I think of Leah, little lady Leah, Ellys best EB-friend=) I hope that 2011 will be a good year for you. with love Emelie in Sweden

Gilda said...

Your last words are so touching what a mother wouldn't do for her children. Thinking of you today and during this Holiday season wishing you the best in 2011, Remembering you Leah!

Debbie,mother of two said...

My heart aches for you when I read your blog. I can only imagine what you are feeling without little Leah. I will be praying for you and your husband during the Christmas season. I pray that the Lord gives you the comfort to get through another difficult day. I hope 2011 is a better time for you. The way you describe your house I can see all the pictures of little Leah. What great parents you are, not wanting your child back that was in pain,but having to live through the pain that you have. That is the true sign of a parents love.

Wanda Wilkinson said...

Thank younger the beautiful CHristmas card. I pray for you daily. I ask God to give you peace and comfort that only He can provide. I think of beautiful Leah daily. I will be glad when spring gets here so my beautiful flowers will bloom to remind me more of Leah. Take care and know you are loved

Kellye said...

Hugs to you, Meghann. I'm lifting you up in prayer during this holiday season, and praying that you have a blessed 2011. I remember reading your blog last year, and aching for you and Leah, two people I never met but who had touched my heart. But Leah sure touched many hearts, didn't she? And guess what...she still is.

Hugs, hugs, hugs to you.

Kellye (the resume lady)

littleharves said...

i understand what you are going through, it is the same at my house with the first christmas without harvey, sending love and thoughts from over the seas xxx anne

Katie said...

Praying for you guys.

Linda said...

I love you so much. I wish I could make it easier for you, but there is nothing I can do. We are all grieving our Lovely Leah and missing her.
Praying for you my amazing daughter. I am so proud of the woman and Mommy you have become. Leah will always be with us, in our hearts and our memories.
Love you forever my adorable and sadly missed granddaughter.
Take care my love. Love Mom

Milles Family said...

With tears in my eyes, I don't know what do say. Your pain breaks my heart. I will be praying for your family this holiday season. I pray that God will help you find some peace.

I do hope that your family finds the words to say to make things better. There is nothing worse the being ignored when all you need is love and support.

God Bless you!

Jo Ann

RON said...

THERE ARE NO WORDS THAT A FATHER CAN SAY TO TAKE AWAY THIS PAIN YOU FEEL,ONLY THAT MY LOVE AND DAILY PRAYERS ARE FOR YOU AND JEFF THAT AS YOUR FAITH HAS GROWN IT WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE YOU STRENGTH. AS YOU ARE ALWAYS A BLESSING TO ME, YOU HAVE GIVEN US ALL THE BLESSING OF YOUR LOVE FOR LEAH REMINDING ME THAT GOD ALSO GAVE A BLESSING OF LOVE IN THE FORM OF A LITTLE BABY. MERRY CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE LEAH, YOUR POP POP LOVES YOU VERY MUCH.I LOVE YOU DEARLY MY DAUGHTER AND I WISH FOR YOU AND JEFF A CALMING PEACE. ALL MY LOVE DAD

Janel said...

I have thought about you so much over this holiday, I just can't image how hard this really is for you.

Continuing to pray for you and your family!

<3
J

Holly said...

I understand why you didn't put anything up like the tree. We didn't do much this year. Just the tree really.

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