Even more good news today at Guys, Andrew’s creatine has dropped by another 200. His kidney function has already increased to what it was back in May and we hope it will continue to rise. He was told to go home and enjoy Christmas and will be back on Thursday as he starts attending a twice weekly transplant clinic. To anyone facing Christmas this year without someone they love, know you aren’t alone. I wish I knew last year that it might be possible to feel happiness again. When others told me, I couldn’t believe it was true. That I might be able to not just give a painted on smile, but feel it. Christmas will never be how we want it to be with Lexi missing. But unlike last year, we will be feeling joy. Joy can live along side sadness, we don’t need to chose only one to feel. I can’t wait to see Annabelle and Lukie’s faces tomorrow. The presents are wrapped, the food prepared and Andrew and I are snuggled up watching that Christmas favourite Deadpool 2! Survive Christmas by doing what is right for you, find your own way to feel joy. For us this year we planned to spend Christmas week just the four of us on holiday. Plans change but it’s going to be lovely to spend the time together at home, so grateful that we do get to spend it together. And if all of that or the thought of being able to feel joy is so far away, I survived last year with the words continually in my mind, of surviving one breath at a time.
I came across a to-do list recently. Discarded in a cupboard with a pile of half written Christmas cards. Everything was ticked on the list, apart from one thing. Put up the curtains in baby’s room. The curtains weren’t delivered when they were meant to be in mid November. They were delayed. I don’t remember why, just that the curtains came on the 20th December. Three days after she died. I put them up. Determined her room would be perfect for her. Ignoring the fact she would never see them.
Along with the list was Christmas cards. I had set about writing them planning to be organised. I wrote the name in the first card and when I got to signing who it was from I paused. Our baby was due on 26th December. All my other babies had arrived late, so in all likelihood she would arrive after Christmas. Should I include her on the cards. Love Andrew, Sophie, Annabelle, Lukie & bump? But what if bump arrived before Christmas. We knew what we were going to name her, should we put her name and hold onto the cards and post them after she was born? I couldn’t decide, I put them to one side with my to do list. Assuming I would get to them another day. But I never did. I don’t remember if I sent any cards last Christmas, if I did I’ve no idea who I signed them from.
I had tried to be so organised. Yet I had failed to plan for misfortune. For devastation I could never have considered a possibility before.
Every card I went to write this year has been put off. I started the year by proudly including Lexi’s name in cards. And then other people’s responses to our loss made it hard to navigate what to write. It made me question what I was writing. Would people think I was crazy if I included my dead daughters name in a card? It gave me so much anxiety I would start and never finish. I have a stack of cards at my desk, half written, not sealed and never sent.
I don’t want to write Christmas cards this year, so I won’t be. It’s not cause I’m ignoring Christmas, or not celebrating. I am. I love Christmas. Writing the cards won’t make me happy. Friends and family might receive one less Christmas card but the wishes are there still. Instead of buying cards this year we will be adding the money to Lexi’s fund. We will be concentrating on the important parts of Christmas, rather than the things. Attempting this year to just create happy memories.
? Photo of our beautiful Annabelle, Christmas 2013.