Ready or not, here they come! The holidays are coming and the mere thought of them literally puts me into a panic. Over the past few years my husband and I have often joked how holidays just don’t feel the way they should because it was just the 2 of us. We both looked forward to being able to celebrate this year as a family of 3. Now, realizing that we have to go through the holiday season this year without Avery is unbearable.Halloween isn’t one of my favorite holidays but I envisioned actually carving a pumpkin and picking out a cute costume for Avery. I pictured going trick or treating with her cousins and stopping to show her off to our friends and family in town. Since we cannot do this, this year we’ve decided to go to dinner and a movie on Halloween so we can completely avoid trick or treaters and hopefully everything that we will be missing.
Thanksgiving is normally spent at my mom’s house out of town. I looked forward to taking Avery on her first road trip, having her visit her grandmother and her cousins she wouldn’t have gotten to see very often. I pictured relaxing with her outside by the water. Now, I am completely avoiding Thanksgiving. Not only is it another holiday without her but my sister also has 2 kids; one 18 months older than Avery and the other only 5 weeks older than her. I just can’t handle being around them and seeing everyone fuss over them. I love them but I just can’t handle that right now. So we are taking an anti-Thanksgiving trip with our best friends. We will be spending Thanksgiving in Vegas. Nothing screams anti-Thanksgiving like gambling, buffets and shows. I am looking forward to getting away on this trip. We plan to also take a day trip to California. I am going to try to take my own beach picture of Avery’s name in California and her name in Vegas. Something I plan to do on all of our trips now. While I am excited to get away, I know I won’t be escaping the holiday all together. I know it is still going to be hard. Bottom line is, it is still going to be Thanksgiving without her.Then there is the biggie, Christmas; our favorite holiday. We love decorating the house, shopping, going to the candlelight communion service at church, looking at Christmas lights and spending the day opening presents with family and all of our nephews. This is the one that really causes my heart to pound when I think about it. This is THE family holiday. THE holiday we looked forward to the most with her. In my head, I saw cute outfits,Christmas crafts, tons of pictures in front of the tree, actually shopping for my own child, opening presents for her, getting a stocking for her and watching her interact with all of our family on Christmas day. I wanted to actually send out family photo Christmas cards of the 3 of us. (I've never sent our Christmas cards). There were sooo many things I looked forward to this Christmas. And like so many other things I planned to do with Avery, this one too was taken from me. I have no idea what we are going to do. Some parts of me want to pretend like it’s not happening; no presents, no decorations, no Christmas. Part of me just wants to escape just my husband and I and get out of town. But then there is a tiny part of me that is afraid to avoid it. I’m afraid if we avoid it, it’s going to be even worse. I just don’t know what to do. I know there isn’t any “right” way to handle this but I wish there was. I wish someone could tell me what to do and that it would be the “right” thing to do. But I know that isn’t the case. At least we have some time to decide. At this point, I am leaning to escaping town again. Driving up to the mountains maybe and hiding out just the two of us.
No matter what we do to try to escape, there is no true escape. No matter where we go or how many things we do to try to distract us from reality, her absence and presence is always there. And for that I am glad. I really don’t want to escape her; I just want to escape the pain.