Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving recap

Well, we survived Thanksgiving and I have to admit going away was probably the best thing for us.  It wasn’t that I didn’t know it was Thanksgiving.  I knew what day it was but not being in the same place, going through the motions of our old Thanksgiving routine, was extremely helpful.  Don’t get me wrong, it still hit me hard that it was Thanksgiving, another holiday without Avery, but it was different because we weren’t doing what we would have been doing with her; it made it easier to get through the day. 

It was also nice to be somewhere where nobody knew us.  I didn’t have to worry about going to the store and seeing someone I hadn’t seen in a while.  I didn’t have to worry about people asking me how I am doing.  I didn’t get the “looks” I get from people who feel sorry for me.  I didn’t have to worry about making small talk.  We were just able to be us.  We were able to blend in and get lost in the crowds.  I am very grateful that we were able to take that trip.  We were able to relax more than we have been able to in the past 5.5 months. 
There were two experiences that really stand out to me from the trip.

The day before Thanksgiving, we made a day trip over to the west coast to see the Pacific Ocean.  My husband and I had never been that far west and we wanted to catch a sunset.  (I have a greater appreciation for the sunset since losing Avery).  While there, we went to Santa Monica and spent some time writing her name in the sand and taking pictures to remember her.  We’ve made this our “thing” to do for her whenever we travel.  As I stood on the sand, looking out over the ocean, I began to tear up thinking about the fact that I wasn’t able to show her the ocean or travel places with her.  She only knew the hospital, one car ride and our home.  But as I was becoming overwhelmed with all that I will miss with her, a sense of calm overpowered me.  My thoughts were changed from sadness of not being able to show her things to the realization and comfort that she’s already seen this.  She has seen the beach, the Pacific Ocean and much, much more than I will ever be able to see on this earth and more than I would have ever been able to show her.  In that moment, I didn’t feel alone.  I felt she was with me.  This may be one of the first times I have REALLY felt God’s presence.  He was there, holding me, comforting me and helping me to know He and she are both there with me.    It was such a moment of peace and calm for me.  A moment I will never forget.
On the beach in Santa Monica
Another high point of the trip was meeting another babyloss Mom.  The friends who came on the trip with us have family in Vegas.  We saw them the evening of Thanksgiving.  I was looking forward to meeting M.  She lost her daughter Lauren around 37 weeks to a cord accident.  She’s been on this journey for 9 years now and she is still standing.  I find great comfort in meeting families who are on this journey too but at other places on their journey.  We were able to talk about many of the things we are currently going through and she was able to make us feel less alone and less crazy for the things we think and feel.  It was also refreshing to know that even 9 years into this journey, not a day goes by that she doesn’t think of her daughter and what could have been.  I sometimes fear I will forget Avery (irrational, I know, but still a fear I have) but talking to others who are further on their journey and hearing how they still miss their children helps me to realize, there is no way I will ever forget her.  Talking to M was another great part of the trip.

Boy, how things have changed.  I go to Vegas and these are the 2 memories that stand out the most!  A year and a half ago, I am sure my memories of a trip like this would be much different but such is life for me now.  I am glad that even though I was on the other side of the country, in a city full of sights and sounds; I know my baby girl was with me because she was on my mind and in my heart the whole time.
Now to face Christmas...  Since our Thanksgiving trip was so helpful, we have decided to escape for Christmas as well.  I think we will head to the mountains of North Carolina or Tennessee.  This trip will be just for my husband and myself and be a more relaxed peaceful trip.  We haven’t gone anywhere just the two of us since Avery so I am looking forward to some time for just the two of us to reflect and find some peace.

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