Friday, December 21, 2007

Justifiable Bah Humbugism

Historically, Christmas hasn't exactly been my favorite time of year – after spending several years in California hoping that some relative would decide to spend Christmas with us, I finally came to the realization that it was a hopeless request. Making matters worse was the fact that on more than one occasion, gifts from distant relatives didn't even make it to us in time for Christmas. There were some years that no decorations other than the tree ever went up and a few years that the Christmas tree didn't even go up until late Christmas Eve. Fertility treatments had continuously been unsuccessful so holidays were just about the two of us. Thankfully, each Christmas morning, hubby always found a way to make me happy – coming up with the perfect gift, year after year and creating traditions of our own.

Six years ago today, I actually found a reason to wake up with a great deal of excitement. After many years of trying, we had made some changes to my fertility treatments and I finally had a glimmer of hope – just in time for the holidays. It was a chaotic morning because I needed to be at the lab by a certain time to ensure that the lab results would be back to my doctor before she headed off for the holiday weekend. It was imperative that I hear the news that afternoon… we were scheduled to leave on a cruise the following morning and I wanted to know whether I was going to be gleefully enjoying virgin daiquiris by the pool or drowning my sorrows in whatever alcohol I could get my hands on. So when my father-in-law called for our Friday ritual-sharing of yard sale successes, I only talked to him for a short while before explaining that I needed to go. I didn't want to divulge where I was heading because I wanted it to be a surprise if the results came back positive. Promising to talk to him later, I somewhat abruptly excused myself so I wouldn't miss the morning deadline at the lab.

That afternoon, the phone call I received was not what I expected. My mother-in-law called to inform me that my FIL had suffered a heart attack. In the haze of our grief, I don't recall whether the doctor even called – it just didn't matter at that point. It was destined to be a difficult holiday on all fronts.

With regard to the fertility treatments, we took off a few months in order to deal with our loss. We found out we were pregnant with our first child, Miss M, the day in-between my FIL's birthday and his anniversary, just six months after his passing.

To this day, the holidays have an aura of sorrow about them. At least with children now, I look forward to seeing their faces when they wake up to see what Santa has left behind and my wonderful DH still manages to make Christmas a special day for me, as well. I've been able to justify being a grump around the holidays in the past, but I really can't do that much longer...