I have been doing okay this Christmas. It’s been so busy, and we are all the way on the other side of the country, in the snow, at Oma and Opa’s. I have had plenty of sad moments, but I have also done a lot of laughing and smiling. Tonight was a bit different. R’s parents are German and Christmas Eve is the big celebration. Everything was fine until R’s dad got off the phone with close family friends in Germany and announced that one of them was having a second baby in August.

Three years ago that was our big news. We told our parents on Christmas day when I was just six weeks pregnant. A late August baby; a fabulous Christmas present. We all know how that turned out.

I burned inside when R’s dad gave us all this news at dinner, burned with resentment at the couple who is so sure that there will be an August baby, with resentment at R’s dad for expecting us to be happy and excited about the news, with sorrow for how our story unfolded from January 2011 to January 2012. I remember so well how I felt that Christmas, and I’m angry that that other couple feels that way now and – in all likelihood – will have an August baby, will see their lives continue to unfold just as they expect them to; I’m not wishing them ill, just wishing…I don’t know, exactly.

And then there was the present unwrapping and one of the first was from us to R’s parents: an ornament for Anja.

And I hated it. I hated it so, so much.

I hate that she is just a memory. I hate that she is not as real to anyone else as she is to me, or as missed. I hate that we all sighed, and said how lovely the ornament was and oh, hand made in Germany, too. I hate that she is a note in the margins of our celebration. I hate that she is dead.

I hope for anyone who reads this that there is some peace in your holiday; I hope there is some joy. I am lucky, because there is always joy with E and M, but still I miss her. And I miss yours, too, and wish they were here, tucked into bed and waiting for Santa, where all good children should be tonight. Because, oh, they were good. They were oh so very good.

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