‘Tis the Season to be Jolly and Melancholy

Christmas always brings a mix of emotions. There’s the natural joy of the season. There’s the magic of experiencing everything all over again through my children. And there’s also empathy because I know not all children in the world are fortunate enough to have all their wishes come true. Since becoming a mom, I’m super sensitive to these things. I know not everyone has a merry season and our lives don’t turn perfect because of one dedicated day that we celebrate. Heck, I’ve had some pretty devastating Christmas seasons, too. And I almost forgot all about them this year because I’m in such a great place and time has ticked away. But I’m going to write about them here, to honor the experiences.

  1. My dog died on Christmas Day.

One Christmas Eve into Christmas morning, a tragic turn of events sent my family and I to the animal hospital and we had to say a sudden farewell to my beloved husky, Skye. I can’t even tell you how horrible that was and how many rivers of tears I cried.

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Turning that into a positive experience: We adopted our dog Lulu from the shelter soon after the New Year. A life lost saved another life.

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[Side note: This is detailed in my book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s].

  1. I had a miscarriage the week before Christmas.

The week before my daughter Genevieve’s second Christmas (she was about a year and a half), I had a miscarriage. That was a really rough holiday. I never thought I would be in the hospital having a D&C and leaving without a baby. But there I was, after learning the fetus lost its heartbeat. This was a slow miscarriage that we started watching at six weeks when I had some bleeding and then it was confirmed at nine weeks. The whole experience of living with that happening for three weeks and not being able to do anything is devastating as a mother-to-be. I said if the baby was a girl, I wanted to name her Jocelyn. That year, my brother sent Genevieve a Cabbage Patch doll as a gift. Each doll comes with birth certificate and a name. You don’t know the name until you open the box. I kid you not, this doll was named Jocelyn! Another sign from the universe I believe.

But now I have Luca, my rainbow baby. I also want to note to any moms out there that spotting early on doesn’t always lead to miscarriage. I spotted with Luca too and here he is healthy and strong!

So that’s my melancholy holiday tale.

But here’s one jolly one to conclude on a happy note! A few Decembers after we lost Skye, we found out the week of Christmas that we were expecting our daughter, Genevieve! I believe that timing was a gift from the universe and Skye for sure.

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Me, this year at Disney World. The happiest place on Earth because I got to see my children having the best time ever. And that’s the greatest gift.

I cherish every blessing and go above and beyond to make sure my kids have a memorable holiday. And I do my best to help others, by donating toys to families in need and money to animal shelters. Giving is way better than getting for the holidays.

Lesson Learned from this Story: We put so much pressure on ourselves over the holidays, but we all do the best we can. If you have a bad year, know that it’s just one experience and you’ll use that to learn and grow. The harder times make us appreciate the best times that much more.

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