Sorry it's been so long since I've written to you. It's been a crazy busy week, and next week is going to be just as nuts. I am exhausted, physically and emotionally.
Since early Novemberish, I've been working on coordinating our annual 'Adopt a Family' event at work. This is my fourth year running the program, and every year it gets bigger and bigger (this year, over 3,000 families, children, and seniors were 'adopted' by over 500 sponsor groups!) In years past, I absolutely loved doing Adopt a Family. Just loved it. How awesome to be responsible for making so many people's wishes come true, right?! I loved reading all the wish lists as they came in, and the process of matching people in need with generous sponsors. I loved seeing all the beautifully wrapped presents being delivered, and receiving thank you cards from all the grateful recipients. It was all very magical.
This year, not so much. This year, it's all been really, really hard. For the last month and a half, I've had to read wish list after wish list for teenage girls with babies on the way, and for single moms with (literally) 11 kids. There was one mom who was 27 years old with a 15-year-old daughter (if I'm doing the math correctly, that means she was 12 when she had her first baby!) I'm sure I'm coming across as really bitchy and bitter, but it's just so hard to understand why all these mothers get to keep their babies and I didn't. It's also hard to feel as good about providing them with 'stuff' when they already have the one thing I wish for most: their children, alive. Making sure everyone gets cool toys or whatever just doesn't seem nearly as important as it did before.
Then, to make things even harder, it was right around this week, last year, that I found out I was pregnant with you (December 8th, to be exact). I totally associate Adopt a Family with the excitement and shock of seeing those two little lines. I wasn't even supposed to be at work for this year's event, as I'd have still been on maternity leave.
My heart has just not been in it this year, but I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping that to myself. If I've learned anything about myself, it's that I'm a very good faker. I can pretty easily compartmentalize and be the happy, cheerful, bubbly girl that I have to be, even while my heart is breaking on the inside. Is that what it means to be strong?
This weekend, during the big gift drop-off events, no one would have ever guessed how sad I was or what I had been through in the last year. I smiled as a group dropped off a baby swing, car seat, and the exact same crib I still have set-up for you in your nursery for their 'adopted' family. I laughed as I took pictures of Santa (who volunteers at the event) with a baby girl right around the age you should be right now. I nodded along as all my co-workers talked about everything they were getting their children for Christmas.
I'm proud of myself for being able to hide my true feelings so well. For my ability to push everything so far down inside of myself.
But there are times I worry these walls I've put up around myself will never come down. I worry I've become so good at faking it, I'm destined to simply fake my way through the rest of my life.
I want to be genuinely happy again. I want to be excited about Christmas. I want to not be so bitter and jealous. I want another life.
To say 'I miss you' would be an understatement.
Makes the Missing Lighter
1 hour ago