Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Drums

I sit in a beautiful room staring at a magnificent fire.  Lights twinkle, and decorations shimmer.  Such kind people surround me with love.  Makiah has a delicate, pink tree with a sparkly purple ribbon.  "Princess colors," said the sweet child who chose it for her.  It guards her graveside, the resurrection ground, as some have called it.  Tiny fingers of dear friends adorned it with special ornaments.  "Miss you... love you," they say.  Big expressions of grief and love from very little people.  How do I express my grief?  How do I express my love?

We talk and eat and sometimes even laugh.  We go to a movie to pass the time.  We avert our eyes from those who try to gaze too deeply.  I find my husband turned away, tears streaming down his face, and choking back the sobs.  Oh God, the sadness is so profoundly deep.  Inescapable.  Though we try.  While we smile, the pain beats in our chests like a drum... pounding relentlessly... vibrations that shake our very souls... a sound no other ears can hear.

I lay in bed this morning imagining she's between us.  Her blond curls are matted against her sweaty head and her soft pink cheeks are canopied by delicate lashes.  Her little hands are on the covers and her breathing is soft and even. I role over to look at her, but the sheets stretch between us like miles of cold, empty tundra.  I press my eyelids together tightly again, and I picture a giggly girl with two bouncy pigtails popping out of a shiny box with a red bow on her head.  "Tada!" she would gleefully announce.  The only present I want for Christmas is the gift no one can give.

So I will avoid the tree.  I tell myself it's just 24 hours- no different than any other.  "I can breathe through the next day," I say.  Then why does the echo of the  pounding drum beat in my hollow chest grow ever louder as the dawn draws closer?   Things in life that were clear have become fuzzy like I'm riding a carousel that is spinning too fast.  The smiling faces whiz by in a blur.  All that is clear to me is the pink horse beside me slowly galloping up and down.  It is empty.  Then even it becomes distorted.  Is the carousel out of control?   Or are  the tears just blurring my eyes again?  Who can tell?  I cannot see anything now.   Only darkness.  Still, I hear the pounding.

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