My memories of that year are almost as fuzzy as the under lit photos we took. Temper tantrums & tears. A nap no one wanted to take. Behaviors that I didn't fully understand, despite my best attempts. The kids remember only good things, and I remember how very hard that was to achieve.
And now here we are 10 years later. Behaviors still triggered by the changing season. Underlying grief and loss that still lurks under the surface of brave faces. Many, many good memories to replace the difficult ones.
And still I sometimes wonder if I am sane. Or if my kids are sane. Because with the good comes memories of the bad. Of the loss. Of what can never be the same. And the behaviors we deal with are at times overwhelming and scary and I wonder. Scared.
And then I talk to other moms and realize that really we are so much further ahead than so many. With kids that function so well and have healed so much, and yet still the pain lurks under the surface, usually displayed in behaviors meant to rob the joy from the season from everyone surrounding. And I am thankful for my family, yet my heart breaks for those who struggle so deeply this Christmas Season.
My thoughts turn to other moms who struggle with hurting children who are acting out their pain or mental illness this Christmas season. To Debi, to Rachel, to Pam, to Christy and Sarah - the ones I know personally - and to the ones I read about and understand their struggles, my heart grieves for you this Christmas. I am sorry your children are hurting. I am sorry your hurting children are hurting you this season. You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are loved, you are supported and you are understood.
Merry Christmas my fellow moms of hurting children. May you find a moment of peace and Christmas spirit and may your child gift you with quiet, even for a moment, so you can remember what HOPE feels like.