Yesterday was a good day not only because it was Heather’s and my anniversary, but also because it meant the month of December was now officially more than half finished. Normally I am a big fan of December. After all, in just thirty-one days I get to celebrate my birthday, anniversary, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. This year, however, I just don’t have it in me, and have tried to pretend like the Holidays aren’t happening.

This proved impossible last night as Heather and I went out to dinner to recognize our anniversary. The holidays were everywhere. Christmas tree lots, for example, had seemed to sprout up overnight on every corner. Upon stopping at a red light I peered into a lot and saw a father picking out a tree with his daughter. For a second I imagined it was me and Maddie, and I could see the two-year-old Maddie shuffling around the tree, pointing and laughing. I could see Heather taking photos as I tried to tie the thing atop our car. I could see a great family memory in the making, but then the light changed and I was brought back to reality.

Last year I was very excited to buy Maddie a Christmas present and spent hours in the mall trying to find the right one. I finally came across a tiny electric keyboard that had tons of different sounds and rhythms for her to play with. It was perfect for my little budding musician. I took the keyboard across the mall to the gift wrapping station and waited in line for them to make it pretty. I was so happy to give it to Maddie on Christmas day. It was one of the best moments of my life.

opening presents

The world doesn’t stop just because ours did, I understand that. I get that people are excited and happy to be celebrating the holidays with their families, as they should be. That’s what the holidays are for. But for Heather and me, the holidays are just a sad reminder of what has happened to our family.

There’s no getting around my being a Scrooge this year, but next year I will focus on enjoying things a bit more with Binky. For now though, I will focus on memories of last Christmas with my sweet Madeline.