It was important that this day be as normal as possible. Remember that. Normalcy was important to me.
Black Friday of 2007 started out normal and I was ever thankful for that. My mom and I did our shopping and we had a good time. I didn’t bring it up the entire time we were out. Not during our first few shops. Not over coffee. Not while when we walked past the baby stuff.
When I got home with all my packages, I intended to decorate the house with Christmas and wrap all of my newly bought gifts. Just like any other year.
But this is when my “normal” was shattered.
While I was out, Cort had made plans for us with our friends (who, by the way, are usually only in state once–maybe twice–a year). This wouldn’t be a big deal to me if those plans had fallen into the customary time period after my decorating and wrapping frenzy, but the plans called for us to be ready to go in less than 2 hours and I hadn’t even showered yet.
I know. Big deal, right?
My world fell apart.
I was immediately angry at Cortney for messing up my “tradition”. Inconsolably so.
“Just decorate tomorrow,” he offered.
“THAT IS NOT THE POINT!” I told him. “TODAY is when I wrap and then decorate all to the sounds of Bing Crosby. Why can you not respect this? Why would you make PLANS for us during this? Do you not know me at ALL?”
He was speechless. He even offered to cancel the plans. But I wouldn’t let him do that.
“how would that look?” I questioned him. “what would they think?”
So I begrudgingly showered and got all ready.
And went out to eat and to have beers.
And acted normal.
But ignored Cortney. I mean, how could he be so thoughtless?
The rage built.
After dinner we all headed over to our friends’ house where we could sit around and visit and share some wine and snacks.
I continued to ignore my husband.
It got so bad that nearing the end of the night he came to the chair that I was actively ignoring him from and asked if I would like to go home.
I said yes.
We left an awkward wake behind us.
I started crying somewhere between here and there.
Once home my memory blurs. I think the yelling started as we got ready for bed. I finally started telling Cortney how this entire day was a big suck for me thanks to him.
He didn’t yell back (he never does). He just looked sad.
But he questioned me. He questioned how in the world this small change in my “normal” Black Friday routine could be THIS awful.
I raged at him.
And then? I collapsed into the ugliest cry I remember having and blurted out,
“We were supposed to have a baby this week.”
And proceed to cry so hard I couldn’t get my breath.
In the dark warmth of our living room, on the leather couch where I had lain recovering from the loss, Cortney sunk and wrapped his arms around me.
“Oh, honey,” he managed.
It all started to make sense. I was grasping for routine. For nothing to be out of the ordinary. For everything to “proceed as normally scheduled.”
When it didn’t? I lost my shit.
And we sat in the dark on the couch for a very long time.
He instructed me to breathe. To take deep breaths, and to talk about it. Neither of us had mourned that loss like this. And I didn’t expect the due date to hit me so hard. I thought I was over it. That it never bothered me that much.
But it did. I had just suppressed it.
In the winter, when we had found out my due date, it was perfect. All of our friends would be in town. Family would be around. Everyone would be ready to celebrate our baby. Somehow that fact made our unexpected pregnancy ok. It made things start to look up.
But that night while Cort’s arms held me, my arms were empty.
And I started to cry all over again.
It still never escapes me that if the first time around had happened, we would have been throwing a 3-year old’s birthday party this week.
Sometimes I still don’t know how to feel about this. If we were having a birthday party, Eddie maybe wouldn’t be here. And he is…well…there are no words for how that little boy makes my heart swell.
someone is missing.
(two little someones, actually. but that is another post.)
The very next Thanksgiving, Eddie was baking away in my tummy and we have never had a “normal” Thanksgiving weekend again.
I am closer to Cortney.
And I have never loved this holiday more.