Christmas time means different things to different people. Long before I was born, people talked about the commercialization of Christmas. No one has really said anything about the commercialization of Thanksgiving. I mean, people aren't upset about turkey farmers making a few extra bucks in November. Or how cranberry bog farmers make most of their money in one week of the year. But on the fat man's holiday, people are concerned about commercialization.
When I think of Christmas, I often wonder about Mary, the mother of Christ. We don't know exactly how young she was, but she was probably a teenager. Joseph was a great deal older than she was, and here she is scared, pregnant and wondering, perhaps, if Joseph will stick around. I mean, really, how many guys would stand by their woman if they said they did not have sex and were pregnant? So when I think of Christmas, I often think about Mary. And Linus talking about Christmas.
Well, several years ago, I was talking to a friend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she recalled a very difficult time in her life.
You see, she was pregnant, a few weeks from her delivery date, and "complications arose." She went to see her doctor when the baby stopped moving. Well, the baby died – which she tells everyone, was a good thing because the baby would have had multiple physical problems after delivery. Still, understandably, she was crushed.
But that was not the worse part of the story. No, my dear readers, she still had to deliver the stillborn. So over the next few days, in the shopping malls, at the grocery store, wherever she went, people would comment on her baby and ask excitingly, "How many days?" or "Boy or girl?" or some other question about the baby. These were innocent strangers, happy to see an expectant mother, and their questions reminded my friend about her loss.
She stayed inside four days before the procedure, and the baby was buried by himself. Yes, some family-members questioned her. "After all, it was not really a baby." "She did not love it like one loves a baby." To this day, she will tell you she had three children, two a married with kids of their own, and her little boy Joshua is with the Lord. She chose Joshua because she had to be reminded that God is her salvation. She anticipated that she would have doubts, already cursing God after hearing the original news.
I was chatting with a woman in the UK named jeepster, who had a similar experience. In her own words, much more powerful than mine, follow:
I knew my baby had died long before I did anything about it. I went to see the nurse and told her that I hadn't felt the baby move and she listened for a heart beat, couldn't find one but told me not to worry!!! WTF!!!
I went home and kept it together in front of my husband and at work and all that was going through my mind was: If I tell someone, they will take my baby away from me. I was 7 months pregnant. Eventually, and It must have been 3/4 weeks later I just couldn't do it emotionally anymore. When she was born, she was all curled up in a ball. Like a baby bird that had fallen from the nest.
I had 4 miscarriages after Tegan and now I have two kids but I say I have three. She was very real, she had a beating heart, I held her, I had a funeral she is still with me.
Christmas is a joyous time, but there is also, for many, reminders of tragic events. And it can be a lonely time as well. I know so many people who have lost relatives around Christmas.
So when you are elbowing the pushy brunette while getting that last toy, elbow with care. She may be packing heat. No, no, that's not what I wanted to write. Be compassionate, think of others, and watch sappy Christmas movies.
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