This December, instead of forging ahead with Christmas decorations as I usually do, I procrastinated. Who wants to get on all fours and crawl into the back of an awkward closet to retrieve dusty boxes? To ease my guilt, I told myself that I’ll get at it when the time is right. Four days before Christmas, I came down with a nasty cold. Feeling miserable, I wished I had put out the cheer of coloured lights and shining garlands. But no, I had procrastinated; the boxes remained packed away. That was the way it was.
Then my eye caught of the beauty of the oblong, yellow-orange striped squash which was stored on a shelf below the living room window. A shiver of pleasure rippled through my body: I knew exactly what to how to add Christmas cheer to my home.
I poked three knitted penguins among the squash. “Cute,” I thought as I added a few Christmas cards to the display. I returned to my chair to rest, thinking, not bad for a sickie.
Christmas was now two days away, the cold was at its height and I was sitting around sipping mint tea and wondering what is Christmas really about? I thought of the church’s Christmas pageant: a story I still love to hear just as I did when I was young. As a child I did not think about the prickly hay, the stinky, chilly stable or the oppressive government. The story was about warmth, hope and a sweet cuddly baby.
As I reminisced, a deep sadness settled over me. I never gave birth to a baby. The emptiness has affected me for years. As I see it, babies are gifts of love from above and there lies my pain. I never had a baby, a warm cuddly gift of love.
Whenever I see a mother or father with a little baby, I ooh at the precious bundle and I just have to tell them that babies are so important. Then I walk on. The momentary feeling of the love and warmth is all I can tolerate.
Other times, I listen as my friends’ talk of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I look at their photos, but I seldom take part in the conversations. In fact, I prefer not to be involved with children at all. My fulfillment comes with the sewing of soft baby bath blankets, creating funky finger puppets and crafting boo-boo bunnies.
What happened to me, happened, and that is the way it is.