we're just skipping straight to week twenty-four here, as i've been down for the count with a nasty seasonal cold. of course, being pregs, i can't take any of the "good drugs" so i'm making do with hot lemon juice & honey, steaming my head, gargling with salt water, and quietly whining to myself. i can't really whine to the husbanator, as he's also been laid low by this virus. it's good parenting practice, i'm telling myself, taking care of a sick and crabby human whilst also being sick and crabby. anyways, i need to make another pot of chicken soup soon.
i do, however, want to acknowledge that yes. yes. we are very, very thankful this Thanksgiving. and not just for our Tummymuffin IV. you see, it was around this time of year that the Cascade of Loss began some time ago, turning Thanksgiving into It's The Most Awful Time of The Year. i lost my grandmother, a close friend, and Tummymuffins I & II during these days, so i can't really get through the end of November without thinking of all the loss -- especially our two first babies -- but at the same time, ah! i am so filled with gratefulness for them too. i am thankful that my life was so blessed to be so full of love, and at the same time i grieve the empty spaces that are left behind.
some nights ago, after one of my now-regular middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, i settled back into bed in my now-usual position: on my side, hand resting on my rounded middle. it took me a little while to drop back off to sleep, and as i lay there in the quiet darkness, i thought about how not so long ago, as Thanksgiving approached, i'd be lying awake in the dark for a competely different reason, a hand on an empty belly, trying to cry as silently as possible. that grief is still there, but muted -- and as i felt around its edges, Thomas rolled over and flung an arm over me, just as he used to when he'd somehow magically sense my soundless tears. and i realised that the peaceful happiness coursing through me as my hand and his hand rested on our growing child, the three of us for now safe and warm together, is shaped and sharpened by this past pain, and made stronger. it's as if all the salt of all those tears now flavours this miraculous joy that i often despaired of ever experiencing, and makes it savoury and full.
so yes, this Thanksgiving, i am indeed grateful -- for both all that i have been given, and all that has been taken away.