I had been dreading Christmas Day as it was my due date with Jenna. How can you celebrate when it was the day your dead child was supposed to be born? However, I put on a happy face and tried to do my best.
We were up until nearly 2 a.m., the night before, wrapping presents, eating Santa cookies and arranging the gifts artistically. After Brian went to bed, I sat down in the recliner with the lights off, just looking at the Christmas lights. Of course, my mind drifted to what I would be doing if Jenna had lived, and I cried myself to sleep in the recliner. I wasn't expecting to do that, but when I first found out I was pregnant, I envisioned myself feeding her by the lights of the Christmas tree. It just made me so sad that instead of celebrating her birth, we were grieving for her loss.
Tessa woke up about 4:30 a.m., and I convinced her to wait a little while to open presents. We snuggled in the chair until 6 a.m., when she couldn't contain her excitement any longer. Brian took his time getting up, just to aggravate her. She was shaking from the excitement. Every time she opened a present, she would say, "Oh my gosh. It's what I always wanted." Brian and I were actually cracking up at her, each time she would say it. The two gifts that went over the best were a Littlest Pet Shop House and a Rescue Pets swimming dog. She even liked the clothes we got her.
After this, we went to my mom's house for breakfast and to open presents over there. It wasn't as sad as I was afraid it would be. I tried to immerse myself in the children and enjoy their reactions to the presents. Momma made an awesome breakfast, baked ham, scrambled eggs, homemade biscuits and gravy. I love Christmas breakfast at her house.
Last night, we went to my aunt's house for Christmas. It was one of the only Christmases I can remember that we didn't have it at my granny's house. It's just too hard to go over there now, so I'm glad we decided to hold it somewhere else. The day was already hard enough on me.
Before Granny died, we always drew names for a gift exchange, but this year, because of money being tight for everyone, we decided to do a $5 to $10 "Dirty Santa" exchange and just buy presents for the kids. We all decided to let the kids open presents first, so they passed those out. I helped Tessa get her presents organized to open and received a box on my lap. It had "To the Belinc Family" written on it with no from information.
When I opened it, I found a dragonfly candle holder made out of wires. It was so beautiful. Tears welled up in my eyes, but I fought them off. I asked who gave it to us, but no one answered because they were all so busy watching the kids open the presents. Later, after we did "Dirty Santa," I asked again, but no one knew who did it, or at least, pretended like they didn't know who did it. One of my aunts said, "If no one says they gave it to you, I guess that means Santa brought it to you."
The aunt that said that isn't known to do random acts of kindness, especially anonymous ones. If she does something nice, she wants everyone to know. My other aunt, the one who lives across the street, would be the most likely one to do it, but it wasn't her handwriting on the box, nor was it my cousin's, who helped her wrap presents.
I would love to know how did it, because this surprise made my Christmas. It made me realize someone else was thinking of Jenna that day and remembered her with a gift. I felt all alone before and like no one really knew what I was going through, but after that, I didn't feel quite so alienated from everyone else. Here's a photograph of it.
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