Monday, December 31, 2018

We'll Take A Cup Of Kindness Yet

As we sit here while 2018 starts to disappear, it's natural to reflect on time gone by. From the mad dash last couple weeks to the past twelve months.

In 2018 we had two living children from start to finish. We went to Disneyland twice, Michigan twice, Tahoe, and SoCal. Chris and Elizabeth both had cross-country business trips (Chris even had one international). We spent the full year (for the first time) in our house. In fact, Everett was only slightly older than Imogen is now when we moved into this house. For whatever reason, that just blows our minds.

Family Photos at History Park - San Jose, CA - December 8, 2018 - Abby Alger Photography

We spent the holidays in Michigan this year. It was a longer trip than usual - a full 10 days! We saw lots of people we love, and missed some as well. The holidays are such a tricky time for us, and this year was no different.

For the most part, we compartmentalized and tried to focus on the present. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Oberon's absence is felt keenly.

As each year goes by, we find ourselves with fewer complete breakdowns. But those moments that catch the breath, that make the heart drop... they keep happening. Catching a glimpse of a photograph of Oberon. Noticing one of Obie's bees. A sibling, a cousin, a friend says his name...or consciously avoids saying his name.

Visiting Santa at Christmas in the Park - San Jose, CA - December 17, 2018

Our capacity reduces too. Keeping up the reasonably happy baseline takes a lot of effort, and we feel it. While we appreciate every message large or small thinking of our boy, we simply don't have the emotional capacity to respond sometimes. There is some guilt that comes too, and that doesn't make it easier to hold our end of a conversation (or frankly, relationship).

This time of year, we take more than we can give. It feels wrong to admit, and our inner Midwestern selves tell us to just suck it up and be nicer, but there it is. If you have kindness right now, we'll take it.

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