Forsythia In December

It was a balmy day here on Long Island. The misty fog that enveloped the south shore temporarily made our yard feel more like a movie set as my husband and I made our way through it, doing our final clipping and clean up in what is an unusually warm December.

“Did you see the Forsythia?” he asked towards the end of our seasonal odyssey that starts in April.

“What do you mean? Are all of the leaves off of them now?” Our forsythia hedge losing its leaves tends to be the sign for our final yard work session of the season.

“No….we HAVE forsythia” he commented. It was December 14th as I rushed over and witnessed the same bright yellow blossoms that normally greet us in mid – April, proof of thawing things to come as we are all getting antsy for some warmth.

As an infertility survivor grieving and mourning the loss of my children that never got to exist, I don’t feel much resonance with life or people these days. When I do it is delicious. And unquestionable. And believe me, I make sure to stop and drink it in.

And I know, I know this is the part where I’m supposed to be proving my “good personness” by fretting about global warming, where I’m expected to say that it just doesn’t feel like December here on the north-east coast of the United States and golly I’m so yearning for a white Christmas.

(Insert defiant eye roll here).

Truth is, for those of us healing from untimely life altering traumatic losses, normalcy can be painful, and on a good day, utterly baffling. Vibing with the oddity of our winter forsythia, on the other hand, came to me quite easily.

So there I was, gazing at it in awe. I stared at it, taking it all in, and it back at me. It, the face of damage done to nature by the human race, and I, the face of damage done to the human race via infertility by nature. We understood each other.

We both had been forced to abandon the supposed greater scheme of things for the sake of the moment.

We are actively being fully alive by responding to forces beyond our control. What else, really, is a living thing supposed to do?

We both produce beautiful flowers under duress that no one else seems to be happy about. Except us.

We’re out of sync and it’s not our fault.

Ultimately, we’re two cellular beings doing the very best we can under less than sensical circumstances.

As I make my way through this second holiday season without our children, some changes are showing themselves. I’m socializing a bit more, and no doubt there are some joyful moments here and there. But I’ve been plagued by an ominous half here, half not here dizziness as of late. People’s peripheral entrenchment with gifts and holiday destinations fall on a partially deaf heart. After all, mine’s been just a tad occupied with grief, the recalibration of my marriage, re-learning what I need and how and who I’m going to be in this world, figuring out what I’m going to be when I grow up, self – care, finding my voice, feeling and processing the void, healing and deciding if we should stay in the house we bought to raise our children in. In the quick sand of such unknowns and colossal transformations, the holidays are a mere afterthought, and I, a passer – by as opposed to a participant. A white Christmas? Who gives a shit. My children aren’t here, and as a result, I’m going to feel sadness and enjoy whatever I’m able regardless of what color Christmas is.

In the meantime, I’ve got an offbeat weather pattern to ride the tails of that’s as out of place as me, one that is also kindly diverting me from the pang of normalcy. And I’ve got my December forsythia to converse with.

I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye while cleaning up the kitchen.

“I know, huh? Yeah, me too sweetheart. Me too.”

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5 thoughts on “Forsythia In December

  1. This was a lovely post, and I’m really sorry I didn’t respond earlier. Two Christmases in, I was still exactly where you are. Figuring out my new life, dealing with loss and grief. In fact, we escaped Christmas and went overseas, precisely because we couldn’t see ourselves fitting in.

    I hope now that the day is past, you can feel some peace and some optimism for the future.

    • Mali, it was so comforting for both me and my husband (I shared your response with him) to hear our feelings and position validated, and to know someone else was in a similar boat once.

      And yes, this New Years was the first time in a long time I actually had a vision, vague and surprising though it was, of what I want to accomplish this year. After my extensive TTC efforts creating a years long complete befuddlement over any kind of cause and effect at all ever, the renewed existence of goals is quite the rebirth.

  2. This was a lovely post, and I’m really sorry I didn’t respond earlier. Two Christmases in, I was still exactly where you are. Figuring out my new life, dealing with loss and grief. In fact, we escaped Christmas and went overseas, precisely because we couldn’t see ourselves fitting in.

    I hope now that the day is past, you can feel some peace and some optimism for the future.

  3. I really enjoyed your post and how you connected one on one with something else that was doing the best it knew how given the circumstances. Like you–I spent my whole life preparing and planning for children–the house and everything–and then nothing. I often wish my house would burn down so I could build a small cottage on the property instead of a 2,400 square foot home that is way too big for the two of us. I hope your forsythia survives the deep freeze that is sure to come eventually to your south shore. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks for sharing your home conundrum, Katie. I feel strange feeling so down in our home because I’m grateful to have a home that my husband and I got to work on together in a safe neighborhood. But as we full well know, the sure doesn’t cancel out grief and the potential benefits of new beginnings. Sorry you feel a-muck too, but it helps to hear from someone else whose home feels like an ill fitting glove after their children failed to arrive.

      My forsythia will be good – it’s a very old bush:-)

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