Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving when you don't feel very thankful.

Thanksgiving to me is about nom's. I like cooking, I just hate the effort & time it seems to take. I need a tv & a chair in my kitchen & I'd be much happier. Peeling potatoes sucks after you've made about 10 other dishes & peeling a bunch of sweet potatoes, which you don't even eat but you just make them because your husband & parents eat them.

I took pictures of my experience, including the exploding glass dish episode. Look for that tomorrow, as long as nothing odd comes up before then.

Anyway, people talk about what they are thankful for on Thanksgiving. It's a rule, even in first grade I remember having to go around & talk about what you were thankful for. I remember hearing all these people being thankful about their brothers & sisters for the most part. And there I sat, an only child. I was thankful for my dog, but I was too embarrassed to say that when everyone was thankful for their siblings. A dog isn't as cool as a brother or sister, even the animal lover in me knew that!

So what did I do when it was my turn? I stand up & talk about how much I am thankful for my little brother.

Yep, I stood up at my desk & made a brother up. I even answered questions about him. If I remember right, I gave him my dogs name. It was Ben, so it wasn't like I said Fido or something. I remember the awkwardness when my teacher mentioned a few days later about my younger sibling to my mom, who explained I was an only child.


So I have a track record of focusing on what I don't have instead of what I do have. I have a husband, kids, pets, great friends, some great family, a house, a car, food on the table. Hell, I've even got a TV on the wall. I should be thankful.

Of course, I should have been thankful way back when I was 5, but I wasn't. I had to make up something extra. It's a bad habit, even things I do I believe are a failure even when they're really not. I mean hell, look at the title of this blog. Fail.

So today, like most other days, I'm thinking of the son I don't have. But unlike the little brother, he was real. He's the unspoken name, the elephant in the room it feels like. He would be 6 months old on Saturday. I keep thinking about how Jules was crawling around at 6 months. I compare what I was doing & thinking this time last year to now. Of course I'm not sure how I expect him to come up in the conversation. Dead babies are an awkward subject, more awkward than a fake little brother. Of course, other deaths are talked about. My mom just mentioned her dead step-father a couple days ago. But you're born into this world without life in your body & you don't get that respect, those memories to be spoken about at holidays & get togethers. Instead, you get looked at with sad eyes when the dead baby topic accidentally comes up. Your son didn't die to people, you loss your baby while you were pregnant & that had to be really hard to go through. So we get some dead baby parent respect, but my sons short life gets none. You'd think I'd be use to that by now. But I'll never get use to it.

Back to today. It didn't help that my mom brought a gift with her. She & Jules used pictures & made a card of sorts for us. Sounds sweet, doesn't it? I opened it & wanted to throw up. Not because I'm pregnant & around food, but because of one of the pictures. It was Jules, on the couch at their house, eating peas & carrots.

You think I'm insane, who would want to throw up over that?

That picture was taken the first time my parents kept Jules for any time longer than for us to go to dinner. While that picture was being taken, I was in a hospital in labor with my dead son. Or maybe it was after he was born. I don't know the time line, obviously.

I know they don't think about it. I know that even if they realized when it was taken, I don't they'd catch on that it could be painful. But it is. I call people out on intentional bullshit, like a couple weeks ago when my mom talked about baby autopsies on TV for a ridiculous amount of time, I called her out on it & asked why she'd think I'd want to hear about a baby autopsy. Common sense, people. But to them, that's just a cute picture.

So as I sit with more thank some have, I'm not thankful. I feel cheated & bitter. And then I feel guilty thinking of people who don't even have a place to call home, because I should be thankful for what I have.

But I'm not. And I reserve that right this year. I'm going to be selfish & bitter. I got fucked over this year, really fucked over. I've earned the right to feel like shit & however else I want to feel.

Wonder what my kids will tell their classroom one day? How many brothers & sisters will they say, will they mention their dead brother? Will I get a weird phone call on the first day of school, asking why my kid is talking about death at 5 years old? I'm not sure what I'd do; someone hints that they want to know how many kids I have or even flat out ask & I'm never sure what to answer as an adult, without a classroom of eyeballs looking at me.

And I thought my made up brother was awkward.


  1. Yeah, it sure was sucky not to have Ella with me yesterday. I wrote about it on my blog too. I'm sorry Joel was not here.

  2. *hugs* Jess during a difficult time. I understand the hurt.



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