tagRomanceOur Time of Year

Our Time of Year

byrestrained©

My year started out in the worst possible fashion. My wife Marie told me that she was leaving me for another man. At first I was shocked. After I gave it some thought I wasn’t so surprised. I worked 24/7 trying to make a good life for us. We were in our early 30’s and trying to save for our first house.

Marie is a striking lady. She is long tall 5’11” with shiny auburn hair. Her legs never stop and she loves to show them off. I guess I should have been watching my own backyard. She has left me for an older man that showers her with attention and trinkets.

Marie had totally moved out by spring. I was trying to come to grips with her leaving. We had been together for 12 years. We had been inseparable. That’s why this is all so unreal to me. I have had very little contact with Marie since she left. She has told me she doesn’t want to hurt me anymore.

As the summer wore on I had become tolerant of my situation. I was alone but adjusting. Marie had started the divorce proceedings in May. I was stunned at our imminent demise. I never dreamed this could happen to us. I love her so much. I always tried to please her. I had always believed that I satisfied her sexual needs. She has never given any reason for leaving other than she fell in love with Roger.

Summer became fall and the holiday season wasn’t far away anymore. Marie and I always loved the holiday season. We always decorated for Christmas in mid November. We had a house full for Thanksgiving and everyone loved our Christmas décor. I knew this season would be a long lonely time. My mom and dad want me to fly home to Cleveland for the holidays but I need to face my demons.

It was the third Saturday in November. I normally would spend all day stringing lights outside. Marie would get up at the crack of dawn to start decorating the inside of the house. We would then ride to our favorite restaurant out in the country. We would dress to the nines and toast the start of the holiday season. I wept as I looked at the boxes stacked up in the basement. I felt awful knowing the happy times would not be here this year.

I fought my sad thoughts as long as I could. I knew I was destined to just cry it out. I thought of Marie merrily bugging me to load the CD changer with Christmas music. I could almost see her coming down the stairs dressed in a festive dress teasing me by showing a little thigh. Her infectious laugh asking if the house looked good. I have no shame as I weep myself weak. My loss is so great.

Thankfully Saturday has turned into Sunday. I don’t feel much better but I at least can go to work today. I have tried hard to work more. It takes my mind off my loss. As the week wore on I have been thinking a lot about the miscarriage Marie had a few years ago. We had a baby girl that got to 5 months before Marie miscarried. Marie and I were inconsolable for months afterward. I keep wondering if that’s what started this. It is a horrible feeling wondering how our baby would have turned out. We had even named her. Jennifer was the name we were going to use on our angel.

I have made it past Thanksgiving. It is early December and it’s a Christmas winter here in Minnesota. I have been a mental wreck. I work about 16 hours per day 6 days per. I don’t even ask for the overtime pay. I just want to be occupied. To my dismay I have about 2 weeks vacation that my supervisor is forcing me to take.

I decide that I need to clean out Marie’s closet. She has told me to donate anything left to Goodwill. I cry as I sort out her things. I can’t help but drift back to where we bought this or she wore this on that date. I come across a light cotton jacket she wore during her pregnancy. I cry as I clutch the soft garment. I feel something inside the breast pocket. It looks to be several letters. They are letters that Marie wrote to Jennifer. I brace myself as I slide to the floor to read them.

I feel ill I am so overcome with emotion. Marie has written to Jennifer about how she will need her help from heaven to help daddy. She tells our unborn baby how much I would have loved her. The games I would have played with her. The knowledge I would have passed on to her. How could Marie love me this much two years ago, and leave me in a crumpled heap like this?

I feel like a zombie I am so engulfed by sadness. I wander through my daily routine with little thinking. I have done my best not to let friends and family know how truly devastated I am. I have lost 30 pounds since Marie has left. I just forget to eat most days. I sit alone in the dark at night and just wait to fall asleep from exhaustion and despair. I though about calling Marie but didn’t see any point in it.

It’s a week before Christmas. It is a crisp December day. After sunset I take a walk. I walk for miles without even knowing it. I look at all the pretty Christmas lights and think how happy some people will be during this time of year. I try not to think of my situation as happy people pass me by and offer warm seasons greetings. Time is slipping away from me as I start to head back home. The light snow looks like sugar it’s so fine.

I hear people behind me. I hear a little girl call out to her daddy. I turn to look and no one is there. I turn and pick up my pace. My mental state is so fragile I just figure it’s my mind playing tricks. Again, I hear a little girl say “daddy” this time the voice comes from directly in front of me. I instinctively say “hello’. There is no reply but I am freaked out. As I reach my front yard the voice asks “daddy, why didn’t you decorate for Christmas”. I run into the house lock the door and grab the scotch. I ask rhetorically why I didn’t start drinking months ago. I laugh to myself and have a small drink.

I try to sleep but I cant. I am hearing voices? Is my overwrought mind finally giving up? I am not as sad as I have been. I drift off to sleep. I sleep till 9:00am, which is 4 hours past my usual time. It’s a sunny frigid day outside. I think back to my childhood. My dad ran the dime store and always made sure we had a candy cane in the morning during the last week before Christmas. I decide I will carry on the tradition.

I go to the mega mart to get a box of candy canes. I feel bittersweet seeing the happy shoppers in the store. I have no one to buy for. I sent mom and dads gifts out a few weeks ago. I at least have gifts from back home from mom and dad. I wait in the long line. I hear the little girl voice say, “get enough so mommy can have some”. I decide I need to get help for this today. To my utter shock the lady in back of me asks where my little girl is. Horrified I ask what she means. She tells me she heard the little girl tell me about the candy canes. I drop my candy and run from the store. I sit in my car torn between crying or going to the state mental hospital.

I drive away and a calm I haven’t felt in a long time comes over me. I decide what the hell and stop and buy two boxes of candy canes. I figure while I am in this deep I will but a Christmas tree. I pick out a small 6’ tree and head home.

I run into the house and start hauling up the Christmas décor. I don’t know what any of this means. I don’t even want to think about the voice guiding me. I have never believed in any kind of supernatural stuff. Is my little girl talking to me from heaven? Am I just lonely and delusional? I don’t know but putting up a tree can’t hurt. Well the day went fast as I felt the rush of holiday hustle and bustle. My tree looks great. I wept as I put out some of our cherished ornaments. It was almost too much to bear putting up the baby’s first Christmas ornament. She never had one.

Well the rush of putting up my tree and a few decorations has worn off. It’s December 23rd. It is cold and snowy outside. I have never been a religious man. As my despair overwhelms me I get on my knees and ask God for help and guidance. It at least makes me feel better. As the night gets late I turn off my tree lights. I notice the baby’s first Christmas ornament catches a ray of light from somewhere. I sadly walked up to the bedroom and prayed I wouldn’t even wake up the next day.

Well, Christmas Eve has arrived. With a fresh 4” blanket of snow it looks like a Norma Rockwell painting outside. I try to occupy my time. I call mom and dad and they even offer to fly in. I love them for their kindness but I must get passed this myself. The cold winter sun is starting to set. I walk for hours taking in the winter landscape. I think I was just hoping I would hear the little girl. With darkness firmly in place I start toward home.

It’s a hard pill to swallow being all alone on Christmas Eve. I know many many people are suffering alone as well. I say a prayer for the lonely. I have a few scotches and head for bed. I cry myself into a stupor. Between the drinks and the sadness I drift into sleep. What was once the happiest day of the year is now the saddest.

I awake with a sudden jolt. I was dreaming but can’t remember it. The reality comes back to me. I slouch back into my warm bed. I am tired but just can’t seem to drift back to sleep. I think things will be better once I am past Christmas. The wind is blowing big time. I hear shutters clanking, gutters crashing. I hear a sound that I can’t make out. It’s a faint breathing sound. Sounds travel up the stairs in odd manner.

I leave the lights out and quietly start trekking down the stairs. There is someone or something down there. I get half way down and I can see the living room. Someone is sitting by the Christmas tree. I yell out I have a gun. Marie quietly tells me it is she. I turn the light on and sure enough. I make my way to her. She has been crying. She is holding the baby ornament. I ask why she is here. Marie tells me that Jennifer has been talking to her. I drop to my knees. I tell Marie that I have had contact as well.

We both embrace. I ask her if she would stay long enough to have a cup of coffee with me. Through her deep sobs she says yes. She asks me to hold her. It’s electric as I hold my dear wife. Her body shudders with each sob. She tells me that Jennifer told her to quit blaming daddy for her not being born. Marie told me she left because she associated me with Jennifer. I tell her its ok. Marie lets it all out as she lies in my arms. We lay locked in each other’s arms until well into the morning.

I know I have to ask her if she is going back to Roger. I just ask and brace for what I think will be the devastating news. Marie starts to weep and asks if she can come home. She tells me that she loves me more than anything. She said pretty much cried herself to sleep each night she was away from me. She has her car packed with her things. I tell her the best Christmas present I ever received was seeing her sitting by the tree.

As the evening came we lay locked in passion. I have never made love to a woman with such feeling as I did that Christmas day. Her warmth and love were all I wanted for Christmas. I lost count how many times we had climaxed. Marie cuddled and told me she hoped we made a baby. She said we will name her Jennifer. I tell her no. Jennifer is doing just fine in heaven.

As I turned off the tree lights that night a shimmering light shone the baby ornament. There was no other light present. I said Merry Christmas to Jennifer.

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