Sometimes when I chat or text with a friend or family member, and we haven’t seen each other in a while, as we say goodbye one of us will say, “Un Fuerte Abrazo”. It means, big hug, with that southern-charm-feel-good sentiment of huggin’ some necks... You know the opening scene to the movie Love Actually, where everyone is arriving at the airport and hugging? It’s like that.
I feel like November and December have been one solid fuerte abrazo.
We connected with family in Florida for two weddings. We hosted my family from Puerto Rico for the week of Thanksgiving. We somehow managed to spend time with our wonderful friends in NYC even in the midst of all the traveling. I got to see a Hanson Concert! And not only was it a Hanson Concert, but it was a CHRSITMAS Hanson Concert! We started preparing for Christmas and Lucie’s 3rd birthday which is on the 18th! I’m just so incredibly thankful. Because life is hard. Those close to us have gone through some really intense experiences, emergency room visits, loss of a child, family and friends that had to basically live out of suitcases for months as PR continues to get back up on its feet, on top of that the news and current events have been so disheartening. In light of all of that, I want to still give thanks.
I’ve said it before, but December has become my absolute favorite month. It was very painful to experience Christmas and New Year’s after Lucie was born at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 11 ounces. There were moments of clarity, and times when I felt myself trying to rally to join with the world rejoicing in the sweet hope of Advent, but for the most part, we went through the holidays in a foggy haze of pain and trauma that year. As we prepare to celebrate her third (!) birthday, it builds so much momentum for us leading into the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Putting up the tree, seeing the sparkly pink ornaments that decorated the tree our friends got us when Rob and I came home from the hospital without our little girl, listening to christmas music, lighting advent candles, and going to mulled wine parties. All of these festive rhythms create a continuous, cohesive experience, that brings to the surface certain memories that we can reminisce about in full. I find that it has brought deeper healing to my heart and mind each year. And the message of Christmas has been a part of that in many ways. (I know this is a serious string of thoughts, but right now, I can’t help but think of my ALL TIME FAVORITE quote from Home Alone...)
Catherine O’Hara nails that line! I love it. And also, it’s so true.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!