I saw the picture of Tentatively Hopeful’s tree on her blog and enjoyed her post about how she treasures it. My family’s tree is very much the same – each ornament a memory of some kind. I even still have a couple of ornaments that are nothing more than coloring book cutouts stuck onto construction paper from our first tree in our own home. Our daughter colored them when she was 2 – out of the lines and all – but I love them. So they are still on my tree, right along with expensive Hallmark ornaments from her when she was older, and crocheted angels from my mom, and all the rest. Even with the mess our marriage has gone through, I still love carefully unpacking them and putting them up, and then admiring them at some point each day during the season. My life history can be traced through the ornaments. The Nativity Story is told with some of the ornaments as well, with a star that my son made in preschool, professional-looking angels that my sister made, and a little manger scene we made as a family when the kids were in high school. It is us. My husband loves it, too.
Yesterday he sat with a drink in front of our tree for a while. When he got up, he came and lavished me with hugs and kisses and fondling all over. He said nothing – typical of him – but I sure felt the love. It’s moments like those that keep me here through the crap he dishes out when he’s feeling insecure, which is a lot these days. I have a half-written post about how bad things are right now… and then he goes and does that. I know he’s insecure because he does not believe that I could possibly really love him and that I’ll really stay forever. He’s punishing himself. Right here at this point in the aftermath is when so many marriages fall apart… maybe it’s like this for a lot of couples… in his insecurity he lashes out in anger, and then he holds back emotionally, distancing himself from me… he makes it so damned difficult for us to go on. I’m trying so very hard to love and accept and forgive, and to live a normal life, but he makes it so difficult.
And then he goes and does that whole loving up thing, and I am left breathless and the walls come tumbling down and I want so much for things to work out. So I’ll hold off on that post about how bad things are, and again I’ll wait and see. See what? See how things go over the Christmas holiday, I guess. Well, he has at least committed to more counseling in January. So maybe I’ll wait until after that… a final hope for reconciliation… I am trying “to find a reason to believe.”