It's a time of reflection, Thanksgiving...at least for me. When Rebecca was in the first grade (so, eight years ago), she was home sick and missed a trip to Graves' Mountain. We decided to make that up for her and check it out, and so went for a weekend. That trip began an annual tradition, although we moved it up to Thanksgiving so that we could enjoy the abundance of the buffet spread (if you get there in time for lunch and spend the night, you get to enjoy it twice!)...truly some of the best fried oysters I've ever had, country ham, homemade biscuits and apple butter, and so much more.
Anyhow, it was during one of these trips for Thanksgiving I experienced my third miscarriage. It started early in the week, but since we'd made our plans we decided to go ahead. By now I knew all the signs, so it was just a matter of letting nature take its course. But it was a tough weekend, immersed in pain and sadness during a time that should be about gratitude and appreciation for the good things in our lives. And yet, I was able to spend the majority of my time that weekend (thanks to Karl spending time with Rebecca so I could have some solitude) sitting quietly and just absorbing the energy of those around me. It ended up being the best possible thing for me, to be around people but not necessarily have to interact with them.
Nonetheless, every year at this time I find myself feeling a bit melancholy. It usually takes me a while to figure out what's 'wrong', and then it comes back to me. This third miscarriage was my last attempt at trying to have more children, and so I imagine that the finality of that has stuck with me through the years. While I realize that, given what happened over the ensuing years with the end of my marriage, I suppose things do happen for a reason, it is still a difficult time of year. This feeling is compounded by reflection on my life as it is today, having been divorced for six years, middle-aged, and a single mom. Generally I don't dwell on the prospect of aging alone, but at this time of year it all seems to settle around me and it can weigh on me pretty heavily.
So, Rebecca and I are headed to the mountains. We will spend four days and three nights at The Mountain, a Unitarian Universalist retreat center near Highlands, NC. We will be around people but will be free to interact or enjoy solitude as we need to. I hope to get some good hikes in and just enjoy the area and the peace of the surrounding scenery. It will be good for my soul and my psyche, and I am grateful for the opportunity to take this time.
Meanwhile, I realize how much I have to be grateful for, with a loving family, good friends, all the necessities of life as well as a few luxuries, and the good sense to take care of me. It's been a big year for me emotionally, and I am happy to say that I see the year ending in a positive and joyful way, with the knowledge that I have exactly what I need in life already.