Looking back, I realized the tree also was an example of family, everyone getting together front of the tree, to open presents, to enjoy each other, and be reminded of what family is supposed to be.
Supposed to be.
Sixteen years ago, I got a very BIG tree- 7'5 tree, so thick that you'd need two persons on each side, to help decorate the tree (woe be the person in back/corner, having to move by inch, hoping he wouldn't knock the tree down!). Sixteen years ago, I thought I would have a family; a husband to love, and children to see the magic in their eyes.
I faithfully put up the tree every year, thinking "next year, I'll find someone and have a child."
I had relationships, however, I couldn't picture myself living with each of those guys permanently, and I was unfortunately right. The last relationship had burned me badly, and I found that singlehood was much better for me. I then looked into getting pregnant, and that didn't work out; two miscarriages were the result before I noticed the bump that led to the surgery.
The surgery wiped out my hope of having a family. Children.
Last year, I found myself reluctantly putting up the tree. I found out that I had an hate-love relationship with the tree.
There would be the days I would look at the tree, with tears in my eyes.
Some days, I'd glance at the tree, thinking there's still hope.
Other days, I wanted so badly to toss the tree out the window, chop it up and toss it into a bonfire.
After the holiday, I decided the tree had to go. I donated the tree and ornaments to a shelter for domestic violence survivors, so the survivors and children can enjoy the tree in a safe place.
For the last six weeks, I found myself swinging between a desire for a tree and not wanting a tree. A friend, who spent the road trip with me, encouraged me to get a tree. We didn't get one- and I found that I'm glad about that. I love her, but I didn't like the pressure, not when I didn't feel ready.
I still searched for trees while surfing Internet, finding myself annoyed when catching myself doing that.
After talking with my therapist a few days ago, about the tree, I realized something.
The 7'5 tree- it was for my family to be. My dream children. Hope for family and children.
Hence the tree never had belonged to ME. It had belonged to my family that was supposed to happen.
After the catharsis, I then knew what to do.
I looked at trees, taking my time. Tonight, I went to Target to get some package boxes so I'd mail stuff to family in Kansas, when I thought to myself "why not look at the trees here?"
I saw that the trees were on sale for 50% off. I went, "well, there's this tree I like, don't know if there'd be any left."
I went around the corner to find that the tree model that I liked, was still there, but no packages beneath the low raiser that the floor model was placed on. I was thinking fatalistically, "that's that..." when a staff member stopped by and asked if he could help me. I shrugged and pointed at where the tree was, "no more packages. All out."
"We can pack this floor model tree for you, 75% off for you."
Is he serious?!
I knew then that the tree was meant for ME. Jules, the woman I am, on my own journey, exploring the world.
I took the tree home. I put it up, decorating it with new ornaments, with some ornaments I kept from my trips to New Orleans and Britain.
This is MY tree.