You are my Christmas.

For so long, I’d forgotten how it felt like to look forward to Christmas Day. I always had to work, or had to go to a gathering I wasn’t excited about, or we just kind of sleep the day away. Those things are still part my Christmas equation, but it’s not so bad now. You have made things better exponentially. I love Christmas, and I love you, and spending Christmas Eve Eve and waking up on Christmas Eve next to you was absolutely perfect.

Like you said, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and we don’t know how our story will end. But we don’t read books to find out the ending, right?

But for now, let me just enjoy having you in my life. Let me watch you sleep on my couch at 3:30 am as I wrap last minute presents. Let me drag you to places I’ve always wanted to visit. Let me wake up in the middle of the night and watch you sleepily put covers on me when you think I’m cold. Let me spend time with your family and get to know how loving they really are. Let me get in a car and drive away with you. Let me take care of you when you’re sick. Let me love you the only way I know how – completely and unconditionally.

This season is my favorite time of the year, and sometimes it doesn’t live up to my excitement. But having you, waking up to you, being greeted with your smile – it’s like Christmas every morning. And lying down with you, whether under the light of our silver stars and the Christmas tree, or basking in the hectic glow of my TV screen, is the only way I would have wanted to spend the night before Christmas Eve.

There are moments when people just feel like the universe… likes them, and this year I feel like the universe is lining up stars and planets in my favor. God has been so good to me this year for giving me so much more than what I wanted, more than what I hoped for. And you are at the top of that list. This is gonna sound like a cliche (but let’s face it, everything I write is a cliche), but you make all the heartbreak and the mistakes I’ve made worth it, because they all led me to you. This year has been magical, and you, my love, were the center of all the magic. Christmas is about love and joy and believing in all good things. It’s about giving and peace and being with family. I’m glad that I have you to celebrate it with. You are my family. You are my Christmas.

I love you so much.

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I just miss you.

Remember when I said you were my escape? How you take away the pain and stress and and burden of my work, of my family, of life? When I’m with you, life doesn’t exist beyond the comfort of your arms around me, beyond the ferocity of your hazel eyes. There is no restlessness. There is no hurt.

So what happens when I don’t get that break from reality? When for weeks all that I get to feel is mental stress, physical exhaustion, and the heartbreaking cases of very, very sick kids fighting for their lives? I get jaded. I get scared. I start to lose hope. I go to a dark place that I am sometimes not proud to admit even exists.

But you are the light in that darkness. Sometimes a few words from you is enough to keep me going, like a candle that lights up a house in a middle of a storm. And being with you feels like that bizarre 70 degree weather in November – warm and bright. You are a breath of fresh air, just what I need when my entire world is a raging sea and I’m struggling to tread water.

Not seeing you is ordinary. It’s inevitable. And the hours turn to days, and the days turn to weeks, and my need for you grows stronger. You have turned from someone that helps me get through a day into something that I cannot live without. You were caffeine, something I thought I needed to get through the day; something that helps me survive. But now you’re my drug, and I have to take a hit to get that high. Nothing is ever enough. And when it’s been too long, I shake, I tremble. I can’t think, I can’t function. It didn’t use to be like this. And this withdrawal – this intense need of a dose of you –  is scary, especially when I feel like I need it more than you do. Like you craving a specific flavor of ice cream. And me, I’m the junkie who sells her kidney to be able to afford my next hit.

I’m sorry if I’m being difficult or confusing. I was never good at explaining myself. So when you kept asking me what was wrong, I wanted to say all of this. I really, really did. But all I could think of was, “Nothing. I just miss you,” and I couldn’t even spit that out. Because all this comes from that, me missing you – when my bones ache to feel you again, and my hands search for that softness I can only find when your hair is between my fingers. All this comes from me craving your warmth, your fingers tracing lines on my skin. It comes from the look on your eyes when you look at me when you say things like, “You’re special to me.”  It comes from the sound of your breathing when you sleep, the one I vaguely remember. And how you slowly open your eyes and your lips mumble a slurred greeting.

I don’t need you to do anything, and I’m sorry if I scared you or had you worried, or if you felt guilty for some reason. Tears just come when they want to come, I guess. It’s nothing. I just miss you.