A single drop of water slid down the side of the tub as my love sat inside soaking and hacking. A week of intense coughing, emergency room visits, and such has taken a toll. The coughing turned into crying as he’s in pain; embarrassed and confessing that these multiple visits, copays and pharmacy costs have depleted his secret vacation fund, and now he’s unable to surprise me with a trip.

A single drop of water slid down the side of the tub as I sat on the floor beside it, praying he’d get better soon. That drop reminded me of a single tear rolling down a cheek. Like the ones I wouldn’t let myself cry.

Christmases as an adult are so different from what I imagined them to be years ago. This year, no tree went up, no decorations to make the house festive. This Christmas was full of prescriptions and work and insomnia and melancholy. Certainly it wasn’t my worst Christmas, or even close. The Christmas my IVF got cancelled, or the Christmas I knew I had cancer but didn’t tell anyone or the Christmas just after I left my ex-husband would certainly compete for those titles.

Somewhere in my head, I know to be grateful for what I have. I received a lot of nice things, I was able to send cool presents home to my family and I have seen them fairly recently. I have a man who loves me and cares for me and wants me to be happy. I am blessed.

Still Christmas makes me sad. There are no big family get togethers; we do see his brother’s family but it’s awkward for us. There is no playing Santa or watching the kids open their toys. A childless holiday is one I couldn’t have pictured years ago. I often think I would prefer to travel or at least be with my parents, but work schedules make either of those options difficult.

I’m disappointed that this year, none of our couple traditions were honored, because we’ve both been so sick. No festival of trees, no going out to see the lights, no date night to the Nutcracker or anything like that. After a month of me being sick and several instacare visits for him, I’m hoping the end of December and the new year bring good health and a little more hope for better things for the two of us.