"If you know someone who has lost a child and you're afraid to mention them, because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift."
I was caught by surprise that I "lost it" emotionally, when the Christmas song "I'll Be Home for Christmas" began playing the other day.
And, as I am writing this now, the same song is playing in the background; and I believe that's no coincidence, but rather one of those awesome God moments, as His spirit lives and moves in "mysterious ways" among His people.
Each year, as I prepare my heart and home for the Christmas season, I realize at some point (or many points) during the season that I will experience emotional times. For all who have suffered a deep loss and are missing someone who won't "come home for Christmas," this time of the year naturally brings an element of nostalgia and reminds us of who and what is missing. Hopefully, the emotions are not all connected with our loss, but also to the joy in recalling cherished Christmas memories.
The Christmas season is a very special and "magical" time of year for our family. We are playful, passionate people who enjoy celebrating, and we put a significant amount of time and energy into "making merry" in celebration of the unconditional love we share, our many blessings and the awesome birth of our Redeemer King Jesus.
This year our family will all be together in California for Christmas. I told my husband and our son, David, that I would probably not put up the Christmas tree and minimize decorating, since no one would be "coming home for Christmas." Bob said "whatever you want to do, honey," but our 45 year old son said "What? That's just not right! You HAVE to put up the tree and decorate, Mom - it's Christmas!" And, so the tradition of celebration goes on, because it's not only a part our past, but of our present and future.
In a poem that our son, Kevin, wrote for me one Mother's Day, he writes "I'm sorry for those who can't remember Christmases with you in the month of December." He also wrote "I still look back at what I miss, so many things you healed with just a kiss."
He wrote this poem when he was 26 years old, just two years before he headed off to Heaven. I treasure this poem, and his words remind me that, I too, "still look back at what I miss." Though there is an element of sadness in remembering, as Elizabeth Edwards said, to remember is a "great, great gift."
How I wish that Kevin, and all those I love who are no longer here with us, could be home for Christmas, but the reality is they are "HOME," and one day we will all be together again and we are one Christmas closer!
With gratitude for the "great, great gift" of cherished Christmas memories,
Angie "a mom like you"