It's the holiday season again. I've been playing Christmas music, putting up decorations, and anticipating the marathon cooking I'll be doing once your Papa, Gramma, Auntie, Uncle, and cousins arrive for Christmas. I don't love the cold, but I do love this time of year.
I hung your stocking a few days ago. The letter I wrote last Christmas is still inside. I haven't had the courage to take it out and read where my heart was a year ago. I'll add another one this Christmas Eve as I place little love gifts in the other stockings as well. I love that I can do that for you, that it can be my gift to you. A tradition all my own.
I've found my mind start wandering in thinking about this holiday season were you here with us. What Christmas dress you would wear. How many gifts you would try to open before Christmas morning. What you would be interested in. Your big sister wants "decorations for my room" for Christmas. Isn't she the sweetest? Your little brother, I'm sure, just wants food. That kid can eat. And eat. And then eat some more. And the drool. Oh Harlynn, you should see the mass amounts of drool he produces. It makes your mama shudder.
Tuesday, I was stopped at a stoplight, and a mommy was walking across the street with her little girl. She was adorable, all bundled up in her winter coat, her showy snow boots, hat, and mittens. She would have been about your age, and she struggled to keep up with her mommy as she crossed in front of me. I never know what will trigger it. I never know when or why the tears will fall. Watching her hold her mommy's hand, and skip hurriedly through the crosswalk, did me in. I hope her mommy hugs her extra tight tonight.
This Christmas is different from last year. Rather than being angry for all the things I'll never experience with you, I've found I'm far more hopeful. Far more appreciative. I'm so thankful I get to remember you, memorialize you, honor you, so publicly. I'm so grateful as we head into the Christmas holiday, I get to hang a stocking for you. Special ornaments on the tree. I'm so thankful you'll always be a part of our family - at Christmas, and always.
You would love our tree. It's beautiful, and it smells so good. When it was frozen, and in our van from the lot, I thought it smelled....not great. Now that it has warmed up and it's been watered, it smells like the Christmas trees I remember as a kid. If you find yourself next to a scotch pine, give it a big whiff. I'm sure the scents in heaven are far more lovely than in our living room.
I just wanted to you to know that I miss you. Still. Always. I think of you, I speak your name, every day. This Christmas is no different. It's hard not having you here. It's hard. If the lump in my throat could do any bit of good in bringing you back, it would have happened long ago. I long for the day we can all be reunited. I long for the gift of finally being able to look into your eyes.
Until then, I'll be down here, loving you. I'm trying to take good care of your daddy, sister, and brother. Some days are better than others. They would tell you as much. Merry Christmas, sweetheart. Tell Jesus your mama says "happy birthday".
All my love and then some,