December 18th is here. One week from today, our little family, we three, will be sitting by the Christmas tree. Snuggled in warm pajamas, Charlie will be rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Mike will have a terrific yawn, and I will be clutching my coffee cup.
In years past, we would have been awoken, much too early, by the sound of Charlie's small feet climbing the stairs to our bedroom. He would lean in, on my side of the bed, and whisper in my ear "Santa was here!" Trying to rouse myself from a soon forgotten dream, I would smile and wrestle with my robe, and use my feet to search the floor for my slippers.
His small hand was in mine, tugging me gently down the stairs, as grown ups move far too slow on this morning. Mike followed us, heading to our office to grab his camera.
That little slice of childhood magic is now past, but oh how we have preserved it lovingly in our memories. This year we will be warm in our pajamas, by our tree on Christmas morning, and Charlie will be unwrapping gifts that will make a fifteen year old boy happy. He will have done his own shopping, and will wait in excited anticipation to watch as we unveil his choices for us, eager to please. It is a new page in our book of Christmas joys to be savored, and never more so than this year, when too many families will have a gaping hole in their holiday hearts.
My grief over the events of last Friday is no longer as raw, and anger has crept in to replace the tears. I will find a place to tuck that away, and on Christmas morning send out a silent prayer, to wing its way east to those families who will never have enough comfort to wipe the pain away.
If anything is to be learned, we have been reminded just how fragile life can be, and how important it is to let them know, those that we hold dear. how much we love them. Every day, every night, as often as we can. The quote on the top of my page for December rings especially true today.
Loving hugs to you, my dear readers. Whether you are my sister, my cousin, my very dear friends, or friends who I have not yet met, you are loved. May this week leading up to Christmas find you with a quiet moment to contemplate, and give thanks for your blessings.