|Taken a year ago today|
We decorated our tree a couple weeks ago. Lights, ornaments, an angel on top that one of the girls made a year or two ago. We turned off all the lights and sat down to enjoy it. Only... I couldn't see it clearly. My eyes were blurred with tears. What should have been a sweet, peaceful moment turned into such a painful one that I had to turn away from it all. How badly I wanted to have a 1-year-old boy on my lap - mesmerized by the lights. Determined to pull all the ornaments off the tree. Exploring all the decorations and tasting all the sweets.
We are doing service projects this year & writing them down to put in his stocking. But even this is half-hearted on my part. I don't WANT to do service projects on behalf of my son. I want to buy trucks and cars. Balls and blocks. Dinosaurs and dragons. I want to put THOSE in his stocking and get to watch his eyes light up as he rips the paper and figures out what's inside. I want to hear his first words and see him take his first steps.
And as hard as I try to be here for Christmas this year, I'm not. I am back in Philadelphia. I am not folding laundry and carpooling and making dinners. I am walking hand-in-hand with my sweetheart down alleyways toward CHOP in the cold. I'm staring up at these amazing old buildings along the way. I'm in the hospital room with my son. I'm watching as Jason reads him books. I'm singing "every little thing you do I do... adore" to him as I bounce him up and down. I'm at the Ronald McDonald House, eating delicious food, talking with amazing people. I'm at CHOP, talking with doctors. Talking with nurses. I'm in the pump room - again and again. I'm looking into his blue eyes and kissing his huge cheeks. I'm hoping. I'm praying. I'm waiting for elevators. I'm hearing Christmas music play. I'm talking to the girls on the phone. I'm walking alongside medical students in an enclosed walkway above the noisy street below. I'm texting friends and family. I'm trying to get him to smile and mimic my sounds. I'm walking the fluorescent halls...
Yes, I will keep trying to pull myself back, but I keep going there. Remembering. Aching. Wanting the Christmas of last year. The Christmas of bringing him home from Philadelphia. Not being able to sleep on the plane for the joy, excitement, and miracle of it all. Surprising family and friends. Passing him around at Christmastime. Seeing the bright lights, hearing the sweet songs, having my heart overflow with love and gratitude.
This year, the lights don't seem so bright... the songs don't seem so sweet. If I could only ask for ONE thing for Christmas this year - and for the REST OF MY LIFE - it would be to have my son back. Oh... how I miss him.