Christmas is Bittersweet
Are you ready for Christmas? Is anyone ever really done? Every time I think I’m done I find myself brake checking the car behind me and whipping it into some store for a last minute gift. NEVER FAILS. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, giving gifts. Juliet’s last Christmas I worked my butt off bar tending for extra present money. I picked up extra shifts whenever they were available, and I told all my bar guests that I was trying to make that Christmas the BEST EVER for my family. There had never been so many presents under the tree as there were that year. I’m not sure why that Christmas was so important to me, or why I felt the need to make it the BEST EVER, but I just had a nagging feeling that I needed to make it special… make it unforgettable. That year was also Juliet’s first Christmas since her dad passed away, so I created a Facebook event called “A Christmas Card Shower for Juliet”. I invited all my friends and family and the idea behind it was to have everyone send Juliet a Christmas card to help ease the pain of not having her dad. Our local news station even interviewed us and we got to explain what we were doing!
Juliet got over 200 cards from across the United States and around the world. People we didn’t know and people we did know. People who had lost a parent and wrote her heartfelt messages of encouragement. An entire class wrote her as a school project and drew her pictures. It was absolutely AMAZING! She ran home from the bus stop everyday to check the mail and we would sit down and read the cards together. I really miss that Christmas.
Christmas is bittersweet when you’ve lost a child. Juliet used to always wake my son up early Christmas morning and they would creep into our room at the crack of dawn with such excitement that you couldn’t help but be excited with them. I wake Justice up now. I try to get excited, and I sneak into his room and wake him up at the crack of dawn. Its not the same though. NOTHINGS THE SAME. I still love Christmas, but not like I used to. I smile and watch my son open his gifts. I help him put together his Lego set, or play his new video game with him, but when I’m alone I cry. I wonder what I would have gotten her this year, or if she would have liked it. I wonder what college she would be home from and if she would have brought a boy home with her. Its only been 2.5 years since she died, so maybe it gets easier. I don’t know, but that’s what I’m praying for. Did you lose a child? Do you do anything special in their memory for Christmas? If so I would love to hear about it!