As the Christmas season has drawn near, an internal battle ensues within the hearts of so many of individuals, who like me, have the heart-wrenching task of splitting this precious time and memories in their children lives. And as I have written so many times, this is an extremely hard consequence that is only a result of our choices.
So armed with my shield and sword I have forged forward this season trying with all my might to not have those thoughts of despair circum me. However, every battle has not been successful. I have been able to find the spark of Christmas spirit by listening to music, enjoying traditions with my children and capitalizing on the season to teach them the joys of giving – yet I have not be able to keep it lit.
The Christmas song that seems to fill my heart this season has been Where are you Christmas, from the Grinch. Even, my usual excitement of having the perfect Christmas gifts for my children has been tamed by this overhanging dread of the time when I have to let them go; followed by the thought of me alone in my empty house left with the evidence and ruminants of that morning.
I struggle writing this blog, because I usual attack my keyboard when I have discovered a solution that gives insight that will hopefully make a difference to another. Now I type with tear-filled eyes still searching for the medicine that will help ease the pain to so many hearts this season – many of them too tiny and innocent to be dealing with such heartache. It is our children who pay the ultimate price in this game of love and loss.
So this post will be more of an analysis, as I attempt to find an answer to the most important question – why. Why does an overwhelming feeling of loneliness fill so many people during this season, why can you feel homesick when you are already home, and why do so many of our consequences come at a price to those we love the most.
As I search for these answers looking around my decorated living room I am drawn to the same location – a manger (an odd conclusion for someone who has been struggling with my faith for years). A replica of this humble scene sits on my piano with baby Jesus at the center and Mary and Joseph watching over him. Right next to this nativity is a framed photo of my own new born son – peacefully sleeping. I realize the heartache and pain I am feeling is utterly the guilt I have for not only failing to protect my children from hurt, but being partially responsible for its cause.
I picked up the picture of my son, looking at his sweet angelic face and thought of the words to one of my favorite Christmas songs, Joseph’s Lullaby, by Mercy Me. (If you have not heard this song, I recommend taking a moment to listen.)
I believe the glory of heaven is lying in my arms tonight, but Lord I ask that he, for just this moment, simply be my child.
At this same moment, I received a call from my ex-mother-in-law who is not only the grandmother of my children but also my dear friend, even with the circumstances we are in. She informed me that there was a death in their family, her nephew, a young father who has left this earth way too early.
I talked to my girls and then cried on the phone with my ex husband who is at the house of this young man who just passed away. He told me his little son is so confused and does not understand why is dad will not be coming home. I also thought about Joseph, holding Jesus in his arms knowing that he would not be able to afford him the protection he so wanted to provide.
I realized that what I am dealing is so insignificant – these feelings of despair, hopelessness and dread are pathetic and ultimately just selfish. My children will just be gone for hours this holiday season, and I will see their face, hear their voices, touch their hands and listen to the sound of their beating hearts when they are sleeping.
So my Christmas prayer is to send peace to those who have lost their children in this life and one of a thankful heart for blessing my life with one of the most glorious gift I have been given; my sweet little babies. Thank you for letting them simply by my children.