Today I was in Walmart wandering through the aisles waiting for the automotive people to get done changing the oil on my van. I found myself in the "holiday room". You know, the one full of fake Christmas trees, decorations and lawn ornaments. Five years ago this room would have excited me. Christmas and Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holidays. Now it just makes my heart hurt. I dread this time of the year.
The upcoming holidays tend to be difficult and painful days for those who have lost a loved one. These are family days and our families are no longer complete. We are painfully aware that there is one less person to buy gifts for, one less stocking to fill, and one very special person missing from our tables. While the “outside” world is caught up in the excitement and merriment of the holidays, others are feeling intense pain and feelings of panic. We spend our time counting down the days until this holiday season is over and holding our breath until the next one.
In some ways, I feel robbed. Would it have hurt for us to have one special holiday with our daughter? Just one time that I could have been able to shop for the perfect present, like I do for the other kids? Just one time that we could have captured her little smile on tape Christmas morning or had her in our holiday pictures? Just one Thanksgiving where I could have nievely said my blessings? But that was never in the cards for us, was it?
So I will bake my cookies, and wrap my presents and decorate the tree –– not because I want to, but because that is what I have to do. It is called living. And on Christmas Eve I will say a special prayer to God, because I know He is hurting too. The baby who's birth we celebrate during this season was God's son. And He knows how I feel, as He lost a child too.