The first year my husband and I were married, we lived in Nurnberg, Germany. He was in the army, and I was not about to let him go to Germany for a year without me. We celebrated our first Christmas in Nurnberg. It was a fun time, it was a tough time. We had always spent Christmas with family, and our first Christmas as a couple, we were thousands of miles away, and sometimes pretty lonely. I bought some Christmas music, and played it over and over. Every time the song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” came on, I would cry and cry. It wasn’t a terrible Christmas, it was quite special, and one I will never forget. But that song will forever bring tears to my eyes.
The year my son died, this same song had a different meaning. I wanted my son, Lucas, home for Christmas. I knew this “first” holiday season after his death would be difficult. It was also a joyous time as there is always fun and much celebrating when the family is together. At our big family party one of my brothers and all of his family were missing. They had a circumstance that was important, but they were missed at the party. My daughter-in-law was unable to be there as well. She broke her ankle two days before the party. We took Bradley and Jacob, our son’s children to the party, but I was surely missing Lucas. Just a couple times it hit me, but those times can hit hard. The party was fun, and I do SO enjoy family. They had been such a support and so amazing through our time of loss. Of course, there were times of sadness, but all in all it was a good celebration.
Christmas with our children and grandchildren was celebrated Christmas afternoon. We went to get our daughter-in-law, who was healing and doing very well, and all were present. That morning preparing, though, was the toughest time for me. Oh, how I treasure pictures of Christmas past. I was putting some pictures together for my grandsons, and I couldn’t help but get choked up as I looked through them and remembered. I just held a few of the pictures to my heart, and let the tears flow. Sorrow and grief are so private. As I cried over the pictures, I realized Lucas WAS home for Christmas, if only in my dreams. We had many special memories of that “first” Christmas, and it was a grand one.
Life goes on, Christmas will continue to come, I will continue to cry (sometimes), and I will be reminded of the many blessings God has sent. They are called FAMILY. I am truly thankful for the support network God has given us. Lucas’s birthday comes in January. More memories of his birth, and life. There are more tears. I don’t want to let him go sometimes. I had to let him go at the hospital, I am not sure I can ever let him go from home. This journey through the desolate land of grief is not always an easy one. We can never be prepared for losing a loved one. But we can be thankful that there is a God who loves us, who understands our sorrow, and who cares. Yes Lucas was home for Christmas “if only in my dreams”. We had fun, we laughed, I cried, we celebrated together, and I know he was there. Merry Christmas Son!!!