Emily’s first and only Christmas was 6 years ago.
Not a Christmas goes by that we don’t think of her, celebrate and grieve at the same time. Her stocking is still hung with the others, in between her two brothers…a gap only we see. Her ornaments still bedeck the tree, some celebrating her life, some commemorating her death.
From the photo above, taken on Christmas Day 2007, you can still see how swollen little Emily is from the IV fluids. The hospital tag is still on the carseat because we had only brought her home the night before. My sister had taken my children shopping for gifts and my sweet Megan, only 7 at the time, had chosen the bear. The quilt was given to us by the Pediatric nurse who cared for Emmy during all her hospital stays; the nurse who 7 weeks later came to a funeral none of us were ready for. The bibs are a typical 1st Christmas present in our home; the same present little Creed is receiving this year for his 1st Christmas. Emmy, in her usual contentedness, sucks her thumb. There have been no thumb-suckers since..a fact which saddens me. My children ask for another sister for Christmas. every. year. The Lord has not seen fit to grant their wish…nor mine. My little boys hugs my leg and kiss my cheek and I tell myself it doesn’t matter because I would not trade any of them.
but Lord…perhaps…some day?
Christmas is a celebration of birth, but as a grieving mother, I see the death that is coming…and the HOPE that will follow. All my longings hinge on a promise, the promise that starts here.
So, while I’ve talked specifics of what holidays are like without a loved one, without a promise and the hope of that promise being fulfilled, we are missing the Truth of our circumstances. Do I hurt? Yes. Do I miss her with all my being? Yes. Do I write these words through tears? Yes. But next week I will celebrate the Promise. I will cling to the Hope. I will walk in Truth.
And some day…yes, some day…