I wish I could get a hug from my boys. If only they could step out of eternity for the briefest of moments and wrap their arms around me one more time.
When I meditate that is what I picture; that is what I feel—the strength of their young arms, the brush of Jarrod's curly hair, Chris whispering "Mommy Meatball" one last time.
I am grateful for Christmas with our daughter and grandkids.
|Skyla, Saradi, and me with our home-made gingerbread houses.|
There is magic in young Skyla's eyes as she twirls her brand-new rainbow Barbie in the air.
But Bittersweet moments still rush into my head. I see young Chris beneath a long-ago tree with that same magic in his eyes as he opens his grandmom's gift, a giant box of matchbox cars.
Once, when Chris was lying in the hospital, his chemo pump growling beside him, I asked him to tell me one of his favorite memories.
The reply was not what I expected from a teenager. "Remember Mom, when I was in kindergarten we practiced my ABC's beneath the Christmas tree."
Now my older granddaughter, Saradi, is a teenager, and I am here for her in the present. Her love of bold colors and artsy patterns has skipped a generation. Her mom simply rolls her eyes as the two of us celebrate a pair of Bohemian patched pants.
Saradi and I can share Jarrod too. She was 10 when he died, and he was more like a brother than an uncle. Fishing trips and piggyback rides, I hope she never forgets.
We can't help but mourn our other unborn grandchildren. Our boys would have been fabulous fathers.
Our daughter, Erin, mourns her brother, her best friend, her unborn nieces and nephews.
If I let it Christmas can trigger paralyzing waves of PTSD. So my greatest present is to stay in the present. And to not forget the hope of glory.
I think of the little boy, Jesus. He knew he wasn't home either. He knew that he was born to die, to give us the true gift of Christmas. That's the magic in my longing eyes.
Jesus did Christmas in reverse. He started out with unimaginable piles of presents and left them all behind.
He gave up perfection and traded it for pain and betrayal. He did it for 33 long years.
He did that so I could get that hug someday.
Deuteronomy 33:27: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."