Memories of Christmas - Hopes for the future
This was Peyton and Drew last Christmas.
Many of our friends have expressed concern over how our Christmas and holiday season will go - here are some of my thoughts on Christmas without Drew.
Christmas this year has taken on a totally different meaning. I have never been so comforted by the Christmas season, though it has many more emotions attached to it than ever before. This sounds strange I'm sure, but listening to the familiar songs that I have listened to for so many years and following the same traditions as years past I am finding an unimagined comfort in those things. It feels like a throwback to a more innocent time, where everything was fixed with a hug and life was not so complicated. It feels as though I am temporarily transported out of this situation, even though the awareness of our loss is never far off.
Am I afraid of what Christmas will be like without Drew? Not really I guess. We still have so much to be thankful for and Peyton provides so much joy. He is really into Christmas this year and his excitement is heart-warming.
I think the reason Christmas is challenging for those of us who have lost loved ones is because of two possible reasons - 1) the memories one will have to face of Christmases past, and 2) unmet expectations of Christmases to come. Drew was so little last year that he pretty much slept through Christmas so we don't have too many memories of him connected to Christmas. As such, I don't think that the "memories" will be the hard part, but rather the unmet expectations. I am sure we will inevitably think about what it would have been like to have him toddling around on Christmas Day, how could I not?! He would be almost 17 months old and if he followed typical toddler stages, he would be walking around, getting into things, starting to try to say words, following his big brother everywhere, trying to shake boxes that shined and to reach any ornaments in sight, and eager for any new experience. That is the hard part for me - thinking about what we will miss this Christmas, and even more, thinking about what Peyton is missing. He still misses Drew so much!
One of our dear friends just brought by the best Christmas gift I could have ever asked for last night. She painted a portrait of our dear little Drew and it's so lifelike and captures his personality so well that I feel as if I could pick him up off the canvas. He smiles at us so engagingly that it feels he is here in the room. I am sure God used her talent to bless us with a small piece of our Drew and I am so thankful. I will take that through this season and love him through loving Jordan, Peyton and those He brings us during this season, and through sending my love to him. (I still welcome him every morning and fall asleep leaving him in God's arms every night.) I am so thankful for God's faithfulness in the midst of crisis.
To all those reading, thank you for reading. I am honored that you would take the time to visit us this way. It provides a support unseen, but felt. We hope you have a blessed holiday season and whatever your traditions, we pray God will bring your family closer through it.