Holidays are Hard for Some
Holidays are hard when you have an unhealthy child (or loved one).
Holidays are hard when your loved one leaves you for Heaven.
I don’t know which one is harder. In some moments, I’d say it was harder when Chance was here. In other moments, it is harder without him here. Can you relate?
Some say that we eventually “get over” the loss of a loved one. I’m not really sure what that means.
I wrote the following to Chance, about a month before Jesus took him home. It was right before Thanksgiving:
If I had just one wish…..well, I’d wish you had a healthy heart but other than that…..if I had one wish; I’d really wish you could talk. I get so frustrated because I know you understand what I say (most of the time) but I don’t understand what you say. And I know it frustrates you too. I can see it in your eyes. When you look at me with your eyes full of so many emotions and you’re trying to tell me something but you aren’t speaking a language I understand, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if you’re hurting, if you’re just tired, if you’re just being a brat. I don’t know.
I don’t understand why you don’t try to do things. You can do so much more than you do but you just don’t want to and I don’t get it. Don’t you realize how much easier your life would be if you would just eat some food?? You SO don’t know what you’re missing. What can I do to help you want to eat? I’ve tried giving you all of the bestest yummiest treats and you either throw it or gag on it. Suckers are delicious, silly boy. Lick it and suck on it, don’t throw it. And pudding is even more delicious. I would give you all of the pudding in the world if you would just eat it. Most kids only dream of their mamas letting them have unlimited pudding.
Don’t get mad at me when I make you stand on your feet and try to help you walk. That’s what you need to do. Doesn’t your butt get tired of you sitting on it? Don’t you see everyone else walking around? It’s okay to scoot on your butt if that’s all you can do, but YOU can do more.
And why don’t you want to play with other kids? Other kids are fun! Other kids have cool toys that you may not have and they make playing way more fun than playing alone. I know you have been through a lot. You’ve been through more in your 2 ½ years of life than most adults will ever go through. And, you have fought every step of the way. I don’t get why you don’t fight now. Fight to stand up and walk, fight to form words and have a voice; a voice that others can understand. I would give anything to say “I love you” and be able to hear “I love you too, mama”.
You have come so far, Chance. Sometimes, I look back and I can’t believe how far you have come. That’s how I know that one day, you WILL do all of these things. I know you will. In the meantime though, I just struggle to understand; to get you. I love you with everything that I have. I have found strength and will within myself that I never knew existed until you came along. I always knew I was strong but I never knew that I had all of this. I am so grateful for you. Sometimes I watch other toddlers play and I think that’s what it could have been like for you and Taylor if you’d been born with a whole heart. But really, you were born with a whole heart…..just not a physical whole heart. But your heart within your soul, your spiritual heart is more than I could ever hope for. I pray that as you grow older and mature that you don’t lose that. I pray that I can teach you to stay grateful and loving. And I pray that it’s sooner than later that you can answer all of my questions for me, resolve my frustrations and yours too.
If I had only known that we were in our final weeks with him………
We had three Thanksgivings with Chance, and two Christmases. He left us eight days before we would have had our third Christmas. This will be our fifth Thanksgiving without him and our sixth Christmas. I will never stop counting. Each year on these holidays, I picture him scooting around on the floor, slamming cabinet doors, tossing toys, sleeping in my arms in the recliner, cackling with joy, and growling and howling in frustration. The feeling in my heart that something is missing never goes away, yet I find ways of living with that feeling.
How do I do that?
Well, we started a little project in his honor. Every year, we find joy in bringing smiles to others with our project.
Who are you missing this holiday season? I encourage you to think of ways that you can bring joy to others, in honor of your loved one. You would be amazed at the peace you gain in that empty spot of your heart. If you need help thinking of ways to do this, reach out to me. I would LOVE to help you brainstorm ideas. If you are already doing something, please share with us about your loved one and what you are doing.
The holidays are the hardest time of the year for those of us grieving. While the world is stirring up so much hate, let’s encourage, love, and support each other through this season. Jesus commands that we love one another. Whether or not you believe Jesus to be your Savior, choosing to love one another can change the world. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
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