Those that follow my blog know what I do every Christmas since Nolan passed.
Christmas day is one of the hardest days for me in missing Nolan. On Christmas day your family should be together. This is the day where the hole in my heart aches and yearns so much for him. Ask anyone who is grieving the loss of a close loved one.
I have hung Nolan’s stocking since the first Christmas without him. Why not? He is still my child, right? No candy, toys or gift cards fill his stocking now. Instead I place a letter I write to him. I have done this every year since my first Christmas without him, since 2016.
Here is part of my letter to Nolan. Christmas #6 without him.
I was going to write a dreary letter lamenting how much I miss you. But this sunny winter day puts my mind more in the direction of reflecting.
Lately it is a challenge to keep a positive mindset. I am reminded that each and every one of us here on earth is common in spirit and we are all made from God. Lately my feeling of hope for humankind feels pushed down by all the suffering and divisiveness I see daily. Our human experience is now globally changed due to a virus that reminds me why I found virology and immununology so interesting in medical school. I am intrigued but terrified of the biology of this pandemic. I research as much as I can to help my patients and serve in my purpose.
Living in the present is my goal. Too much dwelling on the past is a waste. I acknowledge it but I can’t stay thinking about it too long. The future is so uncertain. A year ago we were hopeful that 2021 would be better than 2020. It had to be. Nope – same old pandemic world. I know 2022 will be different – but better?
Only God knows.
Nolan I think about the family and friends of the over 800,000 Americans that died so far from COVID infection. And those that passed from cancer, chronic illness, accidents, suicide and overdose. They are missing a loved one or ones this Christmastime. For some it will be their first without their loved one. If I had an empty chair at the holiday dinner table for every close family member I have lost since your Nana and Grandpa passed almost eleven years ago- I would have too many chairs to stare at. I don’t want to do that. I want to be present and enjoy time with our family who are still here.
Do you remember Christmas Nolan? For a child it is such a happy time. Weeks of preparing and counting down the days until the BIG DAY. Such joy, love and family time together. I can keep Christmas a day of brilliant wonderment and joy if I remember that Christmas means HOPE. Jesus came to end all suffering. On Christmas day his birth gave hope to people in an occupied country. Jesus told us “Have faith in me.” I absolutely do.
At the end of most days I can say I tried my best. I am not perfect for sure but I do remember why I am here and how I can show people I love them. I go to sleep hoping you will be in my dreams, where I can hear your voice and your laugh …. see you smile. I wake up and in the first minutes I thank God for another day. A day where I sometimes question what the heck we humans are doing and where we are heading – but I know what I have to do.
I love you and miss you everyday son. Please watch over your brother Sam. And your father. And me.
Until I hug you again…. Love, Mom