Getting Christmas cards out on time was always a challenge in my busy household.
So for the last years of kids at home, we transitioned to sending New Year’s greetings. It was easier to get a family photo with everyone home for Christmas, there was no artificial deadline to send them and we could include a “thank you” or respond to news in their Christmas letters.
I haven’t sent anything for three years.
What could I say?
And a family photo was out of the question.
But faithful friends and relatives keep sending us theirs.
As I was looking at them this past week, I decided to make a go of it one more time. I sat down and pecked away at the computer keys until I composed something that felt right.
HERE’S WHAT I WROTE:
“Hello from the DeSimones!
For anyone counting, it has been three years since our last Christmas/New Year’s update.
I just could not figure out how to send greetings when our hearts were so very wounded and sore. I’m still not sure how to do it-but am plunging ahead.
We are learning to live with the absence of Dominic. We are learning to carry the weight of grief and sorrow that burden our hearts. We are managing the necessary tasks of life. We are moving forward in careers and education. We live and love and even laugh.
It’s not the same.
It will never be the same.
And that’s a testimony to our enduring love for Dominic and his lasting impact on our lives.
We look forward to heaven, where everything that the enemy has stolen will be redeemed and restored.
I’ve been reading The Jesus Storybook Bible-it is a remarkable way to re-imagine and re-engage with God’s Story. My very favorite part is a paraphrase of Revelation 21:4:
‘And the King says, “Look! God and his children are together again. No more running away. Or hiding. No more crying or being lonely or afraid. No more being sick or dying. Because all those things are gone. Yes, they are gone forever. Everything sad has come untrue. And see-I have wiped every tear from every eye!”‘
[Here I inserted updates on each of us under the title “newsy bits”]
We are thankful for each one who has encouraged us, loved us and stuck with us in this journey.
It’s our prayer that this Christmas season the Saviour will fill your hearts-hurting or happy-to overflowing with His love, grace and mercy.”
You may not be ready to send Christmas cards. Maybe next year, or maybe never and that’s OK.
I’m sharing so that perhaps my words can help you find a way to tell your family’s story.
Christmas for those of us missing a child we love will always be different. It will always be tinged with sadness.
But we are stronger together.
We can hang on harder when others hang on with us.
I appreciate each person who reads this blog and takes time to comment.
Thank you for encouraging, loving and sticking with me in this journey.
May the God of all hope fill your hurting hearts with hope as we wait together for our faith to be made sight.