Lots of people have been concerned that Christmastime would be particularly hard for us. For the most part, it hasn't really been any harder than any other month. I still think about Luke every day, but the holiday season in general hasn't brought any more sadness into my life.
In the past week I was chatting with my my mother-in-law about the season and how we're doing. She told me of a woman who was from Australia (or somewhere really far away) who married someone here in the states. Each Christmas she missed her family so much and wished she could be with them. Instead of denying these feelings, she allotted herself one hour to go to her room, dwell on her family, cry, or whatever she needed to do. Then she would carry on with the rest of her day.
During church on Christmas day it was hard to not dwell on Luke. Trevor inquired, when he noticed my cheeks wet with tears. I responded, "When I hear songs of a perfect baby boy laid in a manger, how can I not think of my own baby boy? I miss him and wish Luke could be here with us."
At the conclusion of opening all of the gifts I sat and turned the pages of a wonderful book my sister-in-law made, containing highlights of the annual Fitzgerald vacation to Lake Chelan. This is when I quietly put the book down and went upstairs to our bedroom.
It was my time for a good cry.
It made me so sad to see the pictures of my adorable nieces and nephew and know that Luke will never be in the family pictures with them. It made me so sad to not have Luke here with us. It made me so sad to be left wondering if Luke would be as cute as my nieces and nephew. I cried knowing that if Luke were here I'd get to show him off to his great-grandma and all of his other family, but he's not here. I cried because I longed to be with him. I cried because I wanted more than anything, on Christmas, for Luke to know how much I love him. I cried because the sweetness I see in my growing niece, I don't get to see in my own son.
I allowed myself to have a good cry. My sweet husband found me alone and listened to my sorrows and held me as I cried some more.
I needed that.
Then I went downstairs and joined in all the festivities once more.
Luke, I don't know how heaven works exactly. I don't know what you're up to. But I hope you know how much I love you. That's my Christmas wish -that you know how much you are loved. Perhaps we were together long ago -both part of that heavenly host, singing praises to the newborn King. One day, I'm sure we will be together and be able to sing praises of gratitude to our Redeemer.