Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmases Kept In My Heart

Yet again, it's been a while since I've blogged. Seems I rarely had time before and now that I have taken on babysitting Monday-Friday I have even less time. But ... here goes what's been on my mind lately.

It's the holiday season, and well, it's my first Christmas without my precious Daddy. I miss him so much - more than words can say.

I feel to some degree like I'm forgetting to do something - no doubt a feeling caused by the empty void left impossible to fill.

I started to write him a Christmas card and put a picture of Ellie in it as I have done every year, but then realized there was nowhere to send it. I kept wanting to pick up the phone to call him and tell him that I would see him soon, but ... tears instead. Instead I just talked to the air and told him how much I miss him and that where ever he is I wish him a happy and Merry Christmas. What I wouldn't give to hear his voice one last time.

Somehow I knew last year was indeed that - our last Christmas together. I wish I had spent that entire day with him or at least stayed with him longer. But too late for that now.

I've recalled the Christmases of my youth lately - times when Daddy was in better health and times when he and Mama were still together.

Daddy used to get so sad around Christmas. He had a hard upbringing and Christmases were just hard for him and his family. They were less than privileged, and I guess Daddy had a hard time letting that go - at least before he gave himself to God. But I guess what also made remembering his own childhood Christmases so hard was what I am now experiencing: Daddy knew the most important thing in life was family, and I guess when Christmas time rolled around he missed his all the more - his parents who had passed, his two brothers and even countless friends who had gone on before him.

I now know what my Daddy was feeling. This Christmas I did good to forget that my daddy is no longer here, if only for a few minutes of each passing day. And I told the air that - told him that. I told him that I finally understand what it was he was so sad about. I told the air that I was glad he didn't have to be sad anymore, but that I missed him all the same.

And then, as if in response, a few days after I told the air how much I missed him, I found a Christmas card from him that seemed to satisfy the void for now.

See, I have kept every card - especially every Christmas card - ever given to me. This year I decided it was time to throw some out, and I was doing just that when I came across one that read:
"Daughter,
Keep in your heart
This warm special wish
For a Christmas that's filled with pleasure
Keep in your heart
The many dear thoughts
Of a daughter who's truly a treasure
Keep in your heart
The joy that you're wished
In so many big ways and small ways
Keep in your heart
The love that is yours
For today, for tomorrow, for always."

And then in the most familiar handwriting were written the words:
"Carla,
I miss you so much all the time. But much more at this time of the year.
- Love Dad"


I laughed and cried at the same time. I was both overwhelmed with joy and overcome with grief all in one moment. But I knew in my heart that Daddy had got the messages that I thought I was only blubbering to the air. I knew in an instant that Daddy wouldn't want me to be sad, because he no longer had to miss those he loves. I believe he is with them now, and that one day soon we will all be together. And where we will be, well I guess you could say they celebrate Christmas time for all eternity! And so ... I am a little less sad now.

With this blog I post a scan of the card and a collage of pictures from Christmases past - Christmases with my Daddy and brother - Christmases that I will always keep in my heart.

To everyone who reads, I pray that you too will always keep Christmas in your heart, but more importantly that you will always keep in your heart those who you call family, who mean the most to you and especially the one who makes Christmas possible.

I pray God's blessings to all who read.

Thanks for stopping by and for letting me share.