At the top of our Christmas tree there are two simple, silver ornaments. The first has been there since the year our precious Owen died. The second we hung just last night. Two little silver ornaments, reflecting light at the top of our tree. Two little ornaments. One for each little boy we have lost.
This morning under the same tree, our little princess sang and danced. And the joy in our hearts was true and real and full. Christmas is wonder and joy and delight. It is cuddling our sweetheart, and feeling the reassuring, beautiful presence of her in our arms. Because joy and pain live separately in the same world, as our hearts rejoice and ache, are shattered and whole, all at the very same time. And with each breath this Christmas day, we breathed blessing and wholeness, heartache and longing. For the child we hold in our arms. And for the children who have left us, whom our arms ache to hold.
This morning I opened the most perfect gift. A small, sparkling necklace, reflecting the same silvery light as the ornaments at the top of our tree. Three tiny, sparkling hearts. One for each of our three children. One heart for each heart that has been joined with mine. My precious, perfect son in heaven. My beautiful daughter, cradled here in my arms. And my beloved baby boy, the child of my heart. Taken from my arms, but never from my soul.
Merry Christmas, my beautiful babies…