The Signs of Christmas
I was in the city yesterday and I could breathe Thanksgiving and Christmas everywhere, I could see it too; the colors, the ads, the ‘special holiday offers’. I always thought that early November was too early for a Christmas assault. In my life before Rory died, it was a thought; but now, well now, it just breaks my heart.
I passed Toys ‘r Us and recalled how every Christmas I would grab Rory and Kathleen from school, an unexcused absence, just so we could go to play in the city. We would have a dream breakfast, visit a train show, see the Christmas tree, go to Toys ‘r Us and then make our way to FAO Schwartz to play with absolutely everything in the store. Exhausted, we would make our way to FAO’s restaurant where we would devour three of their enormous ice creams, everyone satisfied and making big decisions about what item they could take home that day and what would go on their Santa list. Once we were done and a list loosely put together we would head home on the train happy, satisfied and hungry in anticipation of Christmas, full of stories for dad.
Since Rory died this is the time of year when I feel very sore. It’s the time of year when I would like to check out, take a break from life. It would be nice to go hide and re-appear in January when all the festivities are over. Of course, I won’t, I have a wonderful child, husband, family and friends and I count my blessings. But at this time of year I can get distracted by having a way too strong argument about something that at other times of the year I would let slip by, because these arguments distract me.
Often I don’t hear the phone ring because I would prefer not to hear, I would prefer to listen to my thoughts of yesterday. These are little games we as parents of children who have died play, little games that buy time. These are maneuvers that remove our thoughts from our difficult reality; a reality that begins in September when kids go back to school, and follows through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
There would be no greater gift we could receive as a family and no greater thanks we could give than to see Rory’s face again. The desire to have Rory back supersedes any possible desire for anything in this earthly world so that makes the holiday season very difficult. We are not alone in this, all families we know whose child have died, try to make memories while at the same time knowing their greatest desire will never be fulfilled in this world.
So, we count our blessings and I urge you to count yours. I urge you to make memories as we will do but please remember those families, like us, whose greatest wish is to be with their precious, beautiful soul who has already gone Home. For us it is Rory.
And remember that this didn’t have to be this way for us and for hundreds of thousands more people who die from sepsis. If you can this Christmas let your friends and family know the signs of sepsis, have them like this page and visit our website. This year I have met too many other families whose children died since Christmas 2014 – it doesn’t have to be this way.