It’s Christmas time, my favorite time of year but without Eliza it still doesn’t seem right to celebrate.
Last weekend we had a little holiday party for the kids at the center. They decorated pinecones for angel ornaments, sang songs and then had a visit from Santa who brought presents for everyone. It was a really beautiful day but I couldn’t help but feel a little sadness creep in. I was so happy that we could do this for these families but I wished so badly that Eliza could have been there. I thought about how she would have loved holding the pinecone but would have protested having to decorate it, art was never her favorite. She would have loved singing and ringing the little bells during Jingle Bells. She would have been so excited to see Santa and I know for sure that she would have given him a big hug and a kiss too. And so I spent a lot of time that morning dreaming about Eliza and trying to hold back tears. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do these fun events but it’s always…just a little, bittersweet.
And then of course I got a sign that everything we are doing is worth a few tears.
One of the sweet mamas that came with her child sent me a text and a picture a few hours after the party. The picture was of her mom and brother in 1974 at a special Christmas party for kids with special needs. Her brother has down syndrome and she remembered what a very special day that was for her mother and brother to share together. Fast forward 44 years and she was able to share the same special day with her son and it meant the world to her.
How I wish that could be my story, that I could have that same special day with Eliza. But that’s the thing about stories, none are the same. They are perfectly imperfect and they are ours. You can’t trade with someone else, you can’t give away the sad parts, but you can share the happy parts and when you do it with love it can even change your own story.
So just like Eliza is doing for so many people we can all take a moment, especially during this holiday season, to give a little love and share a little joy and maybe make someone’s story a little bit better than it was before.
“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”~C.S. Lewis