As a Christian, I celebrate Christmas. I choose to believe that "for God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (-John 3:16) I openly chose to, as some would say, put all my faith in something that cannot be seen. And however you feel about me based on my decisions I can live with that. If you would rather hear "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas," that is just as much your prerogative as it is mine to choose Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. But this blog post is not me defending my faith or religion. This post is not about my Christmas and your Holiday.
I don't know all there is to know about other religions. I don't know details about atheism, buddhism, muslim, or being jewish and celebrating hanukkah. Aside from the separations between my Christianity and any of the above preferences, I do not see why mankind is so incapable of love. Regardless of differences. Regardless of religion. Especially this time of year. No matter what we are choosing to celebrate.
I sat wrapping presents yesterday as my little ones sat watching "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas." A child's cartoon teaches something so simple that most humans have lost sight of. Donald Duck gave his nephews a Christmas card that read,
"Christmas isn't about candy canes, holly, or lights all aglow,
its about the lives that we touch and the care that we show."
I have experienced it now. The unknown first year. We endured all of the traditional holidays. The first year through grief, for me, was not only about healing and growing, it was also about learning. As a mother burying her child, you have to learn to walk all over again. One baby step at a time. You have to learn how to go about your daily life with a permanent absence. You have to learn how to celebrate these holidays minus one. And you have to learn to accept the crulety in the world when they acknowledge the sweet life you cherish, in a dark and cynical manner.
A very strong and beautiful friend of mine today, once again, held her head high today as she defended her two sons. She proudly display's pictures of them on her desk at work. Both born premature, one little man in heaven, one special needs sweetheart here with her. A co-worker, also a new employee walked by her desk and one of the pictures caught the woman's eye. As if these pictures were the most offensive thing she would see all day, she asked in disgust, "Is THAT your baby? Oh my gosh, WHAT is wrong with him!"
I now know mothers of loss. But I know mothers of special needs as well. They face the same disturbed reaction, that we who carry death around with us do. If not more. We can disclose the information. Our babies are always there, but not viewable to all.
And just in the same way people can bump into you and neglect to offer a simple apology, people can be judgmental, rude, and harsh. Mothers proudly take their special needs children with them everywhere. And I would do the exact same. Whether the world has lost sight of love and compassion or not.
A family member of mine, will not come around me. Not only are they angry of the death of Savannah, the life of Davis has only succeeded in making the bitterness worse. Since I lost one, this precious boy, is only viewed through death's eyes for this family member. I see women choose to have babies after the heartache of tragedy everyday. I know I will have to experience the first year all over again, yet in a different way. I will see the milestones. I will have the little one at the holidays. And all over again, I will have to experience this change, minus one. But that IS what Christmas, or "this holiday" means.
A love SO strong,
a parent would sacrifice everything.
In the end,
is the greatest gift of all.