I’m sorry I haven’t written.
The holidays are hard.
Hard because you’re not here.
And hard because a part of me isn’t either.
The first notable snowfall came this week and I thought of you. I imagined playing with you in the sugary mantle, watching your cheeks turn that shade of pink that the winter wind and cold bring. I imagined your mittened hands reaching for mine, inviting me to make snow angels as the sun warmed our faces and your giggles warmed the places of my heart long cold.
I imagined twinkling lights, a perfect pine and a house that smelled of cinnamon and hot chocolate. I imagined Bing Crosby crooning and sitting together on the floor, your tiny fingers trying to keep the ribbon taut as I tied bow after bow on elegantly wrapped packages.
I imagined teaching you how to make the famous two-tone fudge. How you would pour the chocolate chips into the big metal bowl. How I’d mix and mix and mix until my arms hurt. And how you’d stand on tippy-toe anxiously awaiting your chance to lick the beaters (just as I did with Grandma).
I imagined you had my pretty hair and your Daddy’s pretty heart.
And I imagined you holding my hand to your cheek (as your cousin does) and sighing deeply knowing you were safe.
I imagined you knew how much you were wanted.
How much we cried when we found out you were coming.
And how much we cried when we found out you weren’t.
I imagined that you forgave me for anything I might have unknowingly done that made you go away.
And that you forgave me for wanting to go away too.
And I think…
I imagined that I didn’t imagine you.
That you had never gone away.
That I hadn’t needed to be so brave.
That I hadn’t needed to send all my love upward instead of giving it to you. Here.
That I hadn’t needed to hope that Leslie’s mom had walked the halls of Heaven, found you and held you (like she told me she knew she would). And that you had made friends with Jaclyn, Alan and the twins, who were also taken too soon, and whose parents Mommy knows and loves.
That I hadn’t needed to imagine what you’d smell like and feel like cradled in my arms.
That I hadn’t needed to imagine our home sprinkled with baby dust, peppered with dirty diapers and fussing, and blanketed with the sweetness of exhaustion.
That I hadn’t needed to imagine everything because your departure left me with nothing.
That. I. hadn’t. needed…
to. imagine. at. all.
I’ll write more soon, precious ones.
Until then and with all my heart,
P.S. Don’t worry…we’ll save the fudge making for Heaven.