Christmas in Heaven…


I miss you unbearably this time of the year...

I couldn’t  look at your photo the first two years...
but I did take your favorite shirt and stuff it like 
a big pillow...sprayed it with your favorite cologne...

Crystal and I lay crying in your arms on the dark 
lonely nights without you.  We couldn't bear to erase 
your voice from the answering machine but every time we 
called home and you took a message it almost killed us 
to hear your voice...

Sometimes she would leave class and borrow a quarter 
just to hear your voice at times when she needed you...

I would stop in the middle of the day and call you from 
work...Somehow it was  slow torture to miss you but 
even harder to let you go completely...

We've ignored Christmas for six years.  It wasn't the 
same without you to share it.  But finally came that 
moment just this year when Crystal got married and 
unpacked all her memories in her new home.  She has 
your picture on the mantle and a stocking hung with 
your name on it...even though you can't be there in 
person she says that maybe you are there with them 
anyway and she wants you to know that she loves you 
still if all you can do is just observe from the 
ghostly realms...

She is definitely your daughter...She inherited so 
many of your characteristics. The way she smooths back 
her dark with the palm of her hand and those reddish 
chocolate brown eyes that change to light and a dark 
with her moods.  She has your sense of humor and love 
of music. I see you in her crooked smile and hear you 
in her accent.

We finally wore out the pillow shirt, must have 
cried a river of tears missing you wrapped in your 
arms.  Burying our faces in your collar.  Sniffing you.  
I could never bear to wash that shirt.  Now it smells 
like you and me and our daughter who finished growing 
up without you...and even the cat...who loves to lay in 
the crook of your arm when I'm not there.

She sat at the door waiting for you...for the longest 
time.  It broke our hearts how she would welcome us home 
and sit there patiently waiting for Daddy too...But you 
never came back and then Crystal left too...and now she 
only waits for me...

Follows me from room to room and sits on the back of the 
potty purring as I take a bath...loving me with her eyes.  
I am so acutely aware of how lonely she must be in the house 
when I'm not here to.  Even with her here I am so 
incredibly lonely.  Especially this year.  With our our
daughter so far away. 

I walk every night just like you and I used to, under the 
stars, come rain or shine, season after season...Remember 
how you used to hold my hand and we'd pray together 
interjecting things we wanted God to know in our Husband 
and Wife prayer.  I miss praying with you my love... 

Now I after I pray sometimes I find myself talking to you 
too and all the others who have left us behind...as if you 
can hear me ...I ache for you...Does this misery ever end?

So many people tell me I should date and move on... 
especially this year when even our child has finally found 
masculine arms to hold her tight.  Her happy and sad are at 
war with each other just like mine always has been.  Torn 
between being thrilled to be with the new man in her life that 
she has dreamed of for so long...and longing to be my child 
still in my arms and wishing her Daddy were here for a 
three way kiss.

She told me on the phone last night, laying in the dark...
I could hear Jason snoring...that she wished she could just 
lay between the two of us safe in our arms and feel that 
innocent and loved again.  This time of the year is so hard 
for her too...no matter how long it's been or happy she is 
with the future looming brightly ahead.  

She and I can finally look at your photos again... When you 
left I put your ring on the gold chain with the little cross 
you gave me and wore it round my neck...You loved to lay your 
head between my breast and there is where your ring has 
rested ever since.

It made me feel you were still with me...smiling down at me 
from heaven.  I put on your watch.  The band was so huge but 
I wore it like a bracelet.  Last year it stopped working 
and I couldn’t fix it so I retired it to my jewelry box. 

Do you remember that little heart shaped rock we found the 
night we met?  It's still nestled in the purple velvet of 
that same space.  Every time I open it up to get my earrings 
I see it..and I can't help but smile at how every little 
thing brought us together and still reminds me of you....

Especially our daughter.  Ohhh if you could only see her now. 
She grew up to be even more than we dreamed of.  She is 
miraculous.  I only take solace in knowing that someday we'll 
all be together again when we have completed our journeys here 
too.

Everyone tells me that I should let you go and live in the land 
of the living but some marriages were born in heaven and 
consummated on earth and how can I ever lay in another man's arms 
when I still miss yours...

I love you...I will always love you...

This is the emptiest Christmas of all without you or our daughter.  
I am trying to smile and give to others who are even less 
fortunate than I am.  I can muster up a smile but it doesn't 
reach my heart.  I am growing old alone.  How did that happen?

Is there Christmas in Heaven?  Do you have a stocking with our 
names over your fireplace?

Copyright © 2003 by Darlene Purcell  All rights reserved.
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