Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And so, after 7 months, I finally went back. Elizabeth and Richard were there, too. Still, the hole--the wound--is still so far inside me I shy away when people trod near it. It's still so personal, so internal.

It should be his first Christmas. I should have another Baby's First Christmas ornament on the tree. That's hard sometimes. But, he's in Heaven with the Angels and the Saints celebrating Jesus' Birthday, where music bursts forth and happiness abounds. I want nothing more for my son, especially on his First Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa,

I know my letter is late this year, but I also know that you're still getting mail even this late. I have a few requests this year, though they be a little out of the ordinary.

First, dearest Santa, help me ignite a sense of wonder and magic in my daughter. Yes, for the twinkling lights, wrapped up presents, and images of you. But, more so, for that tiny Baby who is preparing to enter our world once again. As I reflect on Christmases of my youth, I remember a sense of silent, immense wait. There was an excitement that went beyond the tree, beyond the gifts, beyond the stockings. I was waiting for my Savior's birth. I want that for my daughter as well.

Secondly, I want my husband to come home safely from Iraq. I wish I could ask that he wouldn't go. But, I couldn't feel right about that. He has been asked to go, and I have to support him--I want to support him. He needs me behind him. So, instead, please make sure comes home safely and healthy. Next year, Santa.

Finally, help me to be the wife and mother this Christmas that I am meant to be. Help give me patience, courage, peace, hope, and joy as we face great Crosses in this little home. Remind all of us that when life seems dark and the days seem endless, we must fall to our knees and seek Christ. When the days are light and joyful, help us also to remember to kneel and give thanks.

You see, Santa, what I ask for cannot be wrapped under the tree, cannot be slipped into a stocking. Rather, please wrap my heart around these virtues, most especially of hope. Please slip these petitions into my prayers, as I seek a closer relationship with Christ.

I am grown now, Santa, but I know where you are. In Heaven. With Jesus.

Merry Christmas, Santa. Kiss the Baby Jesus for me.


Friday, December 03, 2010

So last night, I had this horrible dream. I had a bird's eye view on Richard in Iraq. He was sitting in what appeared to be some sort of bed or something with five Iraqi children while he read to them. All the while, mortar fire was going off around them. As my view got closer and closer, Richard looked up at me with the most mournful expression and I knew what was about to happen. I was about to watch my husband die in Iraq.

I woke up before that happened, thankfully. But, I spent the next 20 minutes pacing the house, convincing myself that wasn't going to happen. I went and checked on Elizabeth, who was oddly awake herself, and we snuggled for a bit. I finally crawled back into bed and snuggled close to my husband.

The footlocker is right next to the Christmas tree, ironically. The last thing I wanted for Christmas this year were deployment orders. But, we've got them. I remember last New Year's, just as the clock struck twelve a.m., praying so hard my husband would be here all year, that we'd celebrate New Year's of 2011 with him in the same room. Ha Ha, God. He ships out a couple of weeks after New Year's. That actually is funny to me.

Yesterday, we met with our financial advisor and were completing the "just in cases" for the deployment. The way she so freely and, sometimes laughingly, talked about the various scenarios of Richard's death disturbed me greatly. It hits on a very deep, very real fear (often times more like a premonition) that Richard won't make it home. I've spoken of this terribly dark and paralyzing fear to two other people--my husband and a very dear friend.

That's why the dream terrified me so much last night. It's why I paced the floor, why I stood, staring at that G0d-awful footlocker at 2 am. I'd like to kick it, but I think that would hurt me more than it would hurt it. I just pray my fear is wrong. That Richard will come home. And that this war and everything will end. This Christmas, I understand the prayer for Peace on Earth. If we human beings just knew how to get along, life would be a lot easier for everyone. But try explaining that to us--we are such a stubborn species.

Meanwhile, I try to ignore that massive black box, to shush the fear, to focus on Today. While my husband is home. Christmas will be wonderful because we will make it wonderful. New Year's will be celebrated with all its festivities. Then, life will begin. But, I deal with that Tomorrow.