Oh how badly I wish this was your first Christmas with us, instead of your first Christmas in heaven. Although I can imagine the worship in heaven can’t even compare to ours down here. Spending Christmas with Christ himself would be better than anything I could give you wrapped under the tree, but how my heart longs for you to be here with me.
We hung up a stocking for you this year though it will never get to be filled. I bought ornaments for you but instead of saying “Baby’s First Christmas” they say your name and the year you both lived and died. I bought more than one ornament for you since I know the tree will never be filled with your preschool-made creations. I made a Christmas card so I could show you off to those who never got to meet you. Do you know how much we miss you? The gaping hole in our family that can never be filled with anyone else?
When the world around me is filled with joy and smiling family photos, the fact that I’m missing part of mine, makes the hole feel even bigger. It’s been over six months since your life began in heaven and you would have turned nine months on December 23rd. Some people pretend you never lived and they don’t mention your name very much anymore. Do people realize the gift they give me when they speak your name?
It’s hard for me to dwell on my memories with you because they turn to pain when I linger too long. On Friday I received a teddy bear, made to weigh exactly what you did when you were born. The minute I felt the weight of that bear in my arms I was brought back to that sterile NICU room where I would sit for hours in that uncomfortable rocker and feel the weight of you in my arms. It was so peaceful there when you would fall asleep on me and I’d nuzzle my nose into your soft hair, smelling your incredible smell. When we were together the rest of the world faded away. What I wouldn’t give to hold you by the light of the Christmas tree as we watch your siblings open their packages. How I ache to introduce you to your cousins and hear your playful screams fill the house on Christmas Eve.
I will never stop saying your name, Joshua. You are a part of me. I carry you with me wherever I go. You will never ever be forgotten by me and the ones who fell so deeply in love with you the short time you were here. I wouldn’t trade all the pain and all the trauma, for a life of never knowing you. You were worth every second. You will always be my third baby, my little warrior. Merry Christmas my sweet son.