I'm at a loss for words since the tragedies. Two shootings in two days, too much grief to endure. All the children . . . so young and innocent. My heart aches for the families of all involved.
I'm left not knowing what to write here, my planned post seeming inconsequential.
One thought that keeps coming to my mind is that even the happiest of future events for the families will be filled with sadness. Christmas will be especially difficult. And while I have no idea how it will be for each individual family, I remember the first year we lost our son. I remember that day I went to hang the Christmas stockings.
To leave Joe's stocking in the box seemed impossible. Incredibly wrong. Like I was forgetting him.
And yet to hang it seemed so very strange. Weird. Like I was expecting him to miraculously reappear.
I didn't hang a single stocking that day. I simply cried.
Later, I decided to hang his blue felt stocking right where it was always meant to be--between his big brother James' and his little brother Will's.
That year, and every year since, Santa fills Joe's stocking with all his favorite foods--Star Wars fruit snacks, red licorice, ranch flavored Corn Nuts, and sunflower seeds. His siblings share them, remembering all the times Joe would load them up in his little blue car, and drive them to the store for the same special treats.
Santa also brings a family gift--something that Joe would have loved sharing with his siblings. The gift is usually along the lines of video games, movies, or sports. I like to imagine Joe's beaming smile, seeing his siblings' delight.
My heart aches for all those lost. My heart aches for Joe. Until we meet again, I will keep living my life with purpose and redeeming the years lost to all who have had their precious lives cut short.