November 20, 2009

I Remember

Well, I suppose learning to make a festive, seasonal wreath was one way to avoid thinking about the upcoming holiday's downside. It's not the shopping, the crowds, the money, the stress, or anything I used to freak about. I can deal with all of that pretty well these days, but I'm not dealing too well with the fact that Matt won't be here.

This picture was taken about this time last year, right around the time everything was going to hell. It's funny, but it's not how I remember him best. This is what I remember, when I let myself go there:

I remember when he used to smile, a real smile, not that snide, too-cool-4-u smile I came to hate. I remember when his hair wasn't green and his nails weren't painted black, when he loved Legos and still slept with Barney on his bed. I remember when he made me laugh so hard I cried, when I couldn't believe how smart and witty he had become. Talking about the places we wanted to visit someday, trips we planned to take together.

I remember when the hair coloring was fun and funny. When he and Casey and I would go shopping at Hot Topic and we would put together outfits for him, thinking "Oh, this Emo thing is weird, but it's so much better than the non-fashion he followed before."

I remember when I could talk to him. When I still had some connection, however volatile or tenuous it might have been, with this boy, my first born child. By the time he left, I hardly knew him and I even had a hard time remembering the boy he used to be. But here it is, almost Christmas again, and my memory is recovering a little. Some memories are warm and make me smile, some just about kill me with longing and regret and sadness and hope.

This will be the first Christmas I have not spent with my son. I know, there are millions of parents who will be away from their kids this holiday season, and I don't ever mean to discount the emptiness in the heart of every soldier who won't be home this year. I don't mean to minimize the pain of any parent who has had to bury a child, or who will divide time this season between home and a children's hospital. Without a doubt, I thank God that my son is alive and well, and that I know where he is. It could be so much worse.

Still, I miss him terribly.


  1. Hopefully the time will come when he recognizes what he is missing and will return to his family.

    I wish you joyful holidays with the rest of your family.

  2. Thanks, Eva! Wishing you all good things this holiday season too!

  3. I am stopping by to thank you for visiting. I am needing to catch up - where is your son? (Please, god, not a run away...)....

    Your fall wreath? It's terrific. I am so not crafty in this way my friends take pity on me and make them for me -- my SIL gave me one for fall, my hair dresser one for Christmas, and I paid him for another for spring it was so fabulous. Kudos for doing it yourself....

    And your hubby? Now that's a real mench...what a sweetheart!