Saturday, December 20, 2014

Embracing the holidays and Heaven.

Twinkling Christmas lights are strung all over our home. Our Christmas tree lights dance to Holiday music when prompted. Our home smells of pine and berries, thanks to the Yankee candle that burns on the dining room table...because our tree was most certainly not picked from a field in the chill of December, but rather carried up from our basement closet where we store the holiday decorations.

The kids' favorite ornament tells me that it's merely a few days, some hours and a couple spare minutes until Christmas day. Our home is decorated inside and out. We have even strung lights, garland, bows and silver sparkly snowflakes on Wyatt's trees and clubhouse. I guess you could say we have chosen to embrace the holiday season this year. Jilly says we will light our home so bright that Wyatt will be able to see it from Heaven. (We have got to be getting close!) 

Wyatt has been the topic of many conversations among ourselves of late. He had such an enthusiasm for the holidays and his giving spirit would always shine so bright.

I recently had a dream about, or maybe with, him. He and I spent the whole day together. I don't remember exactly what we were doing, but I could feel it was special. Just before I woke up I looked over to see him smiling a very content smile. I recognized it right away--I know that smile well. As if everything was just as it was supposed to be. I asked him why he was smiling and he looked at me. I could feel his gaze, his spirit, his soul. As he simply replied, "because I'm so happy."

I've been holding a very tight grasp on that moment these days as Christmas creeps closer. My body tenses and my heart becomes heavy when I think of spending another Christmas day without our boy. I find myself feeling a bit anxious about sitting in a church Christmas eve this year. I remember years past, as we helped our three small children hold their flaming candles at the end of the service each Christmas eve. They were always excited about that particular part and I feared the families in front of us would be caught on fire if I looked away for even one second.

For now, at this moment in our lives, the holidays seem to make it even more apparent that one of us is missing. There is always an empty seat at the table, it's a little quieter in the house, there are less presents to be thought of, bought, wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. I could certainly keep listing the ways in which it's noticed...but even so, this year we've chosen to embrace the holiday, both here and in Heaven. The thought of solar Christmas lights wrapped around Wyatt's black granite stone at the cemetery has even been brought up as a possibility. We so dearly miss his festive spirit in our presence, but we do feel him near. Just as we tell the girls, we are still celebrating the holidays together, just in a different way now. I can only imagine what the celebration of Christmas is really like in Heaven!

Embracing the holidays and Heaven--it's what this year has led us to. With him, for him and because of him.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

With love,
The DeStephano family 
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