Every year at Christmas we watch Scrooge. It is such a great story of how we tend to get stuck in what we think is important and it takes something really big and scary to jolt us out of being stuck….then we can do something different.
I look at Phillips death as my big jolt. I feel tired and drained. I want to do something different….yet, I am not sure if I am. I love my kids….this makes me want to say I love you and make sure we hug each time you leave the house. It is coming across like I am paranoid. I guess I am. I mean, if Phil can die, they could too, right?
His ghost is everywhere. I seem Phil as a baby, a toddler, an elementary kid, a teenager, a young adult. I see him as a father. I see him as a driver. His car still sits in the driveway. Neither my husband or I have the heart to get rid of it. It sort of seems like he is here when it is in the driveway.
This year, I didn't want to do Christmas. Everywhere I look I see Phillip's presence. The ghost of Christmas past. You might think this would bring a level of peace yet it reminds me I will never hug him, smell him, hear his voice or get to see him age. Of all the firsts, this Christmas one seems to be the most painful by far….there has been Christmas stuff up since Halloween and it seems it will never end. When I was shopping, I was thinking Phil would love this…and then I would remember.
Phillip's First Christmas
As I was going through the orniments, the Ghost of Christmas Past was certainly lurking in my head. The little handmade orniments from Phillp's grade school years….his very first Mickey Mouse orniment that one of my friend had given me. And then there is the cheap little snowman orniment that had his first baby picture cutout and glued into it. I rememeber taking that photo oh so well. It was before iphones and digital cameras….I couldn't wait to get the film back and then I got copies of the photo and sent it to everyone I know. Then there was the one he made me in 2000 with his photo on it. He had dyed his hair blond that year….he thought it was so cool. He loved giving me gifts.
Phillip's first Christmas Carol
Phillip was about five months old when he and I laid in bed and watched Christmas shows one cold Saturday. We lived in Northern California. Phillip was just starting to be aware of things and he was so patient and good all day long. I couldn't believe he was MY baby….he didn't fuss and was just easy. He was so much like his dad. He even smelled like his dad. We watched a musical version of The Christmas Carol…better known as Scrooge and I sang him the lyrics for years…right up until he died as a matter of fact. I would change the words and throw in something about laundry.
The Ghost of Christmas Past is lurkning everywhere I turn. Phillip loved to decorate and if it wasn't for that fact, I would not have gotten a single decoration out this year. He was so excited for Ava to have Christmas this year. He was talking about it in August. She had a great Christmas. She kissed his photo several times. I think her mom must teach her that.
The Christmas ghost lingers in my head mostly. I cannot seem to escape. Paul said he cried at work today. We are learning to grieve together. We must support each other…so many couples lose themselves in the grief…there are many more Christmas trees to put up and Christmas ornimants to hang….this will not define us…not for long term…maybe for awhile….not for the long term.
I think of the ghost of Christmas past. In the movie it was everything that could have been, should have been…the regrets. I have those. I could have been a better mom. I could have been a better teacher to Phil. Could have, wouldn't have should have. There is no going back. This Christmas is without Phil. Last year was the last Christmas with Phil. How did we know. We didn't. We thought time would march on forever and allow us to be part of it. It didn't.
Merry Christmas. Hold your babies. Tell them everything you want to tell them now. This Christmas. You never know, the Christmas past may not look the way you think it should.