Christmas is a time for joyous celebrations, children laughing and singing and events that bring people together. But for us, that time ceased to exist after the death of our third child. Christmas became yet another time to remember that our littlest angel was no longer with us. Both of our children were very sad. There was no light in their eyes over presents, Santa, music or even Christmas cookies. All they wanted was their sister back. My husband and I were also very sad, both at the loss of our daughter and the loss of innocence in our living children's eyes. We longed to see some bit of happiness in their faces. Christmas had become so very painful, something to endure rather than something to celebrate.
This is our third Christmas without Nora and the sadness still fills the air. My husband and I have been trying so hard to make this one different. The sadness is still there but we want a tiny light back in their eyes, after all they are children. We had to find a way to let the magic back into Christmas.
We soon discovered that Christmas magic is what we make it. It is not the craziness of the mall, furiously trying to get cards out, wrapping presents or baking all hours of the morning. We wanted our Christmas magic to be about helping others, bringing to the needy the magic of Christmas. The children loved this idea and soon the holiday took on a life of its own. We donated gently used toys, new toys and a Christmas tree to the needy. We helped out others along the way that needed a helping hand. The children soon found their own magic and started to have a light in their eyes.
The children eventually sat down and wrote their letters to Santa. There was a mailbox at the mall and they were assured Santa would indeed write back. Each child wrote their own letter and each letter spoke of very little for them, but more for others, including their sister in heaven. Then a week later, we received our own Christmas miracle. We opened the mail to find a letter from Santa addressed to both children. As they read the letter, tears streamed from their faces as well as their parents faces.
Our own Christmas miracle had arrived. This letter touched the heart of our family in a way that we thought was impossible. Every time we pull this letter out to read, we still cry. It is a beautiful letter written by a beautiful person who is obviously filled with the Christmas spirit. The letter had the ability to bring the magic of Christmas back into our lives, and the light back into our children's eyes. Though we still miss Nora every day, we are able to celebrate this holiday with the children and include Nora in our own special ways.
Before Nora died, our family had no idea what Christmas was truly about. It took our littlest angel to show us the true meaning of the season, the greatest gift she could have ever given to us.
And to Santa, thank you for the beautiful letter, a most treasured, magical gift that brought the light back to my children's eyes.