If you could have another Christmas with your loved ones who have passed, would you? Of course you would. How would that day go? This is how I envision Christmas day with my loved ones who have passed.
As I look out the window, I gaze at the snow gently falling. It is Christmas day and I am filled with excitement and anxiety. The first knock comes and I open the door to see my sister holding her five day old granddaughter Caitlyn, born with Down’s syndrome and a serious heart defect. She lived for only five days. My heart fills with so many memories as tears well up and we embrace. Mary’s osteoporosis is gone. I am able to hug her without the horrible pain she felt from a simple touch. She appears calm and peaceful. The demons which tormented her mind for the last years of her life seem to have disappeared. She is the happy and healthy sister that I remember from years earlier. Mary had never met Caitlyn in life, but now in heaven was taking care of her until it was time for her mom to come and care for her.
Words are not required as I sit with Mary and Caitlyn until the next knock arrives. I open the door to see my handsome brother with his grandson Josh, and Josh’s mother Janet. Lyle is at his best, the edema and cancer gone. We share a moment that I don’t believe we ever shared in this mortal world. Josh is handsome, and Janet is beautiful, as they were before their accidents ravaged their bodies and stole their lives. I lead them into the great room where Mary and Caitlyn are sitting. Janet is drawn to Caitlyn. I knew she must be missing her own grandchildren. Mary buries her face in Lyle’s chest. The peace on their faces is poignant to see. My feelings intensify as I wonder who would be coming next.
I hear a gentle knock, my breath catches in my throat as I open the door to see two beautiful people standing hand in hand. Mom and dad look young and healthy, having found their way back to each other in heaven. My eyes begin to burn as tears stream down my face when we embrace. My parents have been gone for so many years that I don’t want to let go. In my lifetime I have never seen them together, let alone holding hands. Arm in arm we go into the great room. There are plenty of tears and hugs and love and laughter all around. Again words are not necessary as the heart has its own words, just to be together is enough. I wait for the next tap on the door.
I open the door and see a vaguely familiar face. As he walks into the light I know it is Richard. He is still 17, while I am much older. We hug tightly. I know we are both thinking what our futures would have been if that accident on our first date hadn’t taken his life and spared mine. I feel so amazed that he came and that there was a still a connection after all these years. We sit together. Words are not needed. Messages seem to magically transfer from one to the other, it is a wondrous experience.
Grandma and Grandpa are next. I knew they would come; they were always there for us. Grandma’s perfume triggers memories of family dinners and special gifts. I also knew Grandpa would like it here, as he was a man of few words. As I guide them into the Great Room, tears stream down Grandma’s face as she sees her family. It had been so long, but the memories were real.
I begin to wonder if Ed would come, then I hear the one last knock on the door. As I open it, my feelings are beyond description. The last eleven years disappear, we are together. He was the man I loved, healthy and happy as I remembered him. The frail, cancer-ridden body is gone. As I close the door behind him, I feel a resistance and there is Rusty, Ginger, and Bob, our pets, pushing their way into the house. My legs felt weak, and I want this day to never end. We both sit on the floor loving our beautiful pets. Everything seems natural and as it should be. Ed and I join the others in the great room. It is so overwhelming to be with all the people I loved so much. There is a peace and joy that I wished would last forever.
Then I hear my grandson calling me. I turn to see my wonderful husband Stan, my sister and her husband, my daughter, my grandchildren and my husband’s sons sitting at the dining room table. Stan stands behind an empty chair waiting for me. As I walk toward them I can feel their love drawing me. I know it is not my time. I still have things to do and people to love while on this earth. I look toward the great room and everyone is gone, as if they had never been there, but I know the love will remain alive and in my heart until it is my time.
You probably thought about how your day would be, as I believe most people would be thrilled to have one more day with loved ones who have passed. When my envisioned day came to a close and I joined my earth family I was left with a feeling of peace, and a belief that one day when it was time, I would be with those who had passed. Your day may not be like mine, but unique to you.