This holiday month, a few of my dear friends are facing the season without their beloved child, a piece of their souls. And they aren’t alone. Far too many parents are dealing with this. An empty place at the table. And empty bed. That many fewer gifts under the tree. A visit to the grave site on Christmas day. Colorful decorations and candles lit around photos of children. This is the reality of far too many parents.
Too many parents are currently watching their children suffering while fighting. Helping them manage through pain they shouldn’t have to feel. Hoping they gain weight or keep food down or otherwise recover. Hoping they see another holiday season without pain.
Too many parents are having to make some very, very hard decisions about treatment, or whether to even try the next step, or whether to try to preserve some quality of life for their babies. That’s what their holidays look like. And it’s not fair.
I’m not trying to depress you. I’m just wanting you to realize what a gift you have. I want all of you to just stop and take look at your children. Your healthy, beautiful, wonderful, smiling, dirty, smart-ass, jerk-like, perfect children. And be grateful. Rejoice in your fortune and in their lives. Please, fill this holiday with love and companionship and acceptance of differences and happiness.
I will be rejoicing in Sophie and Archer and Vivi because I have them. And despite all the mess and noise and sassing and otherwise general kidness, I still have my Sophie and Archer and Vivi are normal healthy kids. So I’m rejoicing.