In 2011, the babyMomma apologized for having a Christmas Eve baby. She was tickled to be having a baby at Christmas time, but knowing Charlie's diagnosis was bringing with it a short life, she was apologizing for ruining Christmases in the future. We never dreamed Charlie would be gone so soon. He worked his sweet, gregarious magic and brought us through ten painful months as we struggled to build scar tissue over the wound of losing his big sister.
We survived a year of firsts without Amber and so here we are figuring out how to celebrate Charlie today and Christmas tomorrow. God promises to give us what we NEED and apparently I have needed to be so busy and preoccupied that I have not had many moments to dwell. My dad took a fall on Thanksgiving that left him weak and for some reason unable to bear weight. The morning I called to say his 29th great grandchild was on her way, he was on his way to the hospital. He was moved from there to a nursing home/rehab facility but no longer doing any rehab. My head and my heart are reeling as older siblings are doing all the paper work to move him into a long term care facility a bit closer to us. Meanwhile we need to take turns staying overnight with my mom who is feeling guilt and sorrow that she cannot take care of him at home. That is all he wanted, to stay at home and I can't quite understand why he can't....insurance, money, my mom's qualms about strange people in her home. It has been a month of grieving in a different way. How I wish we had had a little foresight when we built our home, that we could have had an in-law apartment set up.
There have also been happier events keeping us busy. First semester of the babyMomma owning a ballet school and teaching was celebrated with Nutcracker themed open houses with each class performing a dance for family after two weeks off for new baby! Students and babyMomma did very well! It was such a proud moment to see her talking to parents. In the middle of Open House week, we went to a Celtic Christmas concert which was a delight, and followed that with hernia repair surgery for hubby the next day which was also second day of ballet Open House. CRAZY BUSY WEEK!! Throw in a Christmas cantata and running back and forth to visit dad and help mom and the babyMomma - neither of whom drive - and God has been good indeed keeping me too busy to think or feel!
I wish Charlie could have experienced a year or more of being a big brother. This precious little one (whose name means LIFE) will grow up with two dogs keeping her company. She is a joy and delight and growing before our eyes. Tomorrow will bring a new Christmas tradition, celebrating across the street although I am sure that there will be years with Christmas happening in Pennsylvania and for that I am grateful. Grateful that Zoe will be easy to pack up and travel and that they will be able to spend holidays with family. Tonight, hubby and I will spend the night at my moms. That makes my daughter giggle as she remembers her young years sleeping over night at my moms on Christmas Eve after the candlelight service at church and her dad and I would come in the morning. Tonight we will think of Charlie, as we light candles and sing Silent Night....something we did for his funeral service as it meant so much to his mom that he and his sister were able to experience at least one candlelight service at church. There are so many others who are hurting and celebrating painful anniversaries. I am so grateful for a loving God who sent his son to save us! A baby born to die that we might live forever. Amazing grace.