I took a walk with my dog, Ally last night as snow blanketed the neighborhood. There is something so serene about the first big snowfall. As I walked toward the river, I glanced over my shoulder to look at my footprints. Doing what I do, I fully expected to see many footprints, big and small, following me. I thought of the many children I connect with who have gone home before their parents and siblings...being the first to step foot on the path to heaven. The children's words will echo in my heart until we meet again...
"Tell my parents I am okay. Everyone stood in a circle to greet me. I felt like a protective blanket wrapped around me and I knew everything would be alright. Love filled every fiber of my being. There is no time in heaven so I take comfort knowing I will see my parents and siblings again. I was the first to walk the path but I won't be the last. Tell them my love for them will never die. Smile and laugh for me--don't feel guilty because it fills my spirit with such joy to know you are living for me, I am living through you. I will make my presence known if you open your heart to unlimited possibilities... a song on the radio, a coin with the date of my birth, a beautiful bird that catches your eye, my sports number, a call with nobody on the other end, and best of all, a dream where I hug you or tell you "I'm not dead."
The holidays bring the joy of the season and the emptiness of missing a loved one. "I see my ornament. I see my tree," they say to me. Last year, one young boy in heaven told me exactly what his brother was getting from "Santa." He also told me where dad...I mean Santa, hid it. "I will be there, even when they can't feel me around. They have to trust in their hearts that I am still with them," Sean said to me.
For many of my adopted families, this will be the first holiday without a special loved one. We want to assure you that this is a physical separation only and you are not alone. They know how much you love and miss them. They want you to know they are happy and out of pain. The best gift you can give the loved one you miss is a knowing in your heart that they are still a part of your life. Your thoughts speak directly to them and your tears are wiped away. So, light the tree (even if it's a Charlie Browner), hang the ornament, light the Menora in their memory, light a candle and speak from your heart, hug someone still here and tell them you love them. Do all of this with an absolute knowing that you will all be together again- celebrating.
I'm walking back to my house now. The white lights sparkle on the snow. Through the silence and stillness, I can hear the children laughing. They fill me with knowledge and peace.
A Very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.
Believe in Miracles,