Right when I think Andrew can’t surprise me anymore, he does! Here is a blog I wrote as a guest blogger for Carla Goddard. Instead of rewriting it for here, I decided to just reprint it instead.
My husband Martin, and I lost the physical presence of our 16 year old son Andrew, 4 months after a leukemia diagnosis on October 22, 2007. Christmas was one of his all time favorite holidays. Even at 15 years old he had the excitement of a little boy. Unlike his sister Elatia who is 10 years older, who we would have to wake up Christmas morning, but not him! He would get up around 4:00a.m., sit in the recliner, rock and stare at the Christmas tree lights, and become one with the presents under the tree until right before 6:00 a.m. At 5:50a.m. he would start to try and get us up because he knew it was going to take us a few minutes to come to, and he wanted to start in on his presents promptly at 6:00a.m. Why 6:00a.m.? Who knows, it’s beyond me, but that was his time.
I would faintly hear as Andrew whispered, “Mommy!… Mommy!… Mommy!…It’s almost 6:00a.m.! You and Daddy need to get up! I’m so excited! I can’t wait anymore!” Me still very groggy because we went to bed not long before he was up, I would tell him, “Ok, give us a few minutes, we still have a few minutes till 6:00 a.m.” He would reply,”Ok but don’t fall back to sleep!” I promised him we wouldn’t. I would lay there for a few minutes trying to wake up, remembering the days when we could sleep in, and have to wake up my daughter even is she was sleeping right in front of the tree at my parents house!
I then would hear the pitter patter of big 15year old clown feet coming back into our room. Uh-oh! I knew Andrew meant business now, and we had better be up! So I nudge Martin and tell him, “Hurry! Get up! He’s coming back! We gotta be up!” We both scramble to get out of bed and look like we had already been getting ready to come out, but we were busted, Andrew knew better. But he’s a good son, and he would just give us each a hug and tells us he loved us and how excited he was.
After opening his presents, even if he didn’t get everything he wanted, he would ALWAYS say, “This is the best Christmas EVER!” The last Christmas he was physically here with us, I mentioned to him, that he said that every year. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “Mommy, I mean it every year!” I said, “even if you didn’t get everything you wanted?” He replied, “I have you, Daddy and Elatia and that’s what makes it the best every year!” Talk about getting you right in the heart, because that is right where you felt it. Thinking of that now brings tears to my eyes. Andrew was such a genuine person. He picked his words carefully and thoughtfully.
So this Christmas, our fifth one without our Andrew physically here, Martin received an email from someone we were good friends with years ago. As happens in life sometimes, our lives took different roads and we lost touch. In this email Martin received, this friend said she was looking in her closet for coats for her daughters that recently moved to Chicago to go to college. While she was in the closet she felt this familiar energy come around her. She realized it was Andrew. He was nudging her to look further back into the closet. Knowing better than to ignore Andrew, she continues to look further back in the closet, and much to her surprise she finds a paper bag. When she grabbed it she realized that she had forgotten about this bag being back there for, well, about 8 years! She couldn’t believe what she found. She found a present Andrew started making for us when he was 12 years old.
She emailed Martin to make sure it was ok to send us this present from him. He worked on it every time we went to Southern California to work for Doreen Virtue, staffing her Angel Therapy Practitioner(r) classes. Our friend said she had to finish the last bit of it, then she would send it on. I was so excited to hear about this! What could it be? The more I thought about it, the more excited I got!
I came home from work recently and saw a huge box sitting on the table. I asked what it was, and I was told to look on my chair. On it was the most amazing thing! A big Santa smiling face looking at me! Andrew made us one of those yarn hook rugs. I touched it thinking about how my 12 year old son worked on this just for us. I could feel his love coming through, as I know with every piece of yarn had his love in it.
Holidays are still difficult, moments grieving the loss of my son still happen. BUT there are blessings to be found if we choose to look for them. And yes, sometimes we have to look really hard for them, but they are there. I will never hear my son whisper “Mommy! Mommy!” at 5:50 am again; and it will never be “The best Christmas ever!” for me again. But I do have a 9 month old granddaughter that I get to see Christmas and the world through her eyes now. I have a big smiling Santa face to remind me how much I am loved through all space and time. Love truly never dies, it unites us forever, and we are given signs to show us this is true. This Christmas it was a big smiling Santa face that will remind me every Christmas Andrew is still here with us, just in a new way.
To quote my son, even while in the hospital,
It’s All Good!