For the first time in forty eight years, I will not be in my home for Christmas. I will not be putting out the neighborhood traditional luminaries on Christmas Eve. I will not be putting on the Santa hat, going through the house with a sack of toys to put under the Christmas tree, while I am being videotaped so that my daughters still see that Santa exists. I will not be going to Christmas Eve church with my daughters. In fact, I will not even be seeing them Christmas Eve or most of Christmas Day. Such as the life of a father in the middle of divorce with children. I knew this day would someday come.
In the grand scheme of things, overall, I am lucky. There are millions of people who face a different Christmas with much more heartbreak, and not by choice.
Our brave service men and women who are deployed away from their families at best if they are lucky might be able to see electronic video messages to wish each other Merry Christmas. Our emergency responders, police, fire departments, ambulance workers, and hospital workers will all spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day away from their families because that is what they do.
Then there are the families who are displaced away from their homes for any number of reasons. Especially those who sit in a hospital waiting room, anxiously waiting for positive news from the surgeon, that everything went the way it was supposed to, but it would still be several days before anything was certain. And then, there are those who will get sad news.
I am away from my daughters during “the most wonderful time of the year.” I know my daughters are having a great time with their friends and cousins doing all kinds of Christmasy things. And they will be happy to see me Christmas night, of course because I will have their presents. Until then, I am spending time with loved ones. While this is not a time that I ever thought I would see when I became a father, that time is here. And I will create new traditions for and with my daughters. I am lucky because I have that chance. There are so many however, whose holidays hang in the balance while they await news or fate.
This is a wonderful time of year. But for those who must be away from their homes, please keep them in your hearts. Especially a young friend of mine and his family. It is now over two months since he fell seriously ill. Today he is still in intensive care while his family is by his side waiting for the best Christmas gift they could ever receive. And that is how they will all spend their holiday. Please keep them, and everyone else going through difficult times in your hearts and minds, and whether you say prayers or might just offer a moment of thought, to send a positive hope to all during this time of year.