Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One more stocking-

As a teacher I chose to go back to work one week before the holidays. To ease myself back into reality- Answer the questions of curious second graders- I was ready.
It was good.
I needed to be back.

They asked me about him- His name- What he looked like- Was I sad-
And I answered their questions and answering them felt so pure and real. They were not afraid to mention his name or ask what was on their minds. They didn't tip-toe around my fragile heart in fear that I may shatter right there in front of them- or wonder what they should or shouldn't say- they just said it.

And I was thankful. It was December and life had gone on. It had been three months... But it was the first Christmas and my return just before this major holiday drew attention to that.
That first Christmas-

But the children asked. And I could answer with a pure heart. A heart growing with each question they asked- each time they spoke his name- I could feel myself becoming lighter- I was going to make it.

And then a coworker came into my classroom while my students were having a snack and enjoying talking to one another about what they wanted for Christmas. She welcomed me back put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I just keep thinking that when you look up at your mantle you must wish there were just one more stocking up there..."

Though I felt a sort of shock and horror at the honesty of her statement-
-students not far from where I stood-
I swallowed, looked her in the eye and said, "Yes. Yes I do."

I am still amazed that she said it.
I am still amazed I found a voice to answer her.

I kept seeing my mantle-
Three stockings
And one giant hole where one should have been-
She was right.

One more stocking.
One more stocking should have been up there.

Sure I could have hung one more stocking- but why? All I had to put in it were dreams and hopes and to see an empty stocking- empty dreams- empty hopes... with his name...
Well- that broke my heart too.

I look at my mantle now and it is full- I am full-

And yet I wonder
What it would have looked like-
What Christmas could have looked like-
With just one more stocking-

9 comments:

  1. me too Laura, me too.
    I will always wonder what life would have been like with our boys, what they would have thought of this- their first christmas...

    For me having stockings, hanging there with their names on- would just be too painful- too much of a reminder of what should have been. I wrote thier names on baubles instead and bought them a special ornament...it's not quite as stark a physical reminder of what's not there.

    oh the things people say...

    missing Andrew with you this christmas xx

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  2. Wow, Im proud of you for being able to answer her. I know she meant well but sometimes these comments are so hurtfull and just serve to remind us of whats missing. Its hard to answer these questions but I agree yes that its easier to explain it to a child than an adult. Im hoping that in the future these comments will become easier for me to answer and move on from instead of letting them bother me. But for now, Im still at that point. *HUGS*

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  3. I wonder too. This would have been Cameron's first christmas- I am at such a loss as to how to handle it. Wishing you a little bit of peace in your heart!

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  4. I wonder the same about my whole life. What would our life look like with one more blessing?

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  5. Its wonderful to talk to children about your angel baby because they are so innocent in the way they ask questions. I myself will hang my angel baby's stocking every year and I was thinking that we could fill it with notes to our angel to later take to his resting place. *hugs*

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  6. Hi Laura,
    Yes that is definitely one of those lingering dreams we all want to fulfil. The wonders and the what ifs just hurt sometimes. Are you going to put up a stocking to fill the giant hole? I know I am, three pretty girlie stockings and know they are here with me. Lots of hugs, Nan xo

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  7. Wishing we all had those stockings on the mantle, Laura, as it should be. But isn't. Kids are amazing about grief and the grieving. Simple and honest. Accepting. (((Hugs)))

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  8. We thought about putting up a stocking for Riley, but she is the angel on top of our tree.

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  9. Me too.

    We felt it would be too much to buy a stocking anyway, but we are buying an ethical gift in memory of Abigail each Christmas and on her birthday too.

    I work for a charity that work in Africa so this Christmas we boughts some chickens and some fresh drinking water. It is a small token but it proves to us that Abigail is not forgotten and helps us know that some good is coming from the bad. God can redeem the situation.

    That was the idea developed in a post a while back - here

    http://livingintherainbow.com/2009/10/09/can-good-come-from-bad/

    Take Care

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