Wednesday, December 23, 2009

White

Since we have been here, the weather on Christmas has been different every year. The first year was a cruel joke. All excited about living somewhere that a chance for snow existed, we found ourselves outside wearing shorts in the 65 degree sun on Christmas day. It felt like just about every other Christmas of my life, those spent in Southern California.

The next year couldn't have been more opposite. A few days before Christmas, we had a huge storm roll through, one that left almost 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground. We had drifts on the side of the house that were over my head. And though the sun was out on Christmas morning, we had more than enough snow on the ground to make it feel like Christmas. All those songs you hear, those pictures on Christmas cards, I knew then that they weren't a sham. White Christmases can happen.

Since that year, we've had a little snow on the ground, but nothing exciting. It's never been snowing on Christmas. As I sit here, less than 48 hours from Christmas morning, there are delicate snowflakes falling from the sky. Already a few inches on the ground and many more to come today, we are guaranteed to have another White Christmas.

There is something magical about snow. Maybe I just feel that way because I grew up in a place that didn't have it and to me it was always something I longed for. I didn't grow up shoveling and trudging around in boots. But, to me at least, it is magical. It can take even the brownest of winter landscapes and cover it with a pure blanket, hiding every flaw and imperfection. Trees that are already beautiful made more so. And houses, large or small, just look better with snow on the roof.

I've wished for a white Christmas about every year of my life, knowing that for most of them it was an impossibility. And here I am, getting my wish this year. A gift from the heavens, a feeble attempt at getting me into the mood for the holidays. The mood that I so desperately need to get into in a hurry. For the sake of my kids, I need to. But the truth is, for many years, Christmas has been missing something for me. And what it's been missing isn't snow.

I knew all along that in moving here, I was making a choice to be away from my family. I won't pretend that it was an easy decision to make, because it wasn't. We came here not for the snow, but to try and create the life we knew we wanted for our children, but couldn't have in California. We knew we couldn't stay there, but I wish we had found some way to.

To my sister in law, cherish this time. Enjoy it. It goes by too fast, and before you know it, you'll be caught up in the whirlwind of mothering. Take naps when you can, even if you don't think you need them. I assure you, there will come a day when you will give anything for that chance back. For you, I wish you calm and quiet. Take care of yourself. I love you.

To my brother, I miss you. No holiday is complete without the sarcastic banter that you bring. You are one of the only people in the universe who really understands me, and I hope that someday we can figure out a way to get together more often. Even though my son is just about as close as humanly possible to a daily reminder of you, he isn't you. For you, I wish you happiness and joy. You will be an amazing father. I love you.

To my mom, I wish you strength. The human heart is capable of far more than we ever think, and yours is capable of much. Take care of yourself. Find time for the things you love. Give yourself time to feel every emotion, and don't apologize to anyone for the way that you feel. Feelings aren't something we can control, they just are. Know that I am only ever a phone call or a chat away, though I wish with my whole heart I could be more. I love you.

And to my dad, I know that you asked that I not write about you here, and I've tried as best I can to abide by your wishes. Really, I have. But when in my life have I ever just listened to you? If there was any way for me to be there I would, just as I know you would be here, on Friday. But life has a way of changing our plans for us, often with no warning at all. For you, I wish you peace. I wish you health. I wish for you anything and everything you have ever wanted, and more. And I wish, oh how I wish, that I could be sitting with you, looking out a window together this morning. Snow, rain, sun - the weather is of no consequence. It doesn't matter what is on the outside of that window. It's the company on the inside that makes Christmas. I miss you Daddy, and I love you.

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