An open letter to all my friends, both real and virtual, at Christmas
First of all, I wish you peace and the comfort of having the kind of friends in your lives that you have been to me since my Thomas died. You stood back when I needed space and you came rushing in with hugs and prayers and the kindest words I've ever heard when I needed you near.
You tried to shield me from pain, even when that "pain" was the birth of your own children, or the day to day joys of the children you already had. You didn't hide your little ones from me, but you also didn't push them at me. You were tentative, but you were there, just waiting for me to be ready. You let me live vicariously through you as you cared for your babies and experienced all their magical firsts. Thank you for letting me hold your babies and feel the weight of a tiny new life in my arms again.
Somehow you just knew what the right balance was. You knew I needed you - and your little ones - and you knew exactly how much.
Thank you for writing sweet messages on your Christmas cards to us - thank you for knowing that I needed to hear that our Thomas has not been forgotten and never will be.
Thank you for sharing your pain, my sisters in sorrow. Thank you for opening up your hearts and your lives and helping me realize that the unending sorrow I feel is normal. Thank you for ranting when I'm too afraid to, for crying when I'm bottling it up and for expressing joy and peace when I can't seem to find it. Thank you for letting me get to know your tiny angels and for giving me the opportunity to let you know mine.
Thank you, my friends, for the phone calls, the distractions, the day trips and the offers to just be there for me. Thank you for caring so much that you're willing to interrupt the happiness of your own lives to deal with the sorrow of mine. I know it hasn't been easy. I'm sure it's been scary and I bet you're exhausted when your time with me is done, but thank you for giving it to me anyway. Your time and your love have been the greatest gifts I've received since the gift of my son.
Thank you for speaking his name. Thank you for knowing, somehow, that I want to hear it from lips other than my own. Thank you for making him a part of your lives and for telling me that his life has changed yours. Thank you for hugging your children a little tighter when you think of him.
When the sun sets on Christmas Day and you gather to spend precious time with the people you love most in the world, I want you to know I'll be smiling, because I can't think of anything you deserve more than that.
Happiness and love always,