Monday, December 24, 2012

O Holy Night

It is intensely important for my readers to understand that my heart is beyond broken by this tragedy.  I mostly write to help my own healing.  I am in no way trying to use this and, if you must know, I am reluctant to press publish for fear I will offend someone in so doing.  Know, gentle readers, that I sobbed uncontrollably tonight as I wrote this.

My Dearest Chase,

Tonight it is Christmas Eve and I wanted to remember to wish you a very merry Christmas.  Tonight at church my boys, you remember them right, sang at the service at four o-clock.  It was crazy this year, lots of kids and parents and kids and, did I say kids?  It was really crazy.  The boys sang Silent Night, which is the best Christmas song ever, and Away in a Manager.  Did you get to sing tonight?  I bet you did.

At school the boys made food for Santa's reindeer.  We decided to put it on plates this year and they wrote the names on each plate.  I took a picture for you:

The big blue one is for Rudolph.  Do you think he'll figure that out?  Yeah, me too.

Oh, hey, they wrote notes to Santa as well:

Sometimes, I sort of tell people what the notes say but, I am pretty sure you read little boy, don't you?  Nick's seems a little pushy, "I hope you git me good presents this year," but, he's really a very good boy.  Zack's is nice, I like the "hope you have a nice ride" part.  I like how he signed "Your Friend," that's a nice touch.

Well, it's time for me to go to...

Wait, what on earth is that noise?  It's sort of a jingly-jangly noise and something is thumping on the roof...  I better go check it out...

DUDE!  It was Santa!  Here!  I saw him in the living room.  I really, really saw him!  I tried to hide, but he caught me, man, I was so nervous.  He said "Ho, Ho, Hello Coach Bill!"  Sort of excited but quiet at the same time.  I said "Ho, Ho, Hello Santa" back at him and he laughed really hard.

Since I'd never seen him before I sort of just stood there in awe and stared at him as he put stuff in the stockings and laid out some presents.  I couldn't understand why I could see him, I mean, I never had before, so I asked him why I could see him this time.

"Well, Coach, when a grownup sees me it usually means he has something he wants to ask me.  Do you have something to ask me?"  He said.

Well, you know what, I did, but I was afraid to...

"Go ahead, Billy" he said so tenderly and quietly.  I knew then that he knew what I needed to ask.

"Santa," I began, "a little while back a little boy I know and some of his friends had to leave and, well, I am worried about them and I wonder if they'll get presents and stockings and stuff.  I just hope they will be happy..."

"Yes, Chase, right, and some of his school friends," Santa said.

"Yes,"  I said

"Well, Coach, here's the thing.  Christmas is about something that happened, in the past, the birth of a baby.  It's about a family, and a boy who grew up to be a great man, perhaps the greatest.  Christmas is about memories and love; yours, your boys, your brothers, everyone's really.  Altogether those memories are what makes Christmas happen.  Christmas is all that love coming back and starting over."

I said, "Well, I get that, I guess.  But I am still worried about him being happy."

"Bill," Santa said, "that's not really the point.  Let me put it this way:  He is Loved.  He is loved by you, by his family, by his friends, and by me.  Love is bigger than happiness, bigger than presents and cookies and reindeer and stockings.  It's bigger than me and I am very round.  Love is bigger than everything; love is everything, my child."

"Thanks, Santa, I guess that helps.  I have been so sad for him, but I guess...  Santa, will you visit him this Eve?"  I asked him.

He looked around, he peered down the hall, and then he winked and said, "Where he lives is always my last stop.  And all the little boys and girls gather around me and I tell them about all the people who love and miss them."

"And do they seem happy Santa?"

"Yes, Coach, they do."

"Santa, before you leave will you give Chase a special message for me?  Tell him my heart still needs some healing.  He'll know what I mean.  And tell him that I love him..."

Well, and here's the amazing part, he gave me a hug and he smelled like cookies and reindeer and hot chocolate and joy and tenderness and leather and hope.  He looked me in the eyes and I felt his love, felt his peace and his goodness.  And that's when I knew...

"I certainly will Coach, but you know what?  I never leave where he is," and a silent tear fell down his weathered old face. "It's where I live as well."

And then he put his finger on the side of his nose and flew up the chimney and was gone.

So, goodnight, Chase.  I feel a little better now, knowing that you'll see Santa and that he has wonderful presents for you.

Your Pal,

Coach Bill

1 comment:

  1. Still crying...

    I don't think any of us really have the words, but just trying to get some out helps. Great job.