This is what I wrote to you in my “thoughts” journal today. I began writing in the journal you got me last year shortly after my mom died and picked it up again tonight to get some feelings out. Somehow it turned into a letter to you, so I post it here in case your magical ways might lead you to the Internet:
The existence of this little book is strange to me. This book, stuffed into a 2011 Christmas stocking by someone else. Someone who knew that the next Christmas – the next year – would be foreign and unrecognizable, but could never have fathomed just how much that would be so.
Santa Claus. You knew that my mother would be gone, yes. You knew that a marriage would end. Ornaments, decorations, dishes, furniture, books and lives would be divided.
But, oh Santa, you could not have known this. You could have never suspected that you would die too. That the magic and laughter of an innocent child would not last the summer. That the next year, 2012, you would not only be faced with separate houses, but that they would be one of the homes for you to pass by now.
No more reason to visit you or sit on your lap. The magic and belief of a household; divided, then stolen as quick as your annual deliveries.
When a child dies, where does their name go? Do you cross them off the nice list? Second guess their place on the naughty list? When those of us who are left behind cannot bear the joy of the season, are they punished with more emptiness because there are no stockings to fill? No tree to shade your gifts?
For the first time in 15 years, I’m afraid that you may have to pass by this house. Maybe you’ll fly over, remember last year and just keep on to the next house. The next block. No more gluten-free treats to fill the Davis kid’s stocking.
Or maybe you don’t even notice. Maybe his name just evaporates from your list as you concern yourself with only living children. Lord knows there are plenty. You have always had your hands full with new ones every few seconds. When one is taken away, are you relieved that you won’t have to make yet another stop?
I don’t know if you will even notice when you fly over this dark house on Christmas Eve. We are a new family in this house now. A sad, struggling family of two or one. You may not even notice us here because of the lack of decorations or missing child.
But if you do notice; if you truly are the magical, loving spirit of the season, I would ask for only one thing. Since you will not be receiving an eager letter or list from my son this year, I would appreciate the granting of his family’s wish instead. Please use your magic, if you can, to tell our Noah how very much we love and miss him. I hope you can grant us this one simple wish.