Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas catch-up

Emily (6) drew this picture in school of Ethan lying in my bed with the caption of what her "Christmas Wish" this year would be. It breaks my heart to see the feelings and fears that my children have to face at such a young age.

I know that this Christmas post is late. It seems that there is never enough time during the holidays to get all that you want accomplished. This Christmas season was no exception.

This year was very different than in years past. It took me a while longer to get into the Christmas spirit, but when it came, (as with most things) it was was well worth the wait. Along with the kids all getting what they wanted, we really tried to focus on our family as a whole this year and bought several "family" gifts in the hopes of spending more time together and creating new and fun memories. This year has been hard for them and we wanted to reward them for weathering it so well. It was fun to see their happy faces.

Aside from the material gifts, we recognize that we have been very blessed this year. This year has been by far the the most difficult and challenging. As a family, we've faced things that I never could have predicted. We've had to talk to the kids about appreciating life and accepting death. There were times that I didn't know how I would make it through the day. I know that as a family, we've all had to make sacrifices and that none of us will ever be the same.

I also know that I would never trade this year for anything! My family is stronger. I am stronger. My marriage is stronger. I have grown in ways that I never thought I could or even knew I needed to. I know what it feels like to be loved and supported by those around me. I know what it feels like to be broken and then to be mended by God's love. Because of this year, I am a better person.

During this Christmas season, I often think about the birth of Jesus and the challenges and ultimate sacrifice that he came here to face on this earth. I think specifically about Ethan and the challenges that he too will face during his journey on this earth. As a mother, my heart breaks when I see my son suffer. My soul is heavy when I wonder how much time I will have with him. It gives me a whole new respect and love for my Heavenly Father who knowingly sent his son here to be sacrificed....I would not be so strong. I know that regardless of how long I will be a mother here on earth, my family will be together forever. I love my husband and every one of my beautiful children. I've never questioned my eternal family, but until this year, I have never fully appreciated it.

There are some gifts that are truly priceless. I love you all! Merry (late) Christmas!



buddens said...

That note from Emily is absolutely heartbreaking! What a tender little girl. That's a great Christmas wish for your family for the next 100 years! Merry late Christmas to you too.

Melissa said...

Don't worry so much about how much time you may or may not have. Just enjoy each moment to the fullest. Enjoy your children and everything about them and you will have no regrets!

WE are glad Ethan (and your others) are doing well. Merry Late Christmas to you too!
Melissa Andrew

The Gatherum Family said...

It was so great spending so much time with you guys this holiday. I loved getting to know Ethan a little bit better. It breaks my heart what you guys and him have to go through. He is adorable and has a sweet, peaceful feeling about him. We pray for him and the rest of you guys everyday. If you ever need anything, even just for someone to listen, I am here for you. Talk to you later, Adrian

Mike Bohn said...

Just wanted to say that there is rarely a day that passes that we don't pray for you guys. Amazing how touching the honest wishes of a six year old can be.