We had our miracle boy for Four Christmases. Four beautiful celebrations where his life was in the center of it all, swirling with joy and grace and beauty.
Our first Christmas, he had only been “home” at Children’s Mercy for a few weeks after his transport to Kansas City from Cardinal Glennon in St Louis.
We were surprise by our favorite nurse to discover our boy was oxygen free. Little did we know that oxygen was something that would become a natural part of our lives.
Christmas Number Two was our first Christmas at home! He slept through most of the swirl of the morning, but having him there in our home celebrating with us was our favorite gift that year.
Christmas Number Three! The miracle continued. He was so strong and getting healthier by the day. A few months later he would be off that ventilator!
Christmas Number Four! Oh my heart aches that this was a last for us.
He had shown us that Miracles Do Happen that year by coming back to life after leaving us for a moment.
We had much to celebrate.
He helped decorate the tree!
He loved every magical moment of the season. He made it all extra glowy and perfect.
He filled our home with more love and joy that you can even imagine.
His space in the world was HUGE.
And he wore his Fourth Christmas Jammies!
He needed a jammie change that year, so he wore Aiden’s first Christmas Jammies too.
This year should be his FIFTH Christmas. He should be FOUR years old. He should be going on a family adventure with us.
He should be grabbing things off the tree, hearing Christmas stories every night.
He should be going on drives to see the Christmas lights.
I should be choosing his gifts.
Instead we have a Memory Tree.
It is a place for us to sit and reflect. It is a place for us to breathe in deeply and remember him.
It is a place to close our eyes and feel him.
So his stocking is hung. And it feels so wrong. So empty.
We miss him more than we could ever express.
We grief deeply.
I am learning that Joy and Grief can somehow hover very close to each other, trading places moment by moment.
A moment of Joy can turn into a moment of utterly grievous pain in a moment.
It takes my breathe and pins me down.
Oh but LOVE.
We loved a boy. We will always love this boy.
And we continue to love and hold each other and try to find our way.
Would you consider helping us?
This stocking should not be empty.
Would you help us fill it with words?
We would be blessed beyond measure if you would mail written memories of Mattie to our home to be placed in his stockings.
Whether you met him or just followed his story, please share a memory or a story of how our son’s life has changed yours.
We would love notes and drawings from your children who have followed Mattie’s story too.
We plan to leave them sealed and spend some time opening them on Christmas Day.
Mail cards and letters to: Merry Christmas Mattie, 12312 Askew Street, Grandview, MO 64030
And as you celebrate this year, please hold your treasures extra close, please make memories that will last forever, please take photographs even if your hair is messy.