The Shock of "Merry" Christmas
Holidays are bad enough. Christmas is hard enough after having lost our child. But for us, with our child's first name being "Merry," it seems almost impossible. Her siblings and friends always called her "Merry." The first Christmas or two after Merry Katherine was gone, I had some interesting experiences with text messaging. On my phone, all I would see by a text message until I clicked it would be one word... I saw by the phone number that popped up on my phone that I had received a text message from my hairdresser of many years. I was shocked at what she might have to tell me as the only word that I saw was, "MERRY" (my daughter also had been her hairdresser customer) ~ and my first thought was "HAS MERRY BEEN FOUND?!!!" and was greatly shocked and even disappointed to just read a Christmas greeting from her of "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" because however sweet it really was intended, it was a let down because my hopes had been driven up so high by just one precious word... I knew of course she would have no way of knowing that all I would see at first was my child's name, so I accepted the gracious reaching out that she had intended.
But later in the afternoon, I received a text from my oldest child, my son Rollin. We had all been to the beach together that second Christmas holiday, but he had to return home early before Christmas to close the deal on a new house he and his fiancee would be purchasing as their wedding was coming up soon thereafter. So, back at home before we were, he was texting me a message. I saw his name, and then I saw right beside his name was, "MERRY" and my heart leaped once again to the excitement that she must be here(!) only once again to be disappointed by the excited Christmas greeting inside: "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" So, even my son had stepped into that texting trap accidentally, wanting to send a loving greeting to his mother that instead melted her to tears... (thankfully, he didn't know that however!)
My younger son called me from down in Georgia last week, having been greatly triggered by some sweet Christian songs on his radio that he and Merry had loved. Then he added, "All these billboards down here with "Merry" on them are driving me crazy as they wish us a "Merry Christmas"! I see them everywhere! Living away from home now after his having lived with us these past three years since college ended for him, he was anticipating coming to visit us for the holidays and was thrown into the deep grief of knowing that unlike most of the Christmases of his life, his baby sister (just two years younger than he, and like a best-friend to him) would not be here awaiting his arrival to enjoy the laid-back days of the holidays together. It also didn't help that he had received the devastating news from here that two of his very good friends from middle school and high school had just died last week, one from "natural" causes and one murdered... They were just 25 and 26 years old, one 8 1/2 months pregnant, and the other had a 4-year-old baby girl. And of course we all know the devastation ahead for these parents...