Is It Over?

It’s early morning and I just lit a fire. I’m hoping that it’s warmth will cut the icy chill that invades our snow sacked home. Framed by only four red stockings, I’m watching the flames dance sporadically on the log that is their stage. Our Christmas tree crowds some of my view but icicles, bulbs and ornaments are reflecting the glow from the hearth. A lone candy cane dangles at the end of one branch, inviting me to sneak it away and the steam from my morning coffee drifts up into nowhere.

This is our home’s Christmas scene. It is the perfect scene and should cause my love for the season to overwhelm me. Except, it doesn’t. Normally, I begin playing Christmas music in October. Normally, I browse the aisles of Christmas TV specials, giggling like a school-kid. But this year is not normal. It is one of the many “firsts” that we’re experiencing without Makenzie. And it is the first time in my living memory that I’ve wanted it all to be over.

I have fought the Scroogian urge to declare “Bah-Hum Bug” because I don’t feel that negatively about it all. Yes, I am looking forward to Woodbury Lutheran Church’s Christmas Concert and the “Holidazzle Parade” in frigid Minneapolis, but to say that I’m overjoyed that it’s Christmas is a stretch. Why? Because, as her dad, I loved seeing Makenzie love at Christmastime. I enjoyed seeing her dance her heart out at the Nutcracker and being with her on her stage. I smiled as I watched her love on all the little ballerina’s, hug total strangers, and declare that this was the best time of year! I will miss the rolling of her friends’ eyes when the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” floats off her lips. I will miss seeing her hug her brother and sister on Christmas morning and tell them she loves them. I will especially miss her draping her arms around my neck and softly tell me, “I’m so glad you’re my Daddy! I love you!”

Family Christmas 2006

The fire is dying down. My coffee is now cold and my day’s schedule is calling for me. I don’t want to leave this moment but I also don’t want to stay in it any longer. Our first Christmas without Makenzie. Now I know how it feels.



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3 thoughts on “Is It Over?

  1. linda johnson says:

    i met kelly at the excel yesterday waiting for tickets to go on sale for the micheal buble concert. I was blessed to hear the story of your family and your daugters life. the hours flew by as we waited and talked. i just watched the memorial sevice for her . it was touching and feel lucky to have been able to see it. linda

  2. Colleen Hicks says:

    Todd, Kellie and family,
    We know full well the impact of the first Christmas without one of our children – and while I’m sure it is different for everyone, those who have not been through this can’t truly understand what that means – thank God! This is our 5th Christmas without Aaron. We are not as raw anymore, but oh my, the holidays really bring it to the forefront again. And wow, does it hurt! I could not even put ornaments on the tree that first year – I had 2 dear friends who secretly bought beautiful brand new Christmas balls and hung them for me before I came home. What a special gift – I just could not get past that. Our traditions have all changed. But Aaron always has a stocking on the mantle with ours. And he gets a letter from me each year. Silly? Maybe! But I need him to “be there”. You will get through this – it will be painful – and so so different. But you’re covered with prayer and Christmas is still Christmas, the birth of our Savior, and McKenzie and Aaron are experiencing it every day. God bless all of you!

  3. Ellen Kistner says:

    Dearest Todd,
    I read your blogg as it comes – and am ever so sympathetic to the uncomfortable and excrutiatingly difficult time this is for you.

    I am also confident that The Lord remains “in charge” and that “A L L things work together for good for those who love The Lord”. Might you be in “His” classroom – in training for a future ministry – a ministry that He is designing? If so, pay close attention, so that you learn WELL from the best teacher of all – Makenzie’s and your and my first father…..The Lord, himself!

    Blessings, Ellen Kistner

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