Some days, I wonder if you can send Christmas cards to heaven. Mine are sitting shrink wrapped on my coffee table, ready to be signed, sealed & delivered.
I’m yours. I hope you know that. I am yours.
I’d like to send him a Christmas card so he knows where to find me now, amidst all the clutter & chaos of shoppers & savings & sweaters & red Starbucks cups.
I am here.
I want to believe he cares: I have newness in my life brighter than the evergreen tree in Rockefeller Plaza and he cares. Right? Right? Of course he cares.
Instead, I am the person he could learn to love again if Pink pinned him up against a wall and said, “Come here. Come here and just give me a reason, just a little one’s enough, why you stopped loving me?”
We’re broken, Pink. We’re full on broken.
I love sending Christmas cards. In the weeks after the mailman unloads the blue express drop box across the street from my apartment, I imagine them being stuffed into mail crates and the backs of trucks & vans before finally, finally landing in someone’s hands.
Most of the people I send Christmas cards to don’t spot me squeezing oranges in the grocery store on Saturday mornings. They haven’t watched my hair grow out. They don’t know where I work or what socks I wear when the temperature dips too deep.
But they loved me once. We once swapped stories in my kitchen with the light dimmed over the table. We once dished ice cream into bowls or screamed at football games or danced on the bay window in my family room.
We knew each other then. And so they get a Christmas card.
This holiday season always hits me like the only house in the neighborhood without Christmas lights or a fir tree in the family room. It hits me like a family room without a family.
For some, it’s time for togetherness. For me, the loneliness of loss starts to sync itself up with my iPhone calendar: one funeral here, another one there. Let me pencil you in as soon as I’m done crunching the cemetery gravel beneath my heels.
In the weeks between Thanksgiving & Christmas, I write love letters to strangers. One organization always warms my heart: More Love Letters. This year, I’ll spend 12 days finding the words for people who need it most. Like me, they’ve lost something or someone or some hope at a time when the bright lights are dotting their cul-de-sacs and stringing their streets.
It’s my way of sending them a Christmas card. Maybe, maybe I can’t ship one to heaven. He won’t have my return address printed and propped up on his mantel.
He can find me here. He can find me if he wants to.
I hope he knows, deep down, that I’m still his. And on days like today, when the jolly songs start playing & the lines at Target start growing, I remember him.
I remember him & know, sure as ever, that even if he’ll never step foot inside my new life, he can find me any time he wants.