Matt, It’s Christmas day. My fourth Christmas without you. I heard the song, All I Want For Christmas Is You and thought what I really want is a re-do. I want to re-do our entire lives. I want father time to give me the power to turn back the clock to when you and Mike were young boys. I want to take back this knowledge of how our lives would unravel and redirect our outcome.
I want to go back to the Christmases’ of complete chaos. The ones when the GI bug hit all of us and we took turns running to the bathroom while we struggled to open presents from Santa. I want to return to that time in life when Christmas brought great joy to my heart. Watching both my boys laughing as wrapping paper piled up under the tree.
I want to go back to your teenage years knowing that your career choice would lead to your ultimate death. I would give up everything to have known that one day your passion for cars would lead to injury that would then turn into a deadly disease. If only I had the knowledge then that I have now perhaps you would be sharing Christmas with me.
I want to go back to your first surgery and rip that script from your hands. I want to make the nightmare of your addiction magically disappear. I want the ghost of Christmas past to come and sweep me away from the reality of Christmas present. I want to hear the doorbell ring and see you walk in with a wife and kids in tow. I want to once again watch you and Mike sitting side by side as your tear into festive wrapping paper laughing over the gifts from your crazy mom. I want to hear your voices, your laughter. I want pictures showing both my boys together as men.
I want to never take anything for granted. I would treat every Christmas as if it could be our last together. Enjoying every moment of chaos. Every moment of laughter. I would have hugged you longer. I would have taken more pictures of us together. I would have spend more time memorizing your face.
I remember watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with you and Mike. Never thinking that one day those words so innocently spoken by Charlie Brown would shatter what’s left of my broken heart. Material things, gifts, and decorations mean nothing when those you love are missing from around the Christmas tree.