Shared pain

John Cole:

Christmas was a big time of the year for us- my father collects Santas, and he has usually around 5,000 of them somewhere around the house. There is the Christmas tree with so many ornaments it takes days to put them all up. Lights, ivy, etc. If you saw the pictures I posed the other day, recognize this is 1/10th of the decorations we used to put up. But back then when I was a little kid, my mother and father used to buy Christmas presents for months, wrap them, and “hide” them in their bedroom closet, in the attic, in the basement, and anywhere they could. I have the quotes of sarcasm around hide because even though I was a kid, I knew when it was approaching Christmas time. I knew where to look for the presents. Anytime they went out and left us with a babysitter during this time period, it was like an elaborate Easter Egg hunt for me and my brother and sisters. I’d drag chairs from mom’s office into the closet, pull down the “hidden” presents, and we’d all look at the tag telling us who it was for, shake it, and try to figure out what we were getting.

All I can think right now is how many moms have Christmas present hidden all over their house and were told this morning that their child is dead. How many of them will now look at a Christmas tree, knowing their child will not be there on Christmas morning to open the presents lovingly purchased and wrapped and hidden? How many of these parents struggled for years to get pregnant, and now their kid, because of some lunatic with an easily accessible gun, is dead? How many grandparents who waited for 30 years to have a grandchild, have plane tickets booked for the Holidays, and now need to change those plans and come up earlier to bury their grandchild.