I rose before the sun, with trepidation in my heart,
A blend of joy and sorrow gave my day a pensive start;
I urged my weary body to rise up to face the day,
For Christmas comes but once a year - regardless, come what may.
I wandered to the kitchen to prepare the coming feast,
A quiet time to call my own, in search of inner peace;
The household slumbered quietly … the scene was quite surreal,
As mem'ries drifted through this grieving mind I tried to heal.
Robotically, I stuffed the bird and readied for the day,
My hands were busy, yet I found my mind would run astray;
I reminisced on times of old, when you were by my side,
The happiness, the joy, the pain … the feelings long denied.
I heard the family stirring, placed the turkey in the pan,
As footsteps started down the hall, toward the tree they ran;
I placed a smile upon my face, and said a prayer within,
To summon up my strength, and find some courage yet again.
Expected faces greeted me, anticipation rose,
The gifts were handed out, dressed up in ribbons and some bows;
I watched their eager faces, as they opened them with glee,
Discovering the treasures, that were found beneath the tree.
The scene unfolded as it should, but left me wanting more,
I snuck a glance toward your empty chair across the floor;
Discarded papers lingered there, where you were meant to be,
An awkward shrine in absence of your presence here with me.
The day moved on, my mind would wander back and forth it seemed,
It jumped from past to present, then to future hopes and dreams;
I watched the day surround me, played my part as best I could,
I lost myself in festive cheer, as I had hoped I would.
I set the table, served the food and said a prayer of grace,
I watched the family savor every morsel - every taste;
And yet I glanced across the way, toward your empty chair,
A void that left me weak with need, still wishing you were here.
Dessert began, and animated conversation rose,
To snap me back to present thoughts, away from hidden woes;
I joined in the festivities, and when the meal was done,
Went back into the kitchen, where my day had first begun.
I dipped my hands into the suds, and leisurely, I cleaned,
Allowed my mind to drift again, alone, and softly dreamed;
The magic of the holiday took hold as mem'ries surged,
And suddenly, I felt you there, as past and present merged.
The barrier that held you just beyond my mortal grasp,
Was lifted for a moment as I felt you close at last;
The birth of Christ upon this day, so many years ago,
Reminded me that never do our loved ones truly go.
I knew that you could hear my thoughts, I knew that you were near,
I felt your strength surrounding me, and brushed away a tear;
I felt a hug within my heart, I felt your warmth and love,
A reassuring presence that had come from up above.
I wrapped myself in comfort for the gift I'd been bestowed,
And thanked the Lord for blessing me, as mem'ries overflowed;
This day had been my portal to the future and the past …
As Christmas mourning ended ... with my faith renewed at last.