Tuesday, December 21, 2010
But This I Know~ A Short Story by Emily Ciszewski
They always say the first year without a loved one is the hardest. Who are "they" anyways? Did "they" lose someone? Or are "they" just "observant"? It's not true.
Here comes the second Christmas already and, to me, it's just as hard as it was last year. I mean, yes, last year was a nightmare - mom and Jen bawling their eyes out,Haylie pretending to be all merry - Grandma Lu being extra quiet...and me? Let's just say I was last year's #1 Scrooge!
Kevin, my step dad, had a truck accident two years ago. I can truthfully say he was my rock. The kind of person everybody loves. Makes everyone laugh. He just had to go and die.
Last Christmas everyone brought food, presents, all that - the family and friends tried extra hard to make things easier for us.
I hated it.
This year it's like everyone forgot. Like - "everything is fine now".
I hate it too.
I know - I am so miserable.
Sorry. (Not really.)
Mom decorated the tree with blue and white lights again. Kevin's favorite colors - a total Cowboy's fan. I guess we all decorated. Jen came home with Mike. Haylie made popcorn. Jen's so lucky to have someone to hang on - and college to keep her occupied. High school is so not the place to "get lost in studies"! Haylie tries to make everything seem so normal, at least for her friends. But I can see right through her. She hates this as much as I do. And mom... she can be so bubbly around her friends - but now - watching her today - I know she hates this too - like the rest of us.
When Kevin died, I promised I would I would start going to youth group and church every week. That lasted a month or so. I know mom is going to start nagging me to go to the Christmas service. I didn't go last year. Mom, Haylie, and Jen all went last year. How could I be expected to go and celebrate the birth of a King who let my best friend die? How am I supposed to forgive Him? Mom says we'll see Kevin again, in Heaven. He asked Jesus into his heart a month or so before he died. He was such an awesome Christian. Real.
Today mom had coffee withone of her church friends - well actually, she's a neighbor that mom treats like a sister. I love her - I really do - it's just that mom always spills her guts when she talks to her. Plus, she cries. It's hard when she cries. Elaine, my 'aunt' loves coffee and I know she loves God and my family. She was talking with mom about strength - hanging on. I guess her mom has altimeters. But what really got to me was her talking about her faith.
"Mom was my faith helper - I believe in God and all - on my own - but without mom pushing me it gets so hard!"
I silently agreed about Kevin.
"Going on without her is just so hard!" They both cried. "This is the real test," she said, "when you have to go on alone and just believe he's there."
I need to stop before I ruin this page with tears.
Today I saw Cammy at the library. She's the pastor's daughter - we're pretty good friends. I told her all about my Christmas cranks. She's a real person. I love that about her.
She said she can understand why I'm angry at God. She said she'll pray for me. She also said she gets mad at God all the time - but she doesn't give up on Him. He doesn't give up on her. Ever. I can't stop thinking about that. I mean, God and I were never best buds - like Cammy seems to be - but I never hated him. Maybe I could forgive him. Someday.
I put all my Christmas gifts under the tree today. Mom is gonna love her necklace. We sang carols and sipped hot chocolate by the fire - it was nice. And singing about Jesus in a lame animal feed bin gave me goosebumps. Mom read the Christmas story for the first time out loud. It was nice. The pain is still here - inside - but it was nice. Jen and Mike are staying over tonight and are going to the service tomorrow. Mom didn't ask me to go yet.
December 25th, Christmas Day
The service was good. Real good.
Mom never did ask me to go - all she said was "love you" and "we'll bring you back a ginger-bread man". I decided to go after they left. I'm glad I did. It was perfect.
Pastor Rich did a simple sermon. He read the Christmas story, with passion. And we sang carols. It was beautiful.During "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" is when it happened. I invited Him back in. I know He never left, but I felt like I needed too.There were no fireworks. No one knew. Nothing was "all better". But this I know - Jesus loves me.
What better day to sing it?