Merry Christmas, everyone!

I just wanted to write a short note for Christmas. I have received a number of messages of concern for me at this time of year, and I wanted to respond because I know that very many people have suffered losses, especially this year.

My first Christmas without Michaela arrived just weeks after we lost her. We’d passed through Thanksgiving five days after the kidnapping. There had been no sense of holiday. We’d had plenty of food, provided by friends, but we ate it on the go around the makeshift search center that had been created on our dining room table. Christmas, however, was different. We’d had a few weeks, and it was not as chaotic, but what made Christmas really different was my children. The oldest were eight and three at the time, and there was no earth shaking event that could dampen their joy and excitement over Christmas, and their joy became mine as well. I remember nothing about the gifts that year, or where they came from, or if I actually left the house to go shopping, but kids are so easy to please, and pleased they were, and I absorbed their pleasure like sunshine after rain. There has not been a Christmas since then for which this has not been true.

And the same is true this year. I moved to Iowa, but two of my kids and grandkids moved here as well. And their joy will be mine as well, just as it has been every year.

I wanted to post this to remind all of you who have lost loved ones to have a happy holiday season anyway. Remember, the one you lost wants you to be happy. And please, don’t ever let the magnitude of your loss diminish what you have. There were times growing up when my children felt overshadowed by Michaela, but they were not. They were what kept me alive. When my daughter was around seven, she told me, “But you talk about Michaela all the time, and you cry about her.” And I answered, “but I talk to you, and you make me smile and laugh, and that’s way more important.”

For all our losses, let’s be grateful for what we have. For all the love we long to give our lost ones, let’s give it to our present ones. As I titled a recent blog entry, “When all that’s left of me is love, give me away.”

May you be blessed.
Sharon
& Michaela

32 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, everyone!

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  1. Wow Sharon. You are really a gifted writer. That was so very inspiring. Your children are so fortunate to have you as their mom. I love you and wish you a merry Christmas my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I Love you Sharon. Those words you wrote were Beautiful. You truly are a Positive, Encouraging, and Caring Person

    I Pray for the most Beautiful Christmas ever for you.
    I Pray that God will let you See Michaela Shining down Bright on you and your Family from Heaven this Christmas!

    Love and Prayers Always from Thelma Bradshaw

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just like you to have concern for others when you are going through so much yourself. Take care of yourself and your family. Merry Christmas and sending love to you all. Continued prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lived in Hayward during this time and I can tell you that first Christmas I was at toys r us on Hesperian and I saw you and Michaela’s dad buying toys and I wanted to say something but there were no words but I distinctly remembered that you were both filled with hope because you were trying to decide what to get the kids for Christmas. All these years later I never forgot what I learned from you at that time. I was in awe of your ability to keep moving forward and how brave you are. Merry Christmas

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love you Sharon. You and Michaela are love and light and I feel so blessed to know you. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for this, I really needed this message. Merry Christmas to you and your family, may you have a blessed day. I will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. New reader to your blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly. I’ve read about your daughter for years as I tend to gravitate towards stories of kidnapped children. Hearing the case was solved was bittersweet, as I’m sure it brings new pain. I remember Jacob Wetterling’s recently solved case and the words of his mother. That it was like grieving him all over again because up until then, she thought of him as alive. Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Sharon
    My condolences to you and your family. You fought hard and have shown your strength, your struggle, but most of all you have shown your heartbreak. You and your family have endured the most terrible nightmare. You and so many un named have given it all to keep pressing for answers.
    The world is not a bad world, it is people who take in a blink of an eye, who make everything sick and poison it.
    Now the name of this poison is know, it can’t be undone, your daughter will shine on in so many ways, love and beauty will live on.
    We will never forget Michaela and so many others, that still have to be found.
    I hope they will be found, because nothing is lost.
    Love reminds.
    Bless you all

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love love love that you signed this from you and Michaela.
    Thank you for posting this and for the sentiment and your viewpoints. My mom passed away on the first day of this month and I’m doing okay but it’s helpful to read your thoughts. Sending you positive thoughts and love, and strength. I hope you can find some peace and I’m glad you can absorb the ‘sunshine.’

    Liked by 1 person

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