I am taking my daughter home to her mom's this morning. I don't have her for Christmas this year because we alternate. So I will take her to her moms and then I am heading home to the Philadelphia burbs to be with family.
It's been nine years like this now and I never get used to it. A hole starts growing inside me around the 20th of December on the years I don't have her. It will seem a little less like Christmas this year. Actually a lot less. It always does.
Because of my Christian faith, I know the intrinsic, true nature of the holiday and that part never loses it's luster for either of us. But the sense of family and wholeness that accompanies this holiday is missing to a large degree on the odd years I don't have Morgan. There is an emptiness. This wound will never heal fully no matter how many years go by. When Morgan is an adult and marries and becomes a mom, there will be the forced choices about who to spend the holiday with. She will see us both, I am sure, but not spend the entire day with either. That is sad. Sad for me and very sad for her one day. It's part of the price that is paid when couples divorce.
I am thankful for my daughter and we will celebrate Christmas next week when she comes over for New Years. But Wednesday evening when I am with my family celebrating the "seven fishes", and then with her cousins on Christmas morning and Bob and Cathy's Christmas night, she will be noticeably absent, and my heart will be a little empty. I never get used to that feeling, and never will.
But I am thankful I have her and I see her regularly. To all you dads with similar arrangements...Merry Christmas. Remember the one Child we never are without on Christmas, and let His peace and tenderness comfort you while you miss your children here on earth. Rest in the Peace of Jesus, my friends.
God Bless you all at Christmas,