I am currently writing this letter at 11:20PM on Tuesday night. When I actually publish this post, it will be Wednesday, December 11th. Exactly two weeks before Christmas. I have another snow day tomorrow (today), but I'm writing this letter to you at this time of night because I can't sleep. I have a lot weighing on my mind, and I figure this would be a perfect way to help get some of the thoughts out of my head so that I can get a couple of hours sleep tonight.
You see, I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning because I'm going to be with my mom while she has a very important surgery. I have said that I wouldn't write about this on my blog, but it's time I let out some of the weight that's pressing on my mind.
A couple of weeks ago, I received some news that shattered my whole world. It made me reevaluate everything that was currently going on in my life, take a step back, and think about the stuff in my life that's truly important to me. It was no longer important that I was frustrated about kids not passing a reading test. It was no longer important that I was sleep deprived from being gone so much from home. It was no longer important that I was holding in pent up feelings towards my mother about some of the changes that were happening associated with my "normal" holiday traditions. None of it mattered, because I received news that made all of that stuff take a back seat. It helped me realize that there are bigger issues going on in the world, my world, and the petty frustrations and feelings I was having were nothing compared to the feelings and emotions that hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard the news.
My mom was sick.
Not a cold, or the flu, or an infection of some kind. Really sick. Life threateningly sick. And at that moment, all that mattered was getting my mom well again.
The last couple of weeks have been a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Doctors visits, tests, waiting for results, invasive procedures...and everything coming back bringing good news and leading me in to what's going to take place tomorrow. My mom can be cured. She can get better. It's just going to require a surgery and everything will be OK.
Normally, around this time of the year, I write you a letter. That letter includes what I want for Christmas, and I don't remember a single "Santa letter" that has included any materialistic item. Each and every year I ask for my kids to have a good Christmas, I ask for my students to be safe, warm, and fed, I ask for my family to enjoy their time together without any fighting or arguing.
This year, I still want all of those things, but I also have a major request.
Please, make sure that my mom has a great Christmas.
Every Christmas, my mom rushes around for weeks before hand making sure she has everything she needs to make Christmas good in her house. No matter how many kids she has, it's her top priority to make sure they are all happy. She makes sure they get the gifts that they want. She makes sure there's enough food for everyone. She makes sure that all that come to her house are welcomed and enjoy themselves.
This year, her only job will be staying well. Not pushing herself too hard. Letting everyone else run around and take care of what needs to be taken care of. And, I want her to be able to be OK with that. As much as she won't be, she has to understand that her getting well means much more to all of us than any Christmas gift or food we might eat on the day.
Before I go to sleep tonight, I will be saying the prayers I need to say in order to bring her safely through her surgery. I will be asking the Big Man, himself, to keep my mom safe through the surgery and to help make sure that the surgery does what it's supposed to do. I'm also asking him for everything that I'm asking you for, but I don't think it hurts to put it out there to you for back up. Reinforcement, you know?
This Christmas, I want my kids to be happy. I want them to enjoy their time, get the gifts they want, and be thankful for everything that we've been blessed with. I want my students to have the same thing. But what I NEED is my mom. Healthy. Safe. Happy.
I know that I can make sure that all of my wants are taken care of. I know that I will take care of my kids having a good Christmas. I know that I can do my part to ensure that my students get some joy before the Christmas break. But, making sure my mom is as healthy as she can be by Christmas is out of my hands. That's when I need my Christmas miracle. That's when I need to cash in all the stored up favors that I've been holding on to.
So, Santa, while you are very busy right now, I hope that you hear my request. I hope that you can do what you can to grant me this one request. I'm counting on you, right along with the millions of children that are counting on you to deliver that gift they've had their eye on all year long.
My mom is my world. She's my everything. She has to get through this surgery tomorrow, and be as healthy as she can be in a matter of two weeks... especially when one of those weeks will be spent in the hospital.
I'm counting on your, Santa. I have kept your spirit alive in my house year after year after year... and now it's time that you shine that reinforce that spirit with a little Christmas magic.
OK, time for me to go.... I have a very long prayer that needs to be said before I lay my head down to sleep.