It starts a month or so before Christmas, when I get the decorations out. I take out Gianna’s stocking and hang it up with tears in my eyes. Her memorial ornaments are placed on the tree and I am reminded of a little girl who should be here and is not. A little girl who should be making her list for Santa and ripping wrapping paper to shreds Christmas morning. Her absence is loud this time of year. I am almost deafened by it. I think one of the most difficult aspects of child loss is the isolation it causes. Very few people know the pain and devastation we experience, which is heightened during the holidays and therefore so is our isolation. Simply put, we feel alone. And sad.
This year that was not the case. We were truly visited by angels Christmas morning. It was a normal Christmas morning, so we thought. We just finished breakfast and Lucas, our one and half year old son, wanted to look outside the window to see the trucks. As I lift him up, I see some Christmas decorations on our outside tree that I did not put up and I see a large package with an angel statue on our front porch.
I see the name Christmas Commandos on the outside of the box. I quickly look them up on the Internet to find out more and read “their primary mission is to provide much needed emotional support to families that have experienced the unexpected loss of a child or a parent with children still at home.” I read on. They anonymously adopt families that fit this description and provide them with gifts and memorial items Christmas Eve or Day. They primarily serve Michigan and Indiana but seem to have recently spread to other states as well. My eyes start to well up with tears of gratitude. I call Dave over, explain what this is, and as he brings in the package, tears also well up in his eyes.
We open up the box to find gifts for Dave, Lucas, and I and several memorial items remembering our Gianna. It was definitely a Christmas we will never forget. It was a magical morning!
To our local Christmas Angels, THANK YOU! To the Christmas Commandos team in Indiana, THANK YOU! May you know that your generosity gave us the best Christmas since our daughter passed. We felt God and the angels close to us that morning. We felt our daughter close to us that morning. We felt loved and accompanied. And those are the greatest gifts of all.
To learn more about Christmas Commandos or to find out how you can help their mission, check out their website: http://www.christmascommandos.org/