I bought about fifteen alluminium-foil-helium-balloons for Jack’s birthday celebration.
I was afraid that Megan would get upset if we released ALL the balloons without keeping one for her, so we held onto one and left it at the house.
For an entire evening, all the children LOVED playing with that balloon. At the end of the night, the balloon’s string became detached and the balloon floated up to the high ceiling and there has remained since Jack’s birthday on Novemeber 18th.
For a while it was just silly that the balloon was still up there, but as the days and then weeks passed, it became more symbolic. Each time I saw that balloon hoovering overhead, I thought about our angel Jack. I began to believe that the balloon would surely fall on his deathdate (Decemeber 29th), symbolizing his 41 short days on this earth.
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Not only has Jack’s balloon stayed afloat, but it now moves across the ceiling from location to location throughout the day. Tonight during our Christmas Eve program, Jack’s balloon hoovered nearby, and I felt his sweet presence as we marveled on the birth of our Savior and discussed how that singular and extraodinary event paved the way for our eventual family reunion.
I don’t really know if Jack’s birthday balloon is hanging around on purpose, and I think I will be surprised if it ends up falling on his deathdate, but this entire Christmas season, it has been a sweet reminder to me that my son is not dead, but he lives. And he lives because Christ was born. And this Christmas I celebrate that birth with more gusto and more hope than all my past Christmases combined!
I wish I had a great gift to give the Savior this year…the year when his birth has impacted me more than ever before. But….
“What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him:
give my heart.”