A Grandmother’s Story: Dear Chrissie

I’ve been struggling to write this holiday season. I have a bunch of posts that are half-written random streams of consciousness. Hopefully, I’ll have something to post before year-end. I’ve also been taking a reprieve from social media the past few weeks to reset my brain and help with saying goodbye to 2016. In the meantime, Mom is here today with a new post to take us into Christmas this weekend.  -Christina

Christmas is a few days away. Many families are hurrying to finish their last-minute decorating, shopping and baking. Some kids are mailing their “Dear Santa” letters in hopes that their special toy will be under the Christmas tree. In many homes, families are watching traditional television classics such as “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Scrooge”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “The Christmas Story”. (The latter is one of my favorite movies).

Another yearly tradition that you begin to see on television are our military personnel in surprising reunions with their families. Whether these reunions are depicted in a commercial or shared during a newscast, they are heart-warming and make you realize how precious family are. These are the times when I think most of you, Christina, and a grandson, taken so early. This is why it would be apropos to write this blog to my daughter because there’s nothing more important to me right now but my Chrissie!

During my pregnancy with Christina, my OB-GYN thought I was going to have a boy. When she arrived, it was a different story. Originally, I had thought of the name “Christopher” because of Warren Christopher, the former U.S. Secretary of State. He was instrumental in securing the freedom of 52 Americans hostages in Iran in the 1980s. At the time, I lived in Milwaukee and one of those hostages was a Wisconsinite. I recall several people tied yellow ribbons around trees to signify support of their release. I drove my parents nuts when I decided to tie a yellow ribbon around a newly planted birch tree in our front lawn.

Early on during the pregnancy, I had told my adopted mother that I was going to name my baby after Warren Christopher. Of course, it truly was a different outcome when you arrived and they handed you to me. So, when the doctor asked what name to give you, “Christopher” became “Christina”. I was still very adamant that I was keeping the name “Chris”, but I simply called you, “Chrissie”.

Me and my Mom, I think around 1983. This photo was taken at my “happy place”, Walt Disney World, as we were waiting for a parade.

To my precious Chrissie,

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We survived! Life goes on. I was relieved to see the wonderful turkey and all the fixins’ you and Brett made. You have been making strides during these couple of months.

Now, it’s Christmas.

You may not feel like celebrating it with all the traditional hooplas that you are accustomed to but it’s okay. Neither do I. In your last blog, “Everything will be ok”…well, it is!

Christmas reminds us of the things we used to do to celebrate the occasion but it can also remind us of the things we no longer have. Family or friends that have passed. You’re not alone in missing Emmett. I confess, I dreaded this time of the year, too! I know it would be difficult for me not being able to be with you during the holidays. I’m trying to combat depression and loneliness. I’m struggling with my self-worth. I was reading one of my devotionals, “Make Every Day Count”, and the last chapter was “Your Breakthrough is Closer Than Ever”.

It really spoke to me. It reminded me that God has a purpose for our lives. He has a plan and we have to remain in the fight. We “can’t be passive and assume the good life will be ours without a fight. You need to press through pain because victory awaits us”. This is what I try to tell myself.

I was also reminded why we celebrate Christmas. Some may not agree with it, that’s okay. We are celebrating the birth of Christ. Because of this, I’m so glad of this reminder: who is in control… Christ. You probably have heard the saying or the song, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”. Okay, it may sound corny, but it’s true, on the 25th we celebrate His birthday.

All bundled up on the beach of St. Augustine, Florida

As I remember this, it gives me hope for our future. Hope that as we overcome our daily grief and our tears, your words in this blog provides hope to others. Women who feel alone in their loss, pain and grief. You have given them an example that life after death is possible. So, be determined to live your life on purpose, don’t give up. Your writing is transforming others.

Personally, it’s allowing me to know the daughter I never knew. The daughter that I daily cried privately for. The daughter that I gave up for adoption so many years ago. The daughter that gave me a beautiful grandson, Emmett. There are no words that I can convey to remove your heartache but just know that you are one of the best joys of my life. Emmett was and is the best Christmas present a grandmother could have ever received.

Merry Christmas my baby girl…ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS…is YOU!




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