Haddie Bo Bo,

Merry Christmas baby girl.  I am sitting in a hotel in sunny, beautiful, Florida, trying to go to sleep.  I have the TV on and head phones in trying desperately to drown out the thoughts in my head.  When this of course fails I go get the laptop so I can write these thoughts out in hopes to be free of them for a night.

Today is Christmas Eve.  We started the morning with a yummy breakfast buffet.  You know Mama loves her breakfast.  We then went on a quick search for replacement bubbles for Elo’s toy Shamu bubble blower she got yesterday.  We got back to the hotel and it was 85 degrees and sunny.  We headed out to the beach.  Daddy boogie boarded while Elo and I stood in the waves.  We spent the afternoon picking up shells, walking in the sand, soaking in the sun, swimming in the pool, and for me doing anything to distract myself.  It’s nice here because it doesn’t feel like Christmas so it has been somewhat of a distraction.  But there were several moments today when I wasn’t distracted and I gave in to the deep ache and let the tears come.

If all was right in the world we would have gone to Christmas Eve service at our church and sang my favorite Christmas songs.  We would have gone out for Chinese afterwards at my favorite spot, Blue Ginger.  We would have gone home and opened your Christmas Eve gifts, which are always Christmas jammies.  We would have sprinkled reindeer food on our front lawn and put out Santa’s cookies. We would have read T’was The Night Before Christmas and got into your jammies.  I would have made you and your sister pose for pictures until I got the perfect one.  I would have given you snuggles and put you to bed.  I would be busy putting out all of your Santa gifts and making sure everything was perfect for the morning.  I would have made sure our homemade cinnamon rolls were ready for the morning and then tried to convince myself to sleep.  I would have been too excited to sleep thinking of the morning and all the excitement to be had.  I would have laid in bed and watched the move Elf for the 387,529,348 time this season.

But we did not do any of those things today.  Instead I tried to distract myself from these “would have” thoughts.  Why is this our reality?  Why aren’t we doing these things?  I am mad that things are different, in fact completely a mess,  and that things aren’t perfect.

Tonight Santa comes and in the morning Elo will be relieved to know that he found us in Florida.  We will head to Disney and have THE BEST DAY for Eloise.  I will hide my broken heart from her and make sure she knows that she means the world to me.

So many times Elo knows right thing to say to me.  Many times through out the day she has a secret to tell me. She makes me bend down, and she cups her hands around my ear and says, “Haddie loves you.”  She must dream about you all the time.  She woke up today and the first thing she said to me was, “Haddie was eating and then we went swimming around and around and I tickled her back.  Then she got scared and fell asleep. I love her.”

I will keep these memories forever.  It was truly magical and I just don’t ever see it being like this again, at least for me.  I’m sure it will feel different later and I will love christmas again.  But it will never be this perfect.  I hope you are having the best party up there with Jesus.  I love you and I wish you were here, with us, where you should be.  
Your Mama who can’t pull it together tonight