Mourning Lost Memories

The dates from the calendar simply disappeared. Literally. There one day and gone the next.

We received a call from the school system Sunday night that our kids would be moving to e-learning for at least the next two weeks and that all extra-curricular activities would also be cancelled in that time frame. My son’s Christmas show choir performance that we had been holding out hope for, that at least his dad and I would be able to attend, met a sudden death.

I’ll make a confession here. We have been a part of this Christmas event for the past four years. It’s a lonnnnnngg performance…at least three hours or more. This past year I was required to make dozens of cookies to contribute to the cookie walk. It was stressful. However, the last part of the program is always the highlight of my Christmas. The high school kids don choir robes and sing songs that tell the true Christmas story. I’m not sure how they are still able to do that in our current culture, but I love it. I leave with my heart full.

Can I tell you that I would bake twice the number of cookies to watch my kids perform this year? I am so sad. I haven’t even been able to attend a junior high band concert where I listen to kids screech through their first performance. I didn’t think I’d miss it, but I do. There’s nothing like watching your kids do something they love.

I’ll be honest. I feel robbed. These are memories I will never, ever be able to get back with my kids. There isn’t a replacement. There won’t be an opportunity to do it another time. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. And I know being safe is important and we could lose a lot more by leaders taking unnecessary risks. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s awful.

We’ve just had to cancel our Thanksgiving plans. We were waffling on what to do and then we found out yesterday that our oldest has to be quarantined due to exposure at school (this is after our youngest had just finished being quarantined). We were supposed to host and I was eager to share our home with a small part of our family. We had agreed to wear masks so we could gather. Poof. Gone.

I try to talk myself into looking at the bright side. Sometimes, though, I think it’s better to simply acknowledge the mess. And feel it. And mourn.

Today, I was reminded of Faith Hill’s song, “Where Are You Christmas?” (click to watch the video). Some of the lines from the song that stick out are, “Why can’t I hear the music play,” and “My world is changing, I’m rearranging.” I love the hopeful message of, “If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel Christmas all of the time.” As we head into the Christmas season, that will inevitably be very different, I think this is an important message to remember.

Here’s hoping you can make some special memories this year in spite of everything going on right now. And may we have a greater appreciation for the memories we are able to make in the future. Holding out hope for when the music plays again.

Photo cred

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