Friday, December 24, 2021

Dear Ryan,

It's Christmas Eve...and no surprise, you're on my mind.

The wreath in front of your tree was Karen's idea.  She wanted to pretty it up, but I told her it was perfect just the way it is...a little bit rough cut, like you were.

I imagine you would have skipped the bow, but I like it...a nice touch, and we even put some lights on it so it’s easy to see from my office.

Is it a big celebration in heaven tonight?

Or does that happen on the anniversary of the actual night Christ was born to Mary in that manger so many Christmases ago?

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords taking on human flesh in the most humble surroundings...incredible.

Either way it must be a spectacular event...all the hosts of heaven joining together in praise and adoration for the new born King...

...and now you're part of it!


I'm truly happy for you, Ryan.

I know, as the writer of Hebrews said, you've "laid aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us" and you're now running with patience the race God has set before you.

What a wondrous experience that must be!

So it seems petty to even mention it, because you've got bigger fish to fry, but I miss you...

...and I wish I could hug you one last time on this Christmas Eve, because this time I'd know and would make it count.

I wouldn't take for granted that I'd see you again, that you'd always be around.

I wouldn't leave things unsaid in the ridiculous belief there's always another time to say them.

I'd look you in the eyes and tell you I'm sorry for the times I failed you, for the moments when I let you down, when I didn't live up to my responsibilities as your father.

And I'd make sure you really know I love you, that I'm proud of you, that I'm thankful to God in heaven you're my son.

Just one more chance, one last time before you were gone...

But that's not how it works, is it?

Because the truth is, I already had those chances...

...every time I saw you, every time you walked through my door at Thanksgiving, every time we met together for breakfast at Denny's...

...and I squandered them.

For what, exactly, was I waiting?

Now that door's closed, that opportunity missed, and what can I do?

We soldier on.

So until that future day...until we meet again in heaven...

Merry Christmas, Ryan.

 - Dad

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