Going through the Christmas ornaments is a trip through little laughs, endless story time, bright-eyed wonder, and sometimes heartache.
I pulled out the little knit hat and scarf for the tenth time or so. Charlie comes to mind and my guilt over letting him go so callously many years ago. I used to grieve for the loss of a friend, the loss of innocence, and the loss of a precious childhood that will never be again every time I thought of Charlie. I have forgiven myself and I believe my son has forgiven me so now I just remember.
You see Charlie was an adorable little teddy bear with an american flag sweater and he sat on offspring #3’s bed. I didn’t see it until it was too late–his purpose. When my son was four I helped him choose toys he didn’t play with to donate to a charity. The stuffed bears were going to local firefighters to give out to children at home fires. My son thought he was sharing, because I used the word sharing, and that his beloved bear he had named Charlie would be returned. I didn’t know the bear had a name. I didn’t know he was my son’s silent night-time sentinel, a protector, a friend. I didn’t know because I didn’t listen to my son. My son cried for several years over the loss of Charlie. He had to have american flag sweaters for his other beloved stuffed animals. He prayed to God to bring Charlie home and that Christmas after his loss he asked Santa to bring his bear back. I wrote down that he wanted a bear like Charlie. He got Kruger–that’s what #3 named his new bear because it wasn’t Charlie–and a letter from Santa saying he couldn’t take the bear away from another child who needed it.
How often do we rush their childhood away?
We learned many lessons over that experience. I learned to listen to my children more, to listen not only to their words but to their hearts; and even though I tried to find Charlie–even asking God to bring him home somehow–I believe he’s doing good wherever he is.
My son learned to keep faith. He still believed in Santa even though he didn’t get his bear back and he still very much believes in God. Faith is such a precious virtue to nurture in our loved ones and our actions can help or hinder. Sometimes in our well-meaning nurturing we hinder or challenge our loved ones faith. We must do all we can to restore and preserve faith and belief especially our faith and belief in ourselves and each other.
Some damages can be repaired or restored while others must be healed over time.
I am grateful for all the opportunities I have for believing.
May you thrive in your faith and beliefs, helping you to positively radiate love throughout your life and with all those you love.
Here’s to you Charlie, wherever you are; know you are loved and missed. May you continue to give love to the child you are with and someday if you can please come home.