Dear Joseph and Lucia,
It’s Christmas! I’m at home in my office here on Christmas Eve early in the morning. I just got back from the airport. Mel surprised us and flew in last week. I just dropped her off for her flight back to California. As a result we celebrated a little early.
Michele loves to fill stockings with a bunch of nick-nacks and this year was no different. The girls got stockings full of comfy scarves and fuzzy colorful socks. I even threw in a few things. I found a pen that Rachael has been looking for but could never find. There were plenty of presents for everyone and it was fun watching everyone open theirs. I already gave Michele hers (a phone) so I wanted her to have something to open. I found a really soft blanket, but couldn’t be bothered to wrap it. So, instead I pulled a trick my mom used on me… a treasure hunt. All she got was an envelope with a clue in the form of a poem. From there she had to solve a series of riddles until she finally got to my keys. I had left it in the trunk of my car. It might seem endearing, but really I’m just lazy and writing a bunch of poems and orchestrating the hunt was easier than wrapping a queen size blanket. But Michele and the girls all had fun and that’s what was important.
Both of your presents are still under the tree. They get put there every year. Honestly, I don’t remember what they are anymore. I’ve kept them with me through all the years since the first Christmas I spent without you. Even when I was homeless and living in the shelter, I found a safe place to keep them. They will be there for you guys when you are ready.
This has traditionally been a hard time of the year for me because I miss you guys so much. It really helps to have the girls in my life. It takes the edge off that pain. I really hope you guys are able to enjoy this season.
Lucia, your 18th birthday is right around the corner. You’ll be on your own soon afterwards, off to college. I remember how brave you always were. Please be brave and confront me with your anger/fear/curiosity. What ever your questions, I’ll take the time to answer honestly. Even if you just want to yell at me, I’ll listen. The silence is much harder to bear.
Joseph, you’re a man now. You’ve been at college for over a year. Hopefully, you are getting a wider perspective of life and meeting lots of people. I’m sure you are getting confronted with lots of new ideals. This is an amazing time in your life where you can learn from different cultures and faiths and people. Please remember to be open to all the varieties of life around you at school.
So, I’ll keep waiting for you two. When you are ready, I’ll be here. If you are a friend of Joseph or Lucia and reading this, give them a hug. Love them. I know I do.