Friday, December 12, 2014

if we were on a coffee date-december edition

dear peter.

if we were on a coffee date, i'd order an eggnog latte and you'd have yours with vanilla and extra hot.  we'd sit at the table near the entry door at our "regular" starbucks and chatter pointlessly while people-watching.  you'd tell me to stop with all the gawking while being equally amused by the cast of characters waiting in line for their morning jolt of caffeine.

if we were on a coffee date, i'd tell you my heart just isn't it this december.  amid all the holiday excitement, i am attempting to shake the guilt for not being "all in".  you'd tell me that's okay.  the added self-pressure is alive and well in the hearts of many this season, not just mine. you'd remind me there were other christmases laced with unmet wants and feelings much the opposite of  all the peace & joy & ho-ho-ho.  you'd reach across the table and embrace my hand, telling me to be gentle on me.  i'd tell you i still can't find the courage to mail out photo christmas cards again this year because i don't know how to send a greeting without you being in the picture.  how do i explain to those we only communicate with but this one time year about all that has happened to our family?

if we were on a coffee date, you'd say thanks for being born today because starbuck, instead of you, would be paying for my beverage.  i would remind you of that one year you gave me a billboard for my birthday.  it was simple.  "Merry Christmas" in a fancy script with "jeremiah 29:11" printed below it.  the date and my initials were in the bottom right corner.  how did you plan that? i am sure an office assistant or two did some of the leg work but i remember running down front street with mel early on my birthday morning ten years ago. she pointing up saying, "look".  tears came as my feet stopped mid-stride.  our verse after losing that babe before sweet brown eyes.  the one promising God's plans are perfect and His purpose will always unfold even in the middle of our doubts.  the sign was there for 60 days, and i wonder how many looked up and wondered about Him because of you. 

if we were on a coffee date, i'd thank you for labeling all of the christmas decoration tubs, but ask why you wrote "XMAS" instead of "CHRISTMAS".  your retort would be four letters is more efficient than nine..simple math, chrissy.  i'd tell you i love seeing your block printing in black sharpie on those boxes because it reminds me you are still with me even though you aren't physically here.  just like those cards from you i have tucked behind the facewash and sunscreen in my medicine cabinet.  then i would get all serious and admit i might have those four letters written on my heart with the "Christ" missing from this season.  you'd wisely reconfigure my thoughts for me suggesting He isn't missing if i can acknowledge i am searching for him.  you'd again suggest i be gentle on myself.

if we were on a coffee date, i'd schedule a "date night" with you to watch your favorite holiday movie, chevy chase's christmas vacation.  we laugh at how similar you and clark are.  you'd quote the line where the yuppie neighbor asks clark where he's going to put the giant christmas tree and then belly laugh a "bend over and i'll show you" retort.  or when he says "it's a bit nipply out, i mean nippy."  and we'd laugh when clark's in bed with magazine pages stuck to his fingers because of all the sappy residue from cutting their own tree down.  you'd explain that's why "faux" is better than the real thing sometimes.

if we were on a coffee date, i would bask in all of your strengths & shortcomings because now i know life often has unexpected endings.  you always love a good o'henry story, didn't you.

love you peter.  missing you this december & always.