This is my fourth Christmas without my son, Davey.
He was a Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.
Many people told me the first year after his death was going to be the worst. And it was bad. So I was hoping that what people told me was true and the coming years would be better. It surprised me a little when the second year was just as tough – the permanence of the situation was starting to become a reality so the pain was different but just as intense. Same thing happened on the 3rd.
This is my fourth year – and it’s happening again. So I’m giving this time of year a name – my Quadruple Whammy.
One punch, two punches, three punches and then – the final punch.
First comes Davey’s son, Micah’s birthday in the beginning of November. I still don’t want to believe that Davey will never be at any of Micah’s birthdays, graduations, wedding, or hold his grandchildren. We have all lost so much.
Next comes Davey’s birthday. Great memories laced with the pain. He should have had 50 more birthdays. We have been robbed.
Then, Thanksgiving. There are times when I struggle to say, “Happy Thanksgiving” to people. For me, it’s compounded by the fact that my father died on Thanksgiving 41 years ago. It takes work for me to be thankful on Thanksgiving.
And then the final whammy – Christmas. So many great Christmas’ with Davey! He was a light in my life and now it’s hard to ignore the darkness. So I focus on how grateful I am for the birth of God’s son, Jesus, my Savior. Jesus is the light of the world and the hope he gives me lights up the dark places in my life.
I’ll just say this right out loud for me and for people like me – I’ll be glad when New Years Eve is over and another holiday season is past.
People like me are called Survivors. I’m in the process of learning just how much surviving goes into this. Every year, we have to ‘survive’ the holidays and birthdays and other special days. We never know when something is going to reach out of a perfectly normal celebration and punch us in the gut. It comes out of nowhere and spins us into the dark hole of pain we had hoped we left behind.
You have heard this from me before and you are hearing it again because it’s still true. I have discovered that the best way for me to survive and deal with the whammies is to focus on all the good I had in my life before Davey was killed and all the good I still have. When I focus on all I have lost, the pain intensifies.
I have also decided to get as close to God as I can so he can comfort me and counsel me each time my heart breaks a little more.
Because my quadruple whammy is not going away.
Miss you, Davey. Love you.