We are part of a large close extended family and at Christmas we have some big family get togethers. This photo shows just my husband’s side of the family, but it has three more members since then – via marriage and birth.
We decided several years ago that it was far more important to spend time together than to lavish money on expensive gifts.
My children always liked to have some little gift to give to aunties, uncles, cousins, grannies and granda’s. At one stage Leah used to hand make a book mark for each person. Then, about four years ago, we started making magnetic calendars on Vistaprint. Leah used to design these. We printed two or three dozen each December. I’ve no idea how we missed the “typo” in the 2011 one, where the second Scripture reference should be 1 Peter 5:7!
When I look back at the wording Leah chose for the 2013 calendar I am amazed – prophetic words indeed. This calendar would have been made around three weeks before Leah’s first trip to the GP and the blood test that changed everything.
The calendars seemed very expensive to print that year. In all the busyness and expense of Christmas I became very irritated and I crossly told Leah “This will be the last year that you’re making those calendars – they’ve got far too dear.” Sadly those words came to pass in a way that I could never have imagined.
My Facebook “Timehop” app tells me that this day three years ago I posted a link to a song called “One Last Christmas”
I have no recollection of seeing this video before or of posting this song 12 months before Leah became ill and 24 months before her final admission to hospital.
I’m really struggling emotionally this month, but I’m also thankful that Leah actually made it home from Bristol, that she had six weeks with us in her beautiful purpose built bedroom, that she got to spend time with some of her family and friends and that we did indeed have “one last Christmas”!
“It’s the news that no one hopes for
Every parent’s greatest fear
Finding out the child you love so much
Might not make it through the year
Now the thought of spending Christmas
Without him just feels wrong
They’ve been praying for a miracle
Now they’re praying he can just hold on
For one last Christmas, one last time
One last season when all the world is right
One more telling of the story
One more verse of silent night
They’d give anything so he could have
One last Christmas”