Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dear Santa,...

Today was magical.
This morning, Brian and I worked on his letter to Santa Claus.  He took it very seriously and it had to be "just right."
He asked me to write the note portion as he dictated it to me.
Dear Santa, I love you.  I miss Gavin.  Please bring me Star Wars and art stuff and stickers.  I will listen for you on Christmas Eve.  Love, Brian
Brian was SO excited to visit Santa and wanted to be sure he asked him about visiting Heaven and bringing presents for Hope.
We got there early before the big crowds and anxiously stood in line waiting for our turn.  I told Brian that I was going to go first to talk to Santa so I could tell him what I thought Hope would like for Christmas.  But in reality, I wanted to sit with Santa to fill him in on Brian's thoughts and feelings.  And that's when things turned magical...
Last year we had two experiences with this Santa.  The first time, I found myself so distracted with getting the right photos and trying to get Gavin to smile and wanting to capture the moment - that I truly "missed the moment" entirely!  You can read that entry HERE.  

So, a few days later - I had a "Santa Do-Over."  I brought little "cheat sheets" for both boys, left my camera at home and listened... really listened.  I listened to what Santa said to Gavin.  I memorized Gavin's expressions and his clapping.  I listened to the conversation between Santa and Brian and marveled that Brian thought of Gavin when he gave Santa his list of "wants."  You can read about that special day HERE.
After our visit, I wrote this Santa a letter.  He spent so much time with each of the boys - he remembered every detail from my little cheat sheets - and he made the whole experience so magical.  For Gavin, especially, I wrote to him in my letter.  I told him that Gavin didn't like being held in one place and was usually pretty squirmy.  But he had such a calming presence - and when I told him that Gavin loved music, he actually started singing.  Gavin instantly melted into his arms and smiled - completely mesmerized.  I wanted him to know that special people are called to be Santa - and he clearly answered that call.  I just wanted him to know how grateful I was.

So today... as I sat next to him on his huge chair... I started to tell him about Brian when he stopped me.  He knew.  He remembered us.  He thanked me for my letter and told me how much it meant to him.  He said he has told the story several times since last year about the little boy with special needs that was fidgety until his Mom said to sing to him - and then he was completely calm.  I told him that Gavin had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away and he was so sad.  But he remembered him.  I couldn't believe it.
We gave each other the biggest hug and he patted my belly and I introduced him to Hope and he smiled.  I got up and walked over to Brian to take his hand and my eyes met up with Ed's.  It was hard for us to hold it together.

Brian sat with Santa for quite a while.  Santa reassured him that he does make it to Heaven and Gavin will have a wonderful Christmas there.
They talked about Star Wars and Brian's wish that his little sister have presents under the tree.
And then he told Brian that part of being a big brother is helping Mommy with all the stinky baby diapers... to which Brian started laughing hysterically.
Today was not easy for us - but it was magical.  And Gavin was there.  I know it.




32 comments:

  1. I have tears in my eyes as I read this. It is so evident that Gavin is with your family in everything you do. Thank you for the wonderful gift of allowing me to in a sense be a part of your family through your blog

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  2. You are so right, some people are called to be Santa and you found one of them. What a blessing. A true Santa embodies God's generosity of spirit here on earth

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  3. So sweet. How beautiful. Your a great mom. Blessings to all of you.

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  4. Awww...bittersweet, as I suspect the last 7 months or so have been. Looking at Brian's sweet smiley face can't help but make me smile back. And, Baby Hope! Just around the corner now! A brand new baby at Christmas always seems extra-special to me. Blessings on your dear little family.

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  5. Such a special (and emotional) post! What a wonderful Santa that he remembered you from last year and even more wonderful what he told Brian about Heaven. That truly brought tears to my eyes. Such a heart warming story. Thank you, thank you for sharing your life with us. I look forward to "hearing" from you everyday! Hugs!

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  6. I don't often cry when reading blogs, but this one brought tears to my eyes. How blessed you all are to have had just the right Santa there for you, not once, but twice. You also play a large part in Santa being able to be so right for your dear children, with all the wonderful preparation and coaching you do (both for the boys and Santa). Loved this post!

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  7. I have tears on my cheeks. What a wonderful Santa you have found! Embracing your family this holiday season!!

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  8. Kate, what a lovely story, just what you needed I suspect. I wanted to say how lovely it is that Ed is so involved with the children. I was just reading your last post on FB and saw Ed to the side of the photo cheering Gavin on. What lucky children you have, to have two such 'present' parents in their lives. I can see Ed just melting over Hope when she arrives. xx

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  9. Oh my....I'm crying. I always get so caught up in the emotions this time of year and the magic of it all. I Hager met Gavin, but miss him. Strange, I know. What a wonderful post, Kate.

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  10. What a kind Santa going above and beyond the 'mall' pay rate, I'm sure. He included Gavin and Hope in talking to Brian and reassured him that all 3 would be taken care of. Kind of what you were talking about yesterday before the intervening uterus interruption. They're all 3 equal parts of your family's children - and always will be. I think of the happy and wonderful thousands of days you had with Gavin and wonder which days you'd pick to live over if you could. All of them, of course, and beyond! But, I bet you've got some favorites. Keep picturing him in your arms, his sweet giggle, and wonderful smell. You CAN relive those memories because younger so present and aware when they were happening. Jenny page

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  11. I was introduced to your blog via Momastery prior to Gavin's death and have been following it regularly since. Beautiful post. If this man isn't the closest thing to Santa I don't know who is. Have a blessed Christmas Leong Family!

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  12. This made me cry. For you, for Ed, for Brian & for sweet Gavin. But also for the time you took to talk to Santa, for the Santa that was chosen to be there at the right time and the right place for your children...not just one year, but for two, and for the letter you wrote to Santa. And he remembered Gavin! You & Ed needed that just as much as Brian did. Such a very sweet visit with Santa and a very sweet post. This also reminds us that there are still very good, caring people in this world. Thank-you for sharing.

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  13. Bless your family you r a great mom I love reading your story and seeing your videos thank you

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing. What a beautiful experience and such a wonderful Santa! :) We took our little one to the KOP mall last year because we'd heard such great things about the Santa they had there, but he's retired this year. I would love to take her to see this Santa instead this year as he sounds like such a special man. Was this Plymouth Meeting Mall?

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    1. This is the King of Prussia Santa. I was there on Saturday

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  15. Absolutely wonderful! Kate, are you "resting" and taking it "easy"?
    Joanne Doyle Kuzborski from Avon, MA jkuzborski@comcast.net

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  16. And cue pregnant hormonal tears. So awesome.

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  17. Christmas is truly a magical time. Magic can be happy and sad. Its finding the happy medium of memories. Its about fighting your way to the smiles when crying would be the way thing to do. God bless you all.

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  18. Christmas is truly magical. Happy magic and sad magic. Its about finding the happy medium between happy and sad. Its about finding your laugh and smile when all you want to do is cry. God bless you all. You truly are a beautiful family.

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  19. Beautiful. One thing that draws me to your blog is the way you express your gratitude for everyone in your life. Even in the midst of a tragic (yet Hope-ful) situation, you manage to express your appreciation to everyone. From teachers to aids, nurses to doctors, photographers, artists, friends and Santa, you tell people how much they mean to you - and that is a beautiful, wonderful gift you have. I appreciate hearing you do this, as it teaches me how to be thankful for people in my life. And, Mr. Santa Claus sir, thank you so much for confirming what so many kids need to know - that yes, indeed, you do stop in Heaven. And, oh boy, what a special time he will have delivering beautiful gifts to an angel named Gavin and his little sister Darcy. They've already had the best gift any kid could need and that us loving, extraordinary parents.

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  20. So beautiful and such a wonderful message....

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  21. No doubt about it: the Santa you saw was the real Santa. I believe in him.

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  22. I have to agree with Kristin above.

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  23. I love this post. Gavin is there with u guys He will never leave you. Thanks for this story. i lost my mom's dad recently so I hope the two of them enjoy christmas in heaven this year

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  24. What a wonderful Santa visit! Your family is so special; I'm so thankful that I stumbled across your blog. Ps. Brian's smile in that last pic is priceless. He has the best smile - what a happy guy!
    Holly

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  25. I have traveled with you on this journey of yours and there have been A LOT of posts that made me tear up and sniffle. THIS post, however... it was all I could do to not outright cry.

    And for all the "Negative Nancy" people out there-- You have handled them with a grace that many people couldn't even began to match.

    God Bless you and all of your babies-- can't wait to meet Hope when she makes her appearance!!

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  26. This brought me tears of sadness and happiness. I miss Gavin like I knew him. I pray Brian has a good Christmas despite missing his brother.

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  27. Kate, I'm often touched by your posts but have never commented before. This one touched me in particular though because it reminded me so strongly of my daughter (who was a cancer survivor) and her encounter with a particularly wonderful Cinderella. There was no particular reason for Cinderella to have gone out of her way to make her time with my daughter extraordinary and yet somehow she sensed exactly how much it meant to my family. It's been 10 years since that visit and I still get a bit teary remembering that particular magic. Best wishes to you and your family. You are doing a spectacular job navigating many challenges. Only you and Ed can truly know what is right for your family. Thank you for bravely sharing your journey.

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  28. What a beautiful, special man. There are angels on earth :)

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