Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Balloons Carrying Trains to Heaven

Aside from the Fourth of July, Christmas is by far one of my most favorite times of the year.  Since Charlie went to be with Jesus last July we have had only one Christmas pass.  It was a hard one, but I think this one might even be harder.  Last year was a first, but now it is the rest of our life.  I'm confident there will always be ups and downs associated with this time of year (or any holiday for that matter) but tonight I've gathered enough courage to want to share an "up."  I am feeling compelled to share this "up" because since writing through the course with Megan Devine on Refuge in Grief, I am feeling completely overwhelmed by the negative, hurting, scared, lonely emotions I find in that space.  I completely get it (all of it) and I am not judging because I am in the same place on my worst days.  But with the hope I have in Jesus I do not always have to have those days even when it is hard.  I want to share the "ups" and this one in particular so I don't lose sight of how precious these moments are to me.

We have a tender and love filled story that involves balloons with Charlie.  They are everywhere and show up in many more places than I would ever expect them to.  I would love to share the entire story but my eyes are getting heavy, so the short version is we send balloons to heaven fairly often.  Big John (or Charlie's Poppy) sends then on Saturdays.  Tonight, on Christmas Eve Eve, we had our Christmas dinner and shared gifts with the Gesenhues.  Big John had found small trains to send up to Charlie attached to a balloon.  Explaining what happened will not do the moment justice so I will have to post the video below.

Macy and Johnny were so excited to give this gift to Charlie.  They were more excited than I have ever see them to get it ready and tell me all about it.  When we went outside they were vital parts of the plan.  The two of them would let it go together for their brother.  

I had tears well up in my eyes and I felt joy.  I felt joy because Macy and Johnny wanted to share their favorite parts about Christmas with Charlie.  I felt joy that Charlie's grandparents remember him and love him as if he were here.  I felt joy that we all smiled as those balloons reached for the heavens.  It was an "up" kind of moment.          

As we were driving home in the thunderstorm Johnny said, "Mommy, we don't have to be scared of the lightening because I think Charlie is just shining a light down to let us know he loved the train.  I think he might be having a party."  John and Macy talk about Charlie "up in the clouds" often and normally it doesn't catch me off guard but tonight for some reason it did.  Johnny and Macy wanted to share a gift with their brother that was special to them.  They wanted to share joy with him.  They wanted him to feel loved and special on Christmas just like the rest of us do.  I agreed with him and John and I smiled at each other.  And while it is not a biblically sound theory to believe the lightening in the sky is our little boy sending us signals that he loved the train, it still gives us hope.  It gives the twins a way to remember their brother and it helps us all know that we can miss him whenever we want.  And we can be confident that God will always plant little memories of him in the balloons we see in the sky.  He knew we needed an "up" and the memories of him in the lightening on a weird Christmas Eve Eve thunderstorm was just the kind of "up" we all needed tonight to prepare our hearts for the next few days as we remember Jesus' birthday.    


  1. What a beautiful story. Merry Christmas

  2. Amazing! I love this story and hearing Macy and Johnny squeal Christmas wishes to Charlie! Merry Christmas- thank you for sharing this!!

  3. Thank you girls! It was such a special moment! I love that they are growing up knowing their brother is happy and healthy in heaven.


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