I called my niece Marissa last night. She is 13 and the day before, she picked her mom's casket. Just as I had done at 14. I can so relate to that girl, and I really wanted to make a connection. But I forgot. I forgot who I was at that age. I forgot that we are the same. I asked her how she was "well, I'm doing a lot better than Dad is." I knew that because I had talked to my dear brother, yesterday was his worst day yet. It hit him and it hit him hard. But back to Marissa. I was talking to her, explaining how I could relate to everything she was going through. And she was unreachable. She was in that same place I was at that point. She is the strong one, and she is watching out for everyone else.
"You want to talk to my dad?" she asked at one point. "No, I will talk to him in awhile, I called to talk to YOU," I told her.
Soon I will put some information up about each of the kids. Their dreams, their likes, general stuff about them. And together we will decide what to do for them for Christmas. I am being led to do this, and several people would like to help, so I will set up a dedicated paypal and will post several follow ups.
Nothing can take away this families pain. But we can help make Christmas more bearable. Their first without their mother (my brother's first without his wife), and also their first without their grandfather and grandmother.