Whooooo! My household is exhausted! We have celebrated Christmas and IT has left it's mark in our hearts for another year. We have had so much fun visiting with family, staying up late, dancing to some "Just Dance", playing Ping Pong and some Heads Up! (my new favorite game). We laughed until we cried, shopped and loved on all our nieces and nephews. My two year old niece, Remy quickly found out that Uncle Kirk was the "go to guy" for whatever she wanted.
Every year "Santa Claus" AKA Uncle Kirk calls all of our nieces and nephews and extended family. This has been a tradition for the past 15 years. Even the older ones still look forward to this cherished tradition.
But this year was different.......we all knew it would be. As Christmas Eve approached I shed a few tears for the loss of those special moments that we shared each Christmas. I was not the only one that mourned this beloved tradition. My 14 year old niece, Gracie wrote her thoughts about the call from "Santa" in her journal. I was honored when she told me I could share it with you guys. She will never know how much her Uncle Kirk loves and adores her......... His Crazy Gracie Castleberry!
Christmas, you grow up learning of Santa Claus and his crazy adventures on the night of Christmas Eve. One holiday tradition could mean the world to a little brown eyed, black haired girl. Anxiously awaiting the call. The call to confirm the official Christmas list and to tell the big man you have been the best you can be. I didn't realize growing up it could be one of the most precious puzzle pieces I could never receive back. Last year my parents broke the Christmas news to me. To be completely honest I still believe. One question didn't complete the puzzle though. "Who called me on Christmas Eve?" It was my Uncle Kirk! The one who called me "Crazy Gracie Castleberry" with one of the biggest smiles upon his face. He took minutes out of his day to just keep my hopes alive one more year. Here recently he has been diagnosed with dementia. Which means he couldn't call this year. Which means I won't get to confirm that I've tried my best to be the good person. I won't get to tell him I still believe. Which crushes me because I don't get to tell him that he is the reason I still believe in Christmas. The call that kept my hopes alive every year. Now all I want is to have a phone call where we can just talk like we use to. I love him more than he will ever know. Bad things happen to the best of people. He still gives me hope though. Seeing the smile on his face as he opens a present. When I look at my Aunt Stacey, I see a woman who has been so strong for so long. The way she looks at him with the brightest smile even when things are going the complete opposite as expected. I hope that when I find that special someone I will look at him the same way. It was that one smile, that one call that could change a Christmas. But one thing can make up for any missed call when you get to spend some time with the people you love.