The Christmas Stocking

Four oversized, red Christmas stockings hanging in front of a fireplace.

There once was a stocking that was red and oversized. It was not one that you would wear, but one that you would fill with toys, candy, and coins while it hung by the fireplace. I would take it out of the box each December and hang it up in eager anticipation of filling it soon. I couldn’t wait for the kids to see it!

Normally when I pull it from the box it is empty and almost as light as a feather. But this year when I pull it out something is different. I can barely look at it and when I go to pick it up it is so heavy. I feel as if I can’t lift it out on my own. I try and try as hard as I can. I try so hard that tears fill my eyes and start to roll down my cheek. It is so heavy.

I think how awfully confusing the whole situation is. I keep looking at the stocking and see that it is still empty. Why is it so heavy?

My heart starts to hurt and in an instant I knew; it’s because this stocking was for you! This stocking IS filled with something. It is filled with the grief I have over missing you. This stocking is supposed to be filled with all of your favorite things. This stocking is supposed to be a symbol of joy and happiness. I am supposed to give it to you one morning and get to hear your laughter and giggles about what is inside.

As I stand there looking at it, my heart hurts. I won’t be able to lift it by myself. I can’t possibly do it alone.

I call my family and I call my friends, just to see if anyone could help me lift this heavy stocking. Some must have known it was me or was busy doing something else because they never answer. Some answer but say that it will have to wait, they are trying to pick up their own stockings and don’t know how they could help. But then a few answer and come right over! They knew just what to do.

These few people came over, looked inside the box and saw the stocking. They knew it was heavy so they grabbed one end and told me to grab the other. Then, together, we lifted that stocking right up and it wasn’t so heavy. We hung it up and filled it with all of your favorite things. Then we stood back and admired our work. We all said how much you would have loved it as more tears rolled down our cheeks. I am so glad that the came over to help because now the holidays don’t seem quite so sad. It will never be the same since you are not here but at least I know a few other people that are so very dear.

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