Merry Christmas, baby girl.
Christmas is not what is used to be. It is a little after 7 a.m., and I am sitting here alone, drinking my coffee and writing in my blog. In years past, the kids would have been up at the crack of dawn, dragging me out of bed so they could open their presents. Now they are older, and there isn't much that makes them want to wake up early! And the presents aren't so exciting anymore. It's been a lean year, so the presents are fewer and less expensive, but apart from that, the kids have grown up, and they have jobs. They make money and if there is something little that they want, they buy it for themselves. Gone are the days when a $20 toy could make someone's eyes light up with excitement!
But we are here together, and we love each other, and that is what is important. But how about you?
I talked to Auntie Joy in England yesterday. You remember Auntie Joy, don't you? We were talking about how Christmas has changed, how it is never the same after you lose the ones you love. This is my 22nd Christmas without you. It is my sixth Christmas without my mother.
I know I still hold out hope for you. Just today I got a voicemail on my public number from "anonymous," and as I pulled it up to listen, I was absolutely positive that I would hear your voice. And I was sure I would recognize your voice. Every time I go to check my post office box, as I turn the key I hold my breath, hoping and praying that inside I will find a letter from you. If I didn't believe you could still be alive, I wouldn't get these thoughts. Each time so far I have been disappointed. But I have to remind myself about Jaycee's mom, about how she got up and went to work like any other ordinary day, and then in the middle of the afternoon she got that phone call....
Wherever you are, Michaela, I hope you have a joyous Christmas. I have reached the point of understanding that this is actually possible, that you could actually have happiness wherever you are ... although I believe that for that to have happened, someone would have had to change your mindset, to change your standards for happiness. I also will have happiness today, because your brothers and sisters will bring me joy.
I ask you again, to bring me real joy. My home number doesn't have a phone attached to it. It only goes to voicemail. But you could leave me a message! It is (510) 276-8769. If you do call and leave a message, tell me something so that I will know it is you. Tell me our family code word. Tell me what you bought for me at a garage sale. Tell me anything that you remember that nobody else would know. You wouldn't even have to talk to me, wouldn't even have to answer any questions. My Christmas gift from you would be to know that you are alive, to know that you are okay -- to know that you are reading my letters to you. Or you could send me an e-mail at missingmichaela.com, or leave a comment on this blog.
Please. That would be the best Christmas gift of all!
I love you forever, Michaela.