Sam and Vava helped me decorate the Christmas tree last night. We didn't bring our Christmas balls when we moved, so we just had our one box of unbreakable ornaments - handmade ones, wooden ones, a bird or two - the really special ones that mean something.
Sam pulled out an ornament he'd made at Ogden, their old school. He held it for a minute, then looked up at me with tears in his eyes. "This makes me feel sad and happy at the same time," he choked. "Is that a feeling?"
That's a feeling.
It's the kind of thing you feel about something you love, something you've lost.
It's the kind of thing you might feel when you wrap up your baby, God's baby, and lay him in a manger.
It's the kind of thing you might feel when you give up your Son for the salvation of the whole world.
It's the kind of thing you feel when you move away from your friends, your precious friends.
I pulled him close and told him to treasure that feeling.
"That feeling, Sam? It's love. And it hurts because you loved your friends so much."
He squeezed me tight and hung his ornament on the tree.
This Christmas hurts a little more than the others.
We miss you, Thunder Bay.