My Blue Crayon

December 5, 2019

My Sweet Will,


My favourite color for as long as I can remember.

The color of your eyes and yes, the color of the sky on a beautiful sun-kissed day.

You are undeniably our little Mr Blue Sky but sometimes blue is used to describe feelings of sadness and these December days are quite blue for me, Willy. It’s not surprising at this time of year to harbour these feelings — we know this well, for every book on grief, every counsellor we spoke to and every parent walking with us on this journey will attest that that is true. Of course, it is. Missing a loved one over the holidays can certainly conjure up a dark blue cloud of sad that can sometimes, for some, make December unbearable.

For me, December feels like a magnifying glass pointed at the empty chair. Your absence is palpable, Will … sometimes it screams at me and try as I do to search for the silver lining sometimes there are days when I just have to succumb to these blue feelings and I retreat to a place within. I go quietly to that sacred place in my heart where the very best memories live, where you live and where I feel closest to you. I pray to God to help me through the darkness and ask him to watch over me as I sit there for a bit. Long enough to get lost in all those perfectly ordinary days that we shared but not too long that I would forget how to pull myself up. You know this place well, Willy… it’s where we learned to dance between what was and what is. My heart reminds me that grief and sadness are the price of love and that I am feeling blue because I love you and I miss you.

Sure, the hustle and bustle of December is here and…

I’ve yet to pull out the Christmas boxes, but I will.

I’ve yet to put up the tree, but I will.

I’ll bake little gingerbread boys, like I always do.

I’ll play Christmas music and sing out loud, like I always do.

I’ve yet to make my shopping list and venture out to the shops, but I will.

I’ll wrap gifts and plan our Christmas dinner, like I always do.

And, all the while I will miss you every second of every minute. Like I always do.

But, for today and maybe even tomorrow I will dance with you and not worry about the list. When it feels right I’ll be ready to return to the hustle and bustle of December feeling recharged and ready to go. You will urge me to go, reminding me that it is what you’d want me to do. With your gentle nudge I will get busy and “bring on” Christmas like we always do. I will trust that everything will get done to the best of my ability and that what will be this December, will be exactly what it should be. I will be present for those that are my world — Dad and Ben and Justin and Amy and Finn — knowing that together is the best place to be and knowing also that you’ll be smack dab in the middle of all of it. My beautiful family and my friends that feel like family will be close in my thoughts and I will let them all know how grateful I am for their love, their continued support and for their friendship. They really are the best gifts.

You are my blue crayon, Will, and I love you more than a blue sky day and a bus full of blue crayons.


10 thoughts on “My Blue Crayon

  1. Oh my another wonderful and tearful letter to one special boy. We miss him every day and I know I hold my heart in my hands and think of Will. He was such a special child and I think of all his crazy antics when we kept him here in Medicine Hat. You are one great daughter and we love you and your (ours too) family to the moon and back.


  2. Oh my another tearful letter but one little boy has inspired so much in this world and every day we miss him and I usually hold on to my heart and think of Will. Thankfully you are such a wonderful writer and can say what so many can’t. Love you my daughter and your family to the moon and back.


    • Aww, Mom. You are the best. I know with my whole heart that Will inspired so many in his short time here on earth as you said. And it is because we loved him so much that we hurt. Tears are not a bad thing. 😊😇


  3. Little blue feels so far away at times and yet right here at the same time. Those blue eyes, I can see them now. Beautifully written Joni. Although it was likely never your intention, you are a warrior for all those who have lost someone so precious. You put feelings into words and give permission to others to do and be what they need to be during this time, in their own time. As always, thank you for your words.


    • Thank you, Mary. I cannot imagine what my world would be like without you in it. Your undying support and your friendship have been my lifeline. I am so lucky to have a cheerleader like you. 💙😇🤗


  4. Beautiful! You summed up my December to a T!! We lost our only son December 28th. This is our second Christmas without him. Always looking at that empty chair😞. I know we do not travel this trail alone, but sometimes it feels like we do. Thank you for reminding me of the unfortunate fact that others too are manoeuvring thru December as we are, as it gives us a little bit of strength needed to carry on. Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas.


    • Shelly, thank you for your note! Gosh, I am so sorry to hear that you, too, have lost your son. This road we walk is long and I agree that it sure does help somewhat that we don’t walk it alone. Hand in hand and heart in heart every step of the way. When one stumbles others help carry us. It is a beautiful thing to have that kind of support. I wish you some peace this Christmas and hope that through the really painful moments you can remember the love you shared with your son. 💙😇


  5. Beautiful ❤️ You inspire all your family and friends with your heartfelt words Joni. Always in our thoughts and sending you lots of hugs 😘


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