On Sunday, December 11th, as I rocked back and forth on the floor of my living room, begging God to save my only brother, I decided this would be the best Christmas we've ever had if Rob was still here for it.
Today we experienced Christmas in a way we've never felt it before.
It wasn't filled with wrapped presents or well-coordinated Christmas outfits (although, Jack did look pretty darn cute in his reindeer sweater). But tonight, we were given a sign that Rob is with us. And I just know that everything is going to be okay.
Rob's sedation was turned down today, and his eyes have been open quite a lot this evening. He has been frowning from time to time. He seems to know us. But you know how we KNOW he's with us? Mom told him that he ended up making money on his truck after all was said and done....and he raised his eyebrows. His eyes have been wide open ever since.
Leave it to Rob to come out of this making money on that truck.
This Christmas season has been numerous things for us: surreal, terrible, unsettling, uncertain. But among all those emotions, the most powerful feeling has risen above them all - hope. I've felt a peace within that can only come from the One bigger than all of this. Our God is bigger than this. He's using this experience, no matter what the outcome, to touch us all and to help us remember to just have a little more faith. More than anything, I have been reminded this Christmas season that people are good.
So while Christmas just wasn't the same this year without Rob at home, and without our usual traditions, perhaps this was maybe the closest to the real Christmas that we'll ever get.
Last year my Christmas post ended with this message, taken from our Christmas Eve service at North Church in Indy:
Jesus came to us to be a light in the darkness. The light does not make the darkness disappear, but the darkness cannot extinguish the light by itself. Go into the world and shine your light.
This has undoubtedly been my family's darkest time, but the light is shining so brightly in our darkness. It's shining because all of you are caring for us, praying for us, and reminding us that we just need to have a little more faith.