The date on this poem is December 12, 1979, our first Christmas since the death of my husband on December 30, 1978. My sons were eight and four this year. They are grown men now, married with children of their own. But now, 37 years later, I still wish I could somehow change for them the final words of this poem.
Christmas without Daddy
Two little boys asleep in their beds.
What kinds of visions dance in their heads?
Are they dreaming of Christmases past,
Untroubled times they thought would last--
Days when Daddy was always there,
Christmas joys and toys to share?
Daddy in his workshop ‘til late at night,
Making sure every toy was right,
Eating the cookies left for Santa Claus
And writing the note without a pause.
A note to be read in the morning with glee
When we all ran into the den to see
What Santa had brought.
Who could have thought
There’d be that day--that time of year:
A Christmas without their Daddy here?
For he enjoyed it as much as they,
Perhaps even more in his own way.
Did he dream--could he know--
The sands of life were running low?
For just last year (it wasn’t so long!)
Daddy was there for his boys--so strong!
Among the packages stored away,
Awaiting their joy on Christmas Day,
How I wish I could give to my precious boys
Those dear past days--those finished joys--
Their Daddy with them, his love, his care
His arms to hold, their joy to share.
Two little fellows so fast asleep--
For all they’ve lost, I grieve. I weep.
Their Daddy’s gone, and the empty space
In two little hearts no gifts can replace.
We go through the motions, and we carry on,
But--oh--this Christmas, Daddy’s gone.