Christmas 94’ was difficult. If you have lost a loved one, you understand the apprehension and fear associated with the notion of “celebrating” the holiday without them at your traditional festivities. We lost Heidi on Easter Sunday with other deaths between her disappearance and Christmas. The only gift my parents wanted for Christmas was the return of Heidi to their lives.
This past April I blogged about the Christmas tree my husband and I bought for my parents. They only let us bring it in to make me happy and then it was set outside to die yet when the Spring came and Dad planted it, it not only grew but it flourished. That first tree following Heidi’s kidnapping was a sign of hope and today it stands over thirty-four feet tall.
http://lisabuske.weebly.com/1/post/2011/04/it-wont-make-it-yet-he-planted-itfor-me.html to view original post of inspiration
Little did I know back in April but this very blog inspired my parents. As I moved on to write the next blog, they started to plan my Christmas surprise for 2011. Although the tree stands proudly on my parent’s property, it was loaned to me for this Christmas. During the first snowfall of the season my father, husband, and brother-in-law worked to string lights and two angels on the tree to surprise me when I got there.
1994 represented the first Christmas without my one and only sister. Eighteen years old when she went missing and this will be our eighteenth year without her laughing and unwrapping alongside us on Christmas morning. This is the first timeline indicator to recognize Heidi has been missing for as long as the Lord gifted her to us. A concept I struggle with.
My parents know me so well. Eighteen years ago they needed hope and joy at Christmas. The very tree that helped them get through continues to bring me a smile every time I drive to my parent’s house after dark this year. There is no darkness in Heidi’s family this festive and beautiful Christmas season – there is Light! Thirty-four feet of stringed light guarded by two angels to remind me and anyone who might travel past – Heidi will NEVER be forgotten.
I love my Christmas gift and it is a constant reminder of God’s (and my parent’s) love for me. They knew I needed some extra “light” this holiday season. We will be celebrating and remembering this holiday season. I pray you will do the same.
For the next week and until Christmas Day I will be doing a blog series, “Christmas Memories” to remember and honor Heidi. I pray you’ll take time to visit the blog daily to share a memory and more childhood photographs.
Turn your lights on – Jesus Christ's birthday is a joyous occasion! Let's celebrate together...
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323