By Bob Perks
“Dad, what can I get you for Christmas?” he asked.
“Ummmm,” I replied.
It’s funny. That’s the same thing I wanted last year.
I’ve arrived. I thought it would come much later in life. I thought for sure that I would be in my “wanting” years much longer than that.
My children are asking me what I want for Christmas and I know they are looking for answers like, socks, a tie, that new CD by…, the latest book by…and so on.
They look at me for answers, just as they always have in more important things in life. Like, “Dad, how come the moon doesn’t bump the earth?” or “If I swallowed a mosquito, would it fly around in my belly?”
But they want practical answers now. I say I want a tie, I get a tie and act surprised.
There he sits looking at me, wanting for me to get him off the hook so he can get to more important things in life. But I can’t help him this time. You see, the things I want this year can’t be found in a store. Some are outright impossible. Some only God can provide. And yet, some are so simple and practical he would find them silly and my answer of no help to him at all.
Here’s what I wanted to tell him:
I want to hold you in my arms as a babe once more. I want to kiss your forehead and feel your heartbeat against my chest. I want to run and play in the park with you. I want to sled down the hill and laugh as we tumble and fall face first in the snow.
I want one more day as a child sitting around the table in the old cottage we rented each year out at Harvey’s Lake. I want Grandma and Gramps, Aunt Helen and Uncle Al, Annie, Joey, Aunt Charlene Tom and Marie, Mom and Pop all there playing Bingo. I want to hear Uncle Al call the numbers always starting, “Under the “N” the free spot!”
I want to hear your Mother say “I forgive you Bob.”
I want to see Aunt Shirlene’s beautiful face and have coffee with Uncle Bob.
I want people to stop fighting. I want people to see our differences as attributes not reasons to hate.
I want my friends Tim and Mark and their families to find peace in their hearts as they struggle to go through the first Christmas without their child.
I want to touch the world with my stories.
I want my wife Marianne to be healthy and happy again.
I want one more day with Daisy. I want to run with her, hold her face in my hands as I kiss her on the nose. I want to know that she really wanted to go and this guilt of having to take her life lifted from my heart.
I want a guarantee that everyone I know will live a long full life filled with love.
I want everyone who reads my stories to finally believe in themselves and see that the joy of living life is in the details.
I want more time with my boys and know in my heart they want to spend time with me.
I want to live long enough to see my sons have children of their own.
“Dad, did you hear me? What can I get you for Christmas?”
“Ummmm. A tie would be nice. I can always use a new tie,” I said.
He hugged me, I held on a little longer and whispered “I want my boys to love me, that’s what I want for Christmas.”
“They do, Dad!”