“Letters for Ian” was an idea that started out of one of my therapy sessions with Rapson. We sit every two weeks in his small, very warm office in Fall City. The window to outside looks at the river, where we’ve taken Ian fishing and rock skipping. Rapson is a sweet no bullshit man who likes to say the word “fuck”. I think that’s why I like him. He doesnt mince his words, I don’t mince mine. There’s a deep leather sofa that I sink so far into that only my tip toes touch the floor. I always keep my coat on, as if I am ready to run. I never do, but I think about it.
This particular Monday afternoon I was talking about the looming holiday season. We talk about what our traditions were, are and will be. Who the hell really knows anymore. When our conversation landed on the stockings, that’s when the lump formed in the back of my throat. The lump feels more like a boulder. In years past I never really thought about how important the stockings were to me.
In 2012 when I left the family home and got an apartment for us, I left with nothing. What I mean by that is I took only my own clothes and belongings, the kid’s baby boxes, and all the handmade special ornaments that Ian and Bella made…and the vitamix (priorities). But that was it. My intention was to keep that family home as intact as I could for Ian and Bella. They still lived there 50% of the time and it was important to me that the home they had always known feel as whole and protective as it could, knowing that I wouldn’t be there anymore.
I chose to leave the stockings at the family home but for good reason. The stockings that were there never had any names on them and no real significance. They didn’t have a labels embroidered on them like Mom or Momma and I guess without a name on them there was no visible reminder I was gone, so I left them. I think their dad needed as much help as he could to create the holidays on his own. I knew that I had the ability, the desire, and the love to build something new for us.
The new stockings were made by a woman I found on etsy. Everyone (but Gus) has one, I still need to order his. Each one has our name on it and Ian and Bella’s have a little zipper on the side that that makes the stocking expand if Santa fills it too full, which usually happens.
Back in Rapson’s small office in Fall City, he suggested that we start something new with Ian’s Stocking. So each Christmas we have something to look forward to rather than dreading the day we pull out the Christmas boxes. Born from this moment, was “Letter’s for Ian” and Kat, Bella and I set out to ask everyone to write a letter for Ian. These letters would go straight into Ian’s Stocking. And you know what? It worked.
We were so delighted when the letter’s started to pour in from all over the country. Friends of Ian, Friends of ours, people that didn’t even know us or Ian. We are so thankful so many chose to write a letter for our sweet boy. I imagine that they said wonderful things to him. I hope writing would bring love and healing to the author’s of these carefully crafted Christmas Letters. Maybe the the lines of these letters would be reminders to Ian of their favorite memories, describe the moment they first met and perhaps the minute they discovered he was gone. Perhaps like us, these letter’s begged to know why.
But I assure you having these Letter’s for Ian brought us a little bit of love and comfort this first Christmas without him.
~So here is the next big ask~
Do you have a friend that is feeling too much right now? Is more sad today than you remember them yesterday? Would you also write them a letter, take them a coffee, buy them a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and go for a drive and just listen? Or is it you, do you need the letter, do you need someone to really listen? Can you please reach out? Please ask for the help you most definately deserve. I am asking you to to hold on long enough to see the light.
One day at a time, the choice
made each new morning.
Will you fight?
Will you fight to be healthy?
Will you fight to be free?
Will you fight for your story?
Will you fight to get the help