Most people around the world view Christmas as an extraordinary time of year, and for me it is nothing but extraordinary. I realized at a young age what Christmas was really all about. The day of December 7th, 1996, changed the way I would view Christmas for the rest of my life. I was seven years old and as any child would be I was extremely excited for Christmas, but that morning was much different than any other day I had woken up too. That day was the day I lost my father.
I woke up to my aunt and my mother and sisters crying in the morning, and being so young I was nothing but confused. They all tried to explain what had happened to me but I refused to believe it. I refused to accept that a man I loved and respected would no longer be by my side. In the next few weeks I fought the thought of losing my father. I forced my family to show me the house he lived in that had burnt to the ground. My mind raced trying to find out what had happened and what was to come. As Christmas grew nearer I realized that I would trade every single toy I was to get for my father back, but I also knew that would never happen. I knew I would never see his face ever again.
When I woke up Christmas day, still very sad from the past few weeks, I found something out that I will never forget. I walked into the living room knowing that my father would not be there, but I had forgotten that the rest of my family would. I walked into that room not worrying about the toys that were under the tree, or the food that would come later that day. I walked into that room and saw people who loved me and a family that would be there for me that Christmas day and every single one after that. I had lost my father that year, and I could never replace him, but I had also found out that I had support. I found out there were people who would never leave my side. Christmas time is always a hard time for me and I don’t enjoy it for the same reasons most people do, but I will never forget that Christmas in 1996 when I lost a father but found the real meaning of Christmas. Family, so I ask you this Christmas when you are worrying about the toys you’ll buy or the food you’ll make, just stop for a second and remember the important things that can’t be replaced in your life. Your Family.