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Music playing: Winter Sonata

Lucas Christopher Ross "Luke"
October 31, 1979 - April 3, 2001
Acute Bronchopneumonia


.....(to the tune of Silver Bells)

Little Angel, busy angels
Dressed in heavenly style
In the air there's
A feeling of sadness.

Children dying,
Parents crying,
Trying hard just to smile,
And at every child's headstone you'll hear:

Christmas tears, Christmas tears
It's Christmas time and we're lonely.
Parents dream, hear them scream:
Please come back home Christmas day.

Angel halos, pretty halos
Blink a bright red and green
As the parents rush home
To their memories.

Hear the moms cry
See the dads try
Not to make a big scene
And above all the bustle you'll hear:

Christmas tears, Christmas tears
It's Christmas time and we're lonely
Parents dream, hear them scream:
Please come back home Christmas day.

© 2006 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

The tears fall,
they're so easy to wipe off onto my sleeve,
but how do I erase the stain from my heart?

~ Unknown


We celebrated Luke's last Christmas at our little one room cabin in Northern Arizona. My husband Robin and I had driven up a few days before Christmas to prepare for our small family get-together. The snow had covered all the roads that led to the cabin and the only way in was by snowmobile.

It was Christmas Eve and it was very dark there in the wilderness when Emily (Luke's sister of 23) and Luke (age 21) made the 3 hour drive up from the desert to the mountains. Deep snow had covered the landscape of the forest and the beauty of it all was beyond description. I waited alone at the cabin while Robin (Luke's Dad) met them at the paved road on the snowmobile. I was so anxious for them to arrive that I stood there in the cold on the front porch of the cabin, thanking God for bringing my family together once again. Little did I know that it would be our very last Christmas all together. I gazed at the clear star-studded night sky. I breathed in the cool fresh pine scented air as memories flooded my mind. . I thought about our first snowy Christmas in Idaho just a few months after Luke was born and wondered how my babies could be all grown up. Smoke drifted from the chimney as it filled the air with that old familiar scent that brought back the memories of our family camping trips. I kept looking down the little snow-covered road for the headlights of the snowmobile. It seemed like an eternity before I finally saw the lights pierce through the night and knew that my family would soon be there on that porch with me. As the lights got closer I could hear the sound of the jingle bells that decorated the sleigh carrying Christmas gifts being pulled behind the snowmobile. It was a moment that I will never ever forget.

Emily and Luke charged up the steps to the front porch where I awaited their arrival bearing hugs and kisses. It seemed that those Christmas hugs would last a lifetime, and in fact those Christmas hugs from Luke had to last a lifetime because they would be his very last Christmas hugs. They walked into the little one room cabin all excited as if they were still children. A crackling Christmas fire was burning in the wood stove, with smells of good things to eat.

That Christmas Eve we feasted on all kinds of finger foods and had such a wonderful time opening our presents from each other. Luke opened several nice presents from us, but when he opened his last gift it overshadowed all the others. He tore off the paper, took the lid off the box, and pulled out a simple pair of inexpensive gray slippers. Because of his reaction anyone would have thought that those slippers were pure gold. He smiled from ear to ear and said..."Oh Man, these are great!" He immediately pulled his shoes off and put on his new slippers. Who would have ever thought that such a simple gift would have meant so much to him? We had such a wonderful Christmas that year. Soon all the Christmas fun was over and we were all back home in the desert.

That boy ABSOLUTELY loved those slippers. Such a such a simple little gift that brought so much pleasure. Luke would wear those slippers every single day. If he just needed to run to the store... he would go in his slippers. I always knew when he got out of bed in the morning because I could hear the sound of those slippers shuffling down the hallway. One day, dressed and ready to go to work at Blockbusters (his part-time supplemental income job) he gave me a hug at the front door, and said as he always did, "I love you Mom." I said "I love you too, Luke." Then he walked out the door. As I watched him walk down the sidewalk, I noticed he had his slippers on. I started laughing and said "Luke you forgot to put your shoes on." Luke said "No I didn't, I'm wearing my slippers to work." I said "Luke, you can't wear your slippers to work!!!" He said "Nobody, will even know, I will be behind the counter all day." He laughed and then he said "Well, Mom my feet hurt at work, and these slippers are so comfortable." So I told him good-bye and wished him a good day at work. He drove off and headed to work IN HIS SLIPPERS!!!

He only wore those slippers for 4 short months. Displayed at Luke's memorial service were those simple worn gray slippers. They now rest near his urn in his display case in our living room with all of his special things. I take those old slippers out from time to time just to feel the inside of them where his foot indention still remains. I even sniff them to try to inhale Luke's scent. Oh how silly the world would think I am for sniffing an old pair of slippers.

Oh how I wish for angels on Christmas Eve. I long for presents under a Christmas tree and being able to watch him open a gift just one more time. I think of mistletoe hung where I can tiptoe and kiss my sweet boy on the cheek. I want my son to come home for Christmas, if only for that one day. I need to hear that old familiar sound of Luke walking down the hall in those simple old gray slippers. I desire all of these things..... if only in my dreams.

But even if angels don't come, and there are no presents or mistletoe, and Luke doesn't come home for Christmas, and I don't dream a special dream, I know that I have received one of the greatest gifts that I can receive..... the gift of memories that are held within a simple pair of old worn gray slippers that will forever walk the innermost depths of my broken heart.

© 2012 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
My emotions were stirring, no one to arouse.
The stockings were hung from the chimney with care.
One stocking seemed lonely... my child wasn't there.

I was sleepy and nestled all snug in my bed
While visions of angels danced in my head.
I dreamt of the heavenly gifts he'd unwrap,
As I settled my brains for a long Christmas nap.

Since the day that he died my life had been shattered.
There was nothing much left that seemed really to matter.
I dosed off to sleep but awoke to a flash.
"Could this light be my child?" myself I did ask.

I gazed out my window at the new fallen snow.
"What was that light?" I wanted to know!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a beautiful angel with luminous hair.

This angel was happy so lively and quick.
I knew that my child was no longer sick.
More gently than snowflakes his angel friends came
And he softly and tenderly called them by name.

They all stood before me in the snow and the wind
As I heard in the night the sweet message they send.
They want us to know that they heard our lone call
And they're really okay, not to worry at all.

As prayers that are prayed to heaven on high,
When they meet with a teardrop, mount to the sky.
So up to the clouds the angles they flew.
With a message of love for me and for you.

And then in a twinkling, they returned with their love.
They were dancing and prancing right up above.
Then all of the angels flew to the ground.
One entered my home without making a sound.

He was dressed all in white from his head to his foot.
His clothes were all glowing and he carried a book.
Great feathery wings he had on his back.
As he opened his book I sighed and I gasped.

His eyes how they twinkled his smile was so merry.
His cheeks were like roses but I was so weary.
His light and his touch made my heart overflow.
And his fluttering wings were as white as the snow.

As I stood there and watched him I felt a great peace
And a halo encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a sweet face and a wonderful grin
That beamed when he smiled from his ears to his chin.

His hair was so radiant and appeared to be silk.
I was in awe when I saw him, in spite of myself.
The spark in his eyes and the glow 'round his face,
Soon led me to know he was in a good place.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
As he checked off my name in his book... under HURT.
My sorrow and pain he perceived, I suppose,
As he gave me a hug and to the clouds he arose.

He joined his new friends and he gave a soft whistle
And away they all flew as I cried just a little.
But I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight...
"Mom, we're visiting all the sad parents tonight."

© 2002 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

~ Words & music by Kim Gannon, Walter Kent & Buck Ram

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for
that which has been your delight.

~Kahlil Gibran


We're all just Christmas presents
Underneath the Christmas tree.
Waiting to be opened.
Waiting finally to be free.

The Christmas tree is heaven
Where unwrapped presents go.
The ornaments are angels
Watching over us below.

The star atop the Christmas tree
Is the one who made it all.
The one who unwraps presents
And gives that final call.

But some are unwrapped way too soon
Their paper ripped and torn.
They leave behind an empty box
While other presents morn.

The presents beg the star above
To fill the box that was unwrapped.
The star reminds the presents....
"The ornaments can not come back."

"Just look above into the tree
And see their brilliant shine.
No more will they be broken.
You'll see them when it's time."

The presents somehow understand....
The ornaments are finally home.
They've earned their place upon the tree.
In the empty box they don't belong.

If not for Christmas ornaments,
If not for the star above.
The presents would have nowhere
To feel the ornaments love.

So we'll remain beneath the tree
Until we're unwrapped by the star.
And leave behind our empty box
To go where our ornaments are.

So when you see a Christmas tree.
Think of all it represents.
Heaven, Angels, God above
And those who wait beneath the branch.

The Christmas tree is heaven
And the presents are those below
And the ornaments are our angels
And the star is the one who knows.

© 2006 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

"Tears are often the telescope
by which men see far into heaven."

-- Henry Ward Beecher


It was 1982, and our lives had changed with time. Luke's big sister Emily had just started Kindergarten a few months earlier and Luke was the inquisitive age of three years old. We had attended Emily's school Christmas program. It was so adorable with all the little kids in Kindergarten up on the stage singing cute little Christmas songs as I watched with anticipation from the audience along with my husband and little Luke. Luke's eyes were bright with excitement as he clapped and clapped and clapped when Emily's class had finished their last song. Luke tugged on my shirt sleeve and whispered in my ear..."I want to be a big boy and go to school like Emily." I just smiled at him knowing that in a few years that day would be coming and my little boy would take a step out into the world.

One day just before Christmas Emily came home from Kindergarten all excited as she reached into her book bag and pulled out a beautifully wrapped package. Luke looked at Emily and he said...."What is that Emily?" Emily said with a proud huge grin..."It is a Christmas present for Mommy." I smiled back at her with a loving smile and told her that she could place it underneath the Christmas tree. As she was walking to the living room with her shiny gift held proudly in her hands Luke said..."Who is that for Emily?" Emily told Luke that it was a special present for Mommy. Luke sadly said..."What is it Emily?" She told Luke that she couldn't tell him because it was a secret. Then, Luke said..."Where did you get it Emily?" Emily told Luke that she got it at school from Santa's secret shop. Luke looked on with those big sad eyes as Emily placed her special gift for her Mommy underneath the Christmas tree.

I watched from the kitchen as all of this was taking place and wondered why my little boy was so sad. He seemed to be is such deep thought so I asked him...."What's wrong sweetie?" He looked up at me with those big green eyes and said..."I wish I was old enough to go to school". I assured him that he would be old enough in just a few years and I thought to myself that he must feel left out. I gave him a hug and told him that I was so glad that he was still at home with me. But this just didn't seem to satisfy him. He sat quietly in deep thought and kept asking when Daddy would be home from work. He waited anxiously and when his Daddy did get home he ran to the door all excited and jumped into his Daddy's arms. Then, he whispered something in his Daddy's ear. His Dad (Robin) just shook his head in agreement with Luke and gave him a wink. Luke didn't seem sad anymore.

Luke and Robin headed outside to the work shed. A little while later Robin came back in and I asked him where Luke was. He told me that it was a surprise and not to ask questions. Well, I love surprises, so I just kept getting dinner ready. Robin went in and out the back door to the shed many times, but he always came right back in. I had no idea what those two were up to.

After about and hour, Luke stuck his little head through the back door and yelled..."Mommy don't look!" So I hid my face in my hands as Luke ran through the back door and into his bedroom. But no sooner than he ran into his room he ran back out again and came to me asking for wrapping paper and ribbon and tape. I gave him what he needed and he ran off down the hall to his room again. He was in his room for a long time, but I dared not disturb him. So Robin and I and Emily all sat at the kitchen table while Emily told us all about her day at school.

Luke finally came out of his room walking very slowly down the hall to the living room carefully carrying his little crooked package that he had wrapped all by himself. He was so proud. Then, Luke came into the kitchen and took me by the hand and led me into the living room to the Christmas tree. With his chest poked out and his chin drawn in, he proudly pointed to his crooked little gift and said... "That's for you Mommy." I gave him a hug and thanked him and told him that it would be hard for me to wait until Christmas to open it. He told me..."No peeking Mommy." I assured him that I would never peak because I just loved surprises.

Several days passed and Christmas Eve was finally here. Emily and Luke were both were very excited for their turn to give us our special presents. Emily handed me her shiny wrapped gift from Santa's secret shop. When I opened it I saw that it was a necklace and earrings. Emily said...."It's sapphires and diamonds Mommy". She insisted that I wear them right then and now.... So I did. I gave her a big hug and told her how much I loved my gift. Although the "sapphires and diamonds" still had the price tag of one dollar on them I thought that they were the most beautiful "sapphires and diamonds" in the whole wide world.

Luke was anxiously waiting for his turn to give me a gift. He reached under the Christmas tree and pulled out his crooked little package. I looked at his happy little face with those sparkling eyes that just a few days ago were filled with sadness. Then, I asked..."Is this from you?" Luke just nodded his head yes with the biggest grin that you could ever imagine. So I carefully unwrapped the crooked little gift as Luke and Emily and Robin all watched on with excitement. There it was that long awaited gift from my little boy. I said to Luke with tears in my eyes..."Did you make this all by yourself?" Luke was grinning from ear to ear and nodded yes, then he ran up to me and hugged my neck so tight and for so long. It was a very special moment that I will never, ever forget.

Wearing 'sapphires and diamonds' while holding my treasure, I placed my gift from Luke on the shelf in the living room with all of my special things. There between the shiny figurines and sparkling vases was the grandest item on the shelf. Luke has given me many gifts during the twenty-one years of his life, but never a gift as fine as this one...... two crooked little pieces of scrap boards nailed together with two crooked little nails by two caring loving little hands that had created a masterpiece of...... LOVE.

© 2011 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


I find myself wandering through the mall.
Christmas past I want to relive.
Tears fall from my eyes as I gaze upon.....
All the gifts I can never give.

Allured by the scent of his favorite cologne.
Beckoned by sounds from a music store.
I needlessly search for that card "To My Son",
Longing for Christmas with him just once more.

There are so many things I would give him...
The warmth of a hug and a smile.
I would give him that one last "I love you".
Then we'd sit and we'd talk for awhile.

I'd give him the strength to overcome death
That found haven in his room.
I would be there when he needed me most.
Perhaps he wouldn't leave so soon.

The gift of time for a long goodbye,
Something I desperately wish I could do.
I would tell him how deeply I miss him,
How his absence makes Christmas so blue.

But the music and hugs can't be given,
Nor time for talks or long good-byes.
For my son has gone, he'll never return.
He dwells with angels up in the sky.

So this year I'll wrap up my memories,
Those of a happier Christmas lived.
I'll place them beneath the Christmas tree with.....
All the gifts I can never give.

© 2011 - Christine Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Everything I Own

You sheltered me from harm.
Kept me warm, kept me warm
You gave my life to me
Set me free, set me free
The finest years I ever knew
Were all the years I had with you.

I would give anything I own,
Give up me life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again.

You taught me how to love,
What itís of, what itís of.
You never said too much,
But still you showed the way,
And I knew from watching you.
Nobody else could ever know
The part of me that canít let go.

I would give anything I own,
Give up me life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again.

Is there someone you know,
Youíre loving them so,
But taking them all for granted.
You may lose them one day,
Someone takes them away,
And they donít hear the words you long to say.

I would give anything I own,
Give up me life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again.

~ Music and lyrics by David Gates

Let your tears come.
Let them water your soul.

~Eileen Mayhew


I wonder if you heard it?
Did you listen really well?
It's in every Christmas carol
And in every Christmas bell.

There is a sweet familiar voice.
It's one you'll recognize.
The one you've longed to hear again.
Just concentrate and close your eyes.

I wonder if you smelled it?
Did you inhale really deep?
It's in every Christmas fragrance
And in every Christmas tree.

There is a sweet familiar scent.
It's one you'll recognize.
The one you've longed to breathe again.
Just concentrate and close your eyes.

I wonder if you tasted it?
Did it linger on your lips?
It's in every Christmas candy
And in every Christmas sip.

There is a sweet familiar taste.
It's one you'll recognize.
The one you've longed to kiss again.
Just concentrate and close your eyes.

I wonder if you felt it?
Did it brush you close enough?
It's in every Christmas teardrop
And in every Christmas hug.

There is a sweet familiar touch.
It's one you'll recognize.
The one you've longed to hold again.
Just concentrate and close your eyes.

I wonder if you saw it?
Did you look at it tonight?
It's in every Christmas candle
And in every Christmas light.

There is a sweet familiar face.
It's one you'll recognize.
The one you've longed to see again.
Just concentrate... with opened eyes.

© 2007 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


It was Christmas time 2001. Robin (my husband) and I would be having our first Christmas without Luke. Luke had died in April of that year at the age of 21 from Acute Broncho Pneumonia. Two months after Luke died his sister Emily moved far away to Seattle, Washington and Robin and I moved from Phoenix to Northern Arizona to our little weekend cabin in the mountains. Christmas 2001 was our first Christmas without Luke and our first Christmas without Emily. Our pain was so overwhelming.

Emily had called us and told us there was a movie by the name of THE MAJESTIC, and she said that we should go see it because the main character in the movie had the name of Luke. The movie takes place in 1951, and a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son, named Luke.

The movie appeared in theaters on December 21, 2001, so on Christmas Eve 2001 Robin and I drove into town to see the movie THE MAJESTIC. It was such a lonely drive from our little cabin in the mountains. The only sound we could hear was the crunching of the snow as we drove down that dark and snow-covered road to the highway. We hardly even spoke on the way, but we both cried all the way to the theater. Once we arrived in town we saw all the pretty Christmas decorations that didn't look as pretty as they did the year before. I thought about how far away Emily was and how very, very far away Luke was. It was the same time the year before that we were all together, but it seemed like such a long time ago. I remembered the last wonderful Christmas we had all had together at the cabin. It was snowing so much that year that we had to pick Emily and Luke up on the highway with the snowmobile because the forest road to the cabin was impassable with a car. We had tied jingle bells on the sleigh that we pulled behind the snowmobile carrying all the presents that they brought. That last Christmas was such a wonderful Christmas with memories that would have to last a lifetime.

We finally arrived at the theater and it seemed so unusual being there without Emily and Luke. We found our seats and the movie began. During the movie the Luke character was walking down the street of a small town after having been in an auto accident and loosing his memory. The father of the son that had died was sitting in the diner and saw this guy walking down the street. The dad jumped up and ran out to greet the man and said to him..."Luke, is it really you? I thought you were dead. It is so good to have you back son."

As newly grieving parents of a son about the same age as the Luke in the movie, and to hear those words come from the father's mouth, was absolutely heartbreaking. Robin and I held each other's hands as the words reached our ears and as hopeful tears streamed down our faces. The first thing I thought was.... "Maybe our Luke isn't really dead either."

In the movie the town gave Luke a welcome home party. Hanging outside where the gathering was held was a huge banner that read "WELCOME HOME LUKE". Our hearts broke again as each of us were secretly thinking that maybe some day we could have a party like that for our Luke if he magically came back home.

There were other things in the movie that we felt were signs from Luke. One of the characters in the movie died from pneumonia, just as our Luke had died. Also there was someone in the move named Emily. At one time in the movie someone was reading a letter from the Luke character and the entire screen filled with this closing in the letter.... "I love you. Luke." We both gasp as it took our breath away.

The entire movie was pretty amazing for us and we just knew that it was Luke's way of letting us know that we were not alone on Christmas Eve. When the movie ended we both just sat there watching all the credits roll, amazed at what we had just experienced as the rest of the people in the theater slowly left their seats. Then after a while the screen went black. By this time we were the only ones left in theater and we were both crying tears of sadness and tears of happiness because Luke had sent us so many signs.

We stood up to leave the theater and music started playing on the speakers just as it always does when a movie is over and the theater is empty. But this music stopped us in our tracks. It was a Christmas song by Elvis Presley that we had never heard before.....

It won't seem like Christmas without you, for too many miles are between, But if I get the one thing I'm wishing for, I'll see you tonight in my dreams.

Seems a long time since we've been together. It was just about this time of year. Looks like its gonna be snowy weather. How I wish that you could be here.

In the distance I hear sleigh bells ringing. The holly is so pretty this year. And the carols that somebody's singing, reminds me of our Christmas last year.

It won't seem like Christmas without you, for too many miles are between, But if I get the one thing I'm wishing for, I'll see you tonight in my dreams.

... We just could not believe what had just happened! It was amazing to us that this movie with so many signs in it from Luke could be followed by a song that was EXACTLY how we were feeling that night. Oh how we wanted to see Luke in our dreams. Oh how we wished he could be with us.

On our drive back that night the silence exploded with our excitement about what had just happened. Happy tears replaced our sad tears as we talked and laughed on the long drive home reliving all the signs we had just received and remembering our wonderful Christmas the year before. We knew without a doubt that our Luke had made sure our first Christmas without him was not as lonely as we had anticipated. As we arrived at the cabin and went to bed, there was one thing we were wishing for..... To see Luke that night in our dreams.

© 2015 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


It won't seem like Christmas without you,
For too many miles are between,
But if I get the one thing I'm wishing for,
I'll see you tonight in my dreams.

Seems a long time since we've been together.
It was just about this time of year.
Looks like its gonna be snowy weather.
How I wish that you could be here.

It won't seem like Christmas without you,
For too many miles are between,
But if I get the one thing I'm wishing for,
I'll see you tonight in my dreams.

In the distance I hear sleigh bells ringing.
The holly is so pretty this year.
And the carols that somebody's singing,
Reminds me of our Christmas last year.

It won't seem like Christmas without you,
For too many miles are between,
But if I get the one thing I'm wishing for.
I'll see you tonight in my dreams.
I'll see you tonight in my dreams.



Another lonely December,
Waiting for Christmas to pass,
Staring out through the window,
At the cold beyond the glass.

Dreaming of the years gone by,
And things I love to remember,
Knowing this life will always bring,
Another lonely December.

© 2004 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Invisible tears are the hardest to wipe away.
Just let it out, my friend.

~Adabella Radici


The silence of Christmas morning,
Echoes through my lonely soul.
No laughter or excitement,
Just the sound of growing old.

Growing old without my child,
No more light upon my face.
Oh how I miss Christmas morning,
In this abandoned... silent place.

I have memories of the laughter,
And the whispering joy within,
From noisy Christmas mornings,
But the memories have an end.

My child's life was quietly hushed,
Leaving us without any warning.
This one memory will always bring,
The silence of Christmas morning.

© 2004 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


December 1st in our house always meant the countdown to Christmas with Emily and Luke opening a little present every day until Christmas. I would head out to the dollar store right after Thanksgiving and buy 48 little items. Oh how they loved to open those little presents. Luke would be so filled with anticipation for each December morning from the time he was a little fellow. When Emily grew up and moved out on her own, the tradition continued. I would buy all her gifts and put them in a Santa Bag and take them to her apartment. Luke's gifts would be wrapped and placed in a Santa Bag under the big tree in our home. Luke's last Christmas, Christmas 2000, for some reason, I decided not to go to the dollar store, but instead I bought T-shirts, and cologne, and CD's, and things like that. On December 1st of the year 2000, my 21-year-old son got out of bed, walked into the family room with that big ol' yawn and stretch of his and said with that some old anticipation..."Hey, Mom can I open a present?" So there we set in front of the fireplace, Luke with the same sparkle in his eyes as he had as a little boy. He would always say...."Thank you Mom" and give me a big hug.... after he opened his gift. Each morning we would go through the same routine of the yawn, stretch, hey mom, excitement, sparkle, thank you, and hug.

No longer do I head out to the stores after Thanksgiving to look for 48 special little gifts. No more Santa bag to fill, no more tree, no more anticipation, no more excitement, no more sparkle in those eyes, no more big yawns, no more stretches, no more early morning December hugs, just that continual December Christmas countdown of every painful day that is only an empty reminder of what is no more. But even through the pain my mind is full of special treasured memories of Luke on every December morning before Christmas day, from age 1 month, (when Emily opened the presents for him) until age 21 when he sat in front of the fireplace, with his robe on, ripping into a present as he counted down..... the last December mornings of his life.

© 2013 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


The rocking horse is put away.
The tricycle stands alone.
The little winter coats and hats
Have all become un-sewn.

The bicycle is in the shed.
The car is covered with a tarp.
The Christmas tree and ornaments
Are in the corner in the dark.

The games are in the closet.
The cell phone receives no calls.
The patchwork Christmas stocking
Hangs empty on the wall.

The guitar plays no music.
The new clothes are getting old.
The toys are all upon the shelf
With stories left untold.

The sled is covered up with snow.
The skis rest behind the door.
The gloves that used to warm those hands
Will warm those hands no more.

The candle's burning brightly.
The little tree has twinkle lights.
The urn rests there between them both
On this lonely Christmas night.

© 2007 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

~ Words & music by Mariah Carey, James Horner and Will Jennings

What soap is for the body,
tears are for the soul.

~Jewish Proverb


It's Christmas Eve and I'm lonely
Remembering you tonight.
Precious memories make me smile
But this pain within I fight.

I wish I could play Santa Claus
Just one more time for fun.
And watch you open presents
But your life is over and done.

I know you are the one that died
But I also died... someway
And so did every Christmas Eve
And every special holiday.

We have no Christmas tree with lights
And we have no jingle bells.
We only have this loneliness,
Not dead... but a living hell.

I'll still wait for you tonight
To walk tall through that front door,
Bushing the snow off of your coat
And we'll have Christmas Eve once more.

© 2004 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


One of the gifts we gave Luke for his very last Christmas was a dark gray bath robe. I vividly remember as he opened it he got a big smile on his face, and as he stood up and put it on over his clothes he said..."Oh man... this is warm." He absolutely loved that robe. Some of my fondest memories are of him walking across the living room in the early morning wearing that robe as he yawned and stretched just before sitting at the kitchen bar talking with me while I made him an omelet or French toast.

One day, just before our first Christmas without Luke I was cleaning around Luke's case that contained all of his special things and where his urn rested on top. His Christmas robe that he loved so much was solemnly hanging there on the hook, where it had hung since his death that April. I put my hands around that robe and clenched it tight as I brought it to my face to take in Luke's scent. But the only aroma I inhaled was the musty smell of dust. His scent had vanished just as his body had vanished 8 months earlier.

As I stood there my mind overflowed with thoughts of life and thoughts of death. I thought about how I had reach into the pockets of this abandoned robe many times hoping to find some long-lost treasure and being disappointed that nothing was ever found except the emptiness within those pockets and the emptiness within my heart. But just for old time's sake I reached in just once more and much to my surprise, there was something in one of the pockets! My heart skipped a beat with anticipation of finding a treasure that I had maybe, somehow overlooked all those other times in the past eight months. I clinched my hand around it and slowly pulled that long-awaited item from that robe pocket. My heart was thumping hard, I had a lump in my throat, I could feel tears at the edge of my eyelids waiting to spill forth, and I was on the verge of gasping for air. I slowly opened my clenched hand and there it was, something that I had not expected to find ................... a dead moth! I fell to the floor as the tears spilled over the edge of my eyelids to my face. Then a disturbing thought entered my mind......"My Luke has been gone long enough for an insect to take up residence and die in his deserted robe pocket." The scene that followed is one that is probably very familiar to any grieving parent. I cursed the moth, I cursed death, I cursed life, and I cursed the pain. As I laid there on the floor crying and screaming, my mind filled with the awful memories of that horrible day that my only son died.

After some time had passed I felt a warmth on my face. I looked up and it was the light coming through the window, shining on me. I pulled myself from the floor and walked to the window. I looked out through the frigid glass at the snow and the bright blue sky and all the beauty that surrounded me as I encountered the warmth of that Heavenly light. With tears streaming down my face I felt as if I were peering directly into Heaven. There I was, trapped alone in my new life on the side of the glass filled with pain and sorrow and lonliness. But I soon realized that just beyond the glass was another life awaiting me with freedom, and beauty, and hope, and happiness. I knew in time I would be in that wonderful place where my son was. My thoughts drifted from the horror of his death to the beauty of his Heaven. As I stood there engulfed in my reality, I heard a fluttering noise between the curtain and the window. I looked and there it was, a moth looking for its freedom, trying to get to the other side of that glass. I knew there were certain types of moths that could survive the cold of Winter, but I could not recall ever seeing one. I clutched the moth in my hands and walked out to the front porch as I felt the moth's wings flapping against my palms. I stood on the edge of the steps of the cabin and opened my gently clutched hands and released this moth to the freedom that it had earned. I watched it fly away and soon could no longer see it, just as I could no longer see Luke. But I knew, at that very moment, my son had also found freedom and beauty and another life that he too had earned..... somewhere in the bright blue skies of Christmas.

© 2014 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


She stood alone at the window
Just staring out through the glass.
It was early Christmas morning.
She waiting for time to pass.

The house was quite and lonely.
Everyone else was sound to sleep.
I wondered what she was thinking
As her sad eyes began to weep.

A faint light in the distance
Shone down on the window pane
Casting a soft reflection of her
In the room where I quietly remained.

I stood back in the darkness
Hiding as I was looking on
Wanting to reach out and hold her
To let her know she wasn't alone.

She must have sensed that I was there
Because she slowly turned around.
But just as she did I stepped aside
Not making the slightest sound.

She whispered my name into the night
So I whispered into her ear.....
"Mom, I'm right here by your side,
Your angel is always near."

© 2007 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


Bells will be ringing the sad, sad news
Oh what a Christmas to have the blues
My baby's gone, I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again

Choirs will be singin' 'Silent Night'
Christmas carols by candlelight
Please come home for Christmas
Please come home for Christmas
If not for Christmas by New Year's night

Friends and relations send salutations
Sure as the stars shine above
But this is Christmas, yes Christmas my dear
It's the time of year to be with the one you love

So won't you tell me you'll never more roam?
Christmas and New Year will find you home
There'll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain
And I'll be happy, happy once again

Ooh, there'll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain
And I'll be happy Christmas once again


It is such a secret place,
the land of tears.

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince


Instead of Christmas gifts for me
Come take some things away.
There's so much here that I don't want
So please don't give... just take.

Take away my knowledge
Of funerals, and urns, and graves.
And take away the guilt I have
For not being with him to save.

Take away these inward screams
That resonate his death.
And take away my begging
To give him back his breath.

Take away this heartache
That leaves me living in pain.
And take away all the years
After this sadness came.

Take away this loneliness
That stays throughout the year.
And take away this horror
That just won't disappear.

Take away that empty space
He no longer occupies.
And take away these tears of mine
That forever fill my eyes.

Take away this silence
That reminds me that he's gone.
And take away my wondering
How things could be so wrong.

Take away my questions why?.....
That cause never ending grief.
And take away my doubting
That has shattered my beliefs.

Take away most anything,
Especially his untimely death...
But PLEASE don't take my memories,
They're all that I have left.

© 2006 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!!! Oh what wonderful memories that one little verse evokes. Jingle bells still echo in my mind from those days I used to know. Many years ago when my children were little, just before bedtime on Christmas Eve, we would all go out in the back yard and look up into the cool winter sky hoping to get a glimpse of Santa Claus. But just before we all headed out the door I would slip a little jingle bell in my coat pocket and hold it tightly in my hand so it wouldn't make a sound. Then as we all stood staring up at the sky... I would lightly shake the bell and watch the amazement in my children's sparkling eyes. Luke would say exactly as I was hoping that he would..."Mommy, is that Santa Claus?" As the excitement built up in my heart, and the excitement built up in Emily and Luke's little smiles I would say.... "Yes, it is!!! We better all get in bed and cover up our heads, cause Santa Claus comes tonight." As we headed back towards the door I would shake the bell one more time and watch as those sweet little feet ran anxiously through the door, jumped in their beds, and covered up their heads.

Oh how I long for those days again. I hope that when I get to Heaven I will be able to relive all of those wonderful, happy, glorious days over and over and over. Now that would be H E A V E N... for me. But until that time, I will relish these precious memories.

I'm sure that we all have some special things that resurrect wonderful Christmas memories of days gone by. It may be the scent of a fresh pine tree, or the sight of a snow sprinkled Christmas wreath. It could be the peacefulness of little twinkle lights, or the reverence of a solemn manger scene. For some of us it is the excitement of a jolly old Santa Claus, or the hopefulness of magical reindeer. Others find comfort in shiny brass horns, or maybe the delight of bright red bows. The meaning of special Christmas ornaments, or the soft light of a single Christmas star may spark those cherished Christmas memories. The white fluffy feathers of angel wings, or the fragrance of delicate Christmas flowers remind us how fragile life is. And maybe, just maybe, the gentle sound of a simple little jingle bell.... will remind us of that happy life we used to know.

I still venture out every Christmas Eve as I have done for many, many years and I look up through the cool crisp winter air, beyond the trees at the wonder of the dark heavenly sky with my ears attuned, just hoping, by some magical Christmas miracle I will hear the faint jingle of that little bell sent from the other side, just for me, by my very own Christmas angel.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way..... from Heaven!!!!

© 2015 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


What I want for Christmas
I think I know I'll never get.
But I'm gonna ask you anyway
Because I figure....What the Heck!!!!

Please bring back my son to me.
How about for Christmas Eve?
And let me know within my heart
That he'll never ever leave.

But if you can't for Christmas Eve
How about for Christmas Day?
Have him waiting by the tree
Early morn as I awake.

I know the gifts you usually bring
Are toys, and clothes, and such.
But please bring me this Christmas gift.
This gift I need so very much.

But wait.... before you do that
You will need to ask my son
If he wants to leave behind
His wonderful heavenly home.

He has found a special place
Where he never has to hurt.
The only thing about this place...
It's too far away from earth.

I know you've probably met him
And I'm sure he's doing great
There with all the angels.
There beyond that gate.

So on second thought I ask
Not to bring him home to me.
It's not fair to ease my pain
By taking his eternity.

But can't we go to where he is
And travel far beyond the moon?
I'll hitch a ride upon your sleigh.
I won't take up too much room.

We'll soar the stars and galaxies.
Then soar above the sky.
I wonder if they'll let me in
Even though I didn't die?

Oh gosh,.... another problem!
I can't yet be with my son
Even if you take me there
... my time here isn't done.

All the things I really want
I know I just can't have.
So I'll hold on to the memories
Of his face, his love, his laugh.

What I want for Christmas
Is what I know I'll never get.
But I thought I'd ask you anyway
Because I figured.... What the heck!!

© 2003 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Tears are the silent language of grief.

Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer and historian


Where is Christmas?
Where did it go?
Where is the music?
Where is the snow?

Where is Santa?
Where is the cheer?
Where is the laughter?
Why aren't you here?

© 2003 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

I heard the teardrop hit my pillow
before I even knew I was crying.

~Amborella Oltre


I took a walk on Christmas day
In the cool crisp winter air.
The trees bowed down before me
And they whispered in my ear.

"Walk lightly on the pathway.
Tip-toe quietly as you go.
Remember all the days gone by
Of the life you used to know."

Along the path were Christmas trees
And stars and angel wings,
Toys for little children
But no children could be seen.

Bright red bows and Christmas wreaths
And flowers all around,
Big brass horns and jingle bells
Although they made no sound.

Manger scenes and ornaments
And little twinkle lights,
Santa Clause and reindeer,
That didn't come last night.

Decorations everywhere,
It was Christmas at this place.
All was well until I felt
A teardrop on my face.

I walked lightly on the pathway.
I tip-toed quietly as I prayed.
Then I looked down and saw it...
His name upon his grave.

"It's Christmas", whispered all the trees
To the graveyard names below.
And I remembered days gone by
Of the life I used to know.

© 2007 - Christine Ross
~ In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Winter 2009, Volume 24 No. 4
Bereavement Publications, Inc.

"I love walking in the rain,
'cause then no-one knows I'm crying."



(No more names can be added)







Last Entry in Luke's Journal:

"When there is love in my heart and a smile on my face,
I need nothing else." ~ Luke Ross


Music playing:
Winter Sonata