This Christmas

December 26, 2023

Dear Mitch,

As I am writing this letter to you, there is magical Christmas snow falling outside.

This is the second Christmas without you.

I can say I am seeing glimmers of how I felt about Christmas earlier, before you got sick. I’m feeling the joy of the season. Not long ago, the word joy was hard to hear. Now, like widows before me, I can start believing that light will come back into my life just as they told me it would.

I have gotten excited about finding THE gift for everyone too. I have just a couple left to find. I can’t wait to get them all wrapped up and under Lexi’s tree since this is where the gift opening will happen.

Obviously, Colson has been a big part of this more joyful feeling.

He loves the Christmas tree and all the lights. He likes to walk around with a Grinch stuffy. I found Grinch pajamas for all ages to wear on Christmas Day. This, of course, is in honor of you. When I told Ethan, he grinned. We all like to find ways of honoring you in any way we can, especially during special occasions.

It is so fun watching Colson open gifts like he did on his first birthday. It brings me back to when our children were his age. Children bring the excitement out in me, especially during this time of year. You can feel the magic in the air. I agree with the saying that Christmas is for the children. It is fitting since this is in celebration of another child’s birth, Jesus.

Laura Ellen planned a fun-filled day

in Garrison, North Dakota, for the Dickins Village the city puts on every year during this time. It reminded me of when my family would come down to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where we lived at the time, for Thanksgiving. We would go to Minneapolis to partake in Dayton’s animated Christmas and the Holidazzle-lighted parade. This always puts everyone in the spirit of Christmas. Many beautiful memories were made that the children still talk about.

Even though you will not be here in body, your spirit will be with us as we celebrate together.

We will be sharing many papa stories with smiles on our faces and maybe a tear in our eyes. We all love you so much and miss you terribly, but we will also be thankful that you are no longer in pain. You are now our guardian angel, watching with care to make sure we are all safe and cared for. Now, you are able to again celebrate Christmas in the presence of your parents. How can I not be happy about that? You have missed them for a long time. Our time will come when we will be together again. But I know that, for now, you would want me to keep on living with the living and not continue living in the anguish that fresh, deep grief gives you.

With all my love,


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  1. I loved this letter. You sound upbeat. I like that. I love that you enjoyed Christmas with your family and the cutest Colson! You have been blessed with him. What a sweetheart. Nicole I’m happy to see you smile again. Makes my heart happy. I’m sure Mitch is happy to see that too. God bless you Nicole. Thank you for sharing such a sweet letter!

  2. Oh, Nicole. It is so WONDERFUL to hear joy and excitement back in your life! Like you said, you will always miss Mitch, but he wants you to go on living life with the living. And, I truly believe he wants you to live a happy life – not one where you are missing out on wonderful things because you are missing him. He will always be with you. Now you have to enjoy everything twice as much – once for you and once for him. Take care my dear friend, enjoy life to the fullest, and, as your license plate says, keep a smile on your face and giggles in your heart!!!💕💕💕

    1. Nancy,
      Thank you. I had to fall apart before I could fully live life for the two of us. Thank you for always being in my corner!

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