The Christmas Countdown Tradition: Ritchey

December 1, 2010 at 12:10 am 8 comments

I can remember as a little girl becoming so excited on the 1st Day of December – I would get to open the first little door of the Advent Calendar, then every day for the next 24 days until “Father Christmas” finally popped out behind the little box.

How exciting it was for a child of innocence, how wonderful the month of December.
I, too would get a calendar for Nikki and Chris, sometimes there was candy or chocolates behind each little door as you opened it! We soon learned that Chris had figured out before too long that he could open the back of his card and his sisters and get the chocolates without disturbing the little door. He was good at getting into chocolate-

Nikki called the other day , where could she get Gavin his calendar– a tradition carried on to another child who will giggle with excitement and count the December days.

Traditions so much a part of a family – ours have changed- In some respects I feel like the Grinch of 4th Street, as I watch neighbors and friends and the city lighting up the street with celebration and coloured lights twinkling- but I just can’t get into the celebration- I used to –

Past Thanksgiving Days found everyone decorating the house, stringing lights and putting up wreaths made out of the holly and the ivy that grows over and around this house.

This year Thanksgiving was spent ignoring its presence and getting through the day.

Gavin Christmas 2009

And as children everywhere look for joy I am dreading the countdown to Christmas. Oh! there will be a huge beautiful tree at Nikki’s, it has to be big as I spent days sorting out the decades of ornaments from their boxes- Her special baby ornaments, memory ornaments of a little girl and boy ornaments, I cannot hang them on a tree here ever again-

but they will sparkle, turn and twist from the branches once more in another home . Gavin will get his “Chris- Miss present” from his Uncle Chris but apart from a trip to the Toy Store- the malls and their bell ringers will be without my custom- no Merry Merry Cards – but a new Christmas Eve tradition- started last year as we huddled around a small boy who gives us the gift of a smile and helps us to escape to life for just a little while.

My calendar has no chocolate surprises, our December surprises that litter our lives from last December still remain- A gift of a scholarship again to CIA will be the only card sent this year on the 3rd Day.

I no longer wait with anticipation but with dread of reliving those December Days and the three gifts visited upon us by those that will sing carols and wish each other peace as they sit in their pews- listening to the priest preach compassion and “for unto to us”. As Father Divis preaches thanks on the 21st day of December celebrating the anniversary of saving his job and church, will he perhaps reflect as he looks at the “Mother” Mary and the gifts he enabled to be given to another mother?

Bishop Lennon Lorain
Letter to Bishop Lennon and Rev. Divis

Do these pious pillars of their church think of the three gifts they gave to us during those bleak December days of a year ago – control, deceit, and self- Do they think of the pain and heartache they caused as the candle on their advent wreath is lit ? No I don’t suppose they do – they carry on pillars of their faith and community – the passage of time, other events, memory blurring , the smoke from the candles and incense masking the deeds, the green Christmas trees and wreaths as they decorate the altar and a “manger” where at midnight a plaster child will appear and great thanks will be given- a child symbolizing Peace and Goodwill – pity they don’t practice what they preach.!

My twelve days of Christmas unfortunately has another meaning this year- as our “Peace” on Earth / Goodwill toward…. was ripped from us by the gifts that kept on giving….


Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, Christmas, death, grief, hell is other people, Love, Mothers, personal opinion, religion. Tags: , , .

Surfacing- He said/She Said/ They said- Lorain City Schools- What will they say? XII- December – Omega – Alpha – Chris Ritchey

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary  |  December 2, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Loraine, what day did he pass? Was it the 21st?! That is my son’s birthday! Oh I hope that’s not the day!

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    No it was the 3rd “tomorrow”…….. but as terrible as that day was I never thought the ensuing days through December would bring us more pain that I ever thought would be possible…my husband broke down last night as of course the anniversary of the day is tomorrow,,,, and I said I still can’t understand why you weren’t in that room with me ….”
    He choked back his tears…..and told me
    they” closed the door on him as Sue entered into the room……shutting Chis own father out…….he didn’t want to make a fuss as his son was dying...

    I didn’t know that until last night which is why I looked up into the face of Tim Lombardi who actually had no business being there instead of Chris father……every day brings something new………….

  • 3. thatwoman  |  December 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Just for clarification Mary the 21st of December was the day Divis got the news St. Mary’s would continue and he have a job tweo days after officiating at the “PRIVATE ” interment of my sons remains in “that ” cemetery and started to be the platform for cake and balloons….and all things “holiday”

  • 4. tony  |  December 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Thinking of all of you


  • 5. Mark  |  December 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Our thoughts are with you, too.

    Mark and Mary

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks Tony today has been particularly rough – I remember thinking to myself a year ago today that is it I am not taking any more from that damned family- I will let the Drs. know that Nikki and I are on his medical authorization as well….I was going to start the “should’ve” and followed my gut but it was too late….I left it too late………………….. it is my one regret……. because I regret nothing that I ever did for my son…….. ever in his life……… just in his death………

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    thanks Mark and thanks for being there all this year…….. what I have learned is that the scales balance and for every control freaked selfishness I have encountered since Dec 3rd I have also met complete strangers to me and old friends who have tried so hard to make this journey a little easier ….. and that for every Tim Sue and Angela Lombardi there are their complete opposites and their numbers far outweigh the “Committee of 19 and the hanger ons……… thank you Loraine

  • […] of the ICU room where his son was drawing his last breath – instead of his father at his side Tim Lombardi watched my son die – that was bad enough and the anger I felt when I learned that just yesterday has been magnified […]

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