I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas. And I hope this card finds you sitting, bleary-eyed after a long night, watching little Julia make a mess of the presents you just finished wrapping. And I hope when you read it that you remember, if only for an instant, the Christmas we shared in 2003. And I hope you remember the things you said–about me and about us–that convinced me I was making the right decision.
And I wish I hadn’t listened.
But I was young and afraid, and I trusted you. I believed you. And now for me Christmas is nothing but a two-month-long memento of my greatest regret.
I hope it’s different for you. I really do. I hope the joy on Julia’s face as she spies those shiny presents under that big green tree brings tears to your eyes. And yet, I also hope that in that moment you see another face–one that’s a little like yours and a little like mine–and that one of those tears finds its way down your cheek and past your lips.
And I hope it tastes like ashes.