I’m happy with today’s ornament making session. A lot of creativity took place. There were feathers. Sparkly beads. And glue dots.
The day started out with a large mug of coffee in one of my Christmas mugs. How fitting that it had a Christmas tree on it since I would be spending the day making Angel Tree ornaments. Win.
It also started out with me discovering that my cat Chloe found the feathers overnight and had herself a little feather party. Fail.
Around mid-morning my friend Dana came over to help. As soon as she heard about the Angel Tree she asked me if she could come over to make ornaments with me. I was touched. She lives about 40 minutes away, has three young children, and works full-time. Needless to say, she doesn’t have very much free time on her hands. So I was grateful and touched that she was so generous with her time.
My friend Dana has always been a generous person. I’ve known her practically my whole life (since 6th grade), and she has always been caring, giving and fun-loving.
When she got into the house, she immediately walked over to the tree and was looking at each unique ornament. It makes me happy when someone else can see the names on the Angel Tree up close and in person. The pictures just don’t do it justice.
My husband had picked up some bagels, donuts, more coffee (for me) and Mountain Dew (for Dana) earlier in the morning. We loaded up on caffeine and carbs and then got busy making more ornaments.
We made 20 ornaments in 3 hours. Feathers, sparkly beads and glue dots were essential materials today. Each ornament was carefully crafted to make it special and meaningful for each baby.
For instance, Roseanne’s mother said that balloons reminded her of her daughter.
Cooper’s mom said that blue hearts remind her of Cooper.
Josha’s grandmother said that black and white reminded her of Josha because Josha’s nursery was black and white themed.
By the time we were done, we felt really good about the work that we did today – – because we know that these ornaments will warm someone’s heart, if even for a moment. All of these were made with so much love.
More of the ornaments that we made today can be found at the end of the gallery.
One of the biggest fears that you have when you lose a child is that your child will be forgotten. Or that no one mentions your baby anymore. Or that you can’t openly talk about your child – – because in general, we as a society are not good at handling discussion around the dead, let alone dead babies.
Question to my readers – when you read those words just now – – the words “dead babies” — did you think it sounded morbid? Did those words make you uncomfortable? If it did, it’s OK. I felt that way before losing Jensen. And I still feel that way, even after losing my son. They are a paradox. Those two words together just isn’t natural. Babies are full of life and their lives are literally just beginning. The event of birth is on the opposite spectrum of death. Except on those occasions when it isn’t. And when it isn’t, this is the world a bereaved parent lives in. A world where paradoxes happen, and where you can’t make sense of losing your child. If it is hard for the bereaved parent to understand, it is really, really, really hard for everyone else to understand, let alone talk about. How is anyone supposed to know how to talk about the loss of a child when it just shouldn’t happen?
The purpose of the Angel Tree is to honor and remember all of these children. You may wonder if there is anything that you can do to remember a baby who is gone too soon. If you know of anyone who has lost a child, during the holidays, do something in their name (e.g. a donation, an act of kindness), buy an ornament or keepsake with the baby’s name on it, or write in your holiday card “Remembering XXX this holiday.” Trust me, it will really make their day.
And finally….Thank you to my friend Dana who helped to honor and remember these babies today. It means so much to these parents. You are a true gem and I love you for it!