The Year 2016: A Tale of Two Years

The Year 2016 is a paradox for us. It was the best year of our lives, and yet, it was the worst year of our lives.

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It will forever be etched into the history book of life for Andy and I.  It contains many life altering moments – good and bad.  I find myself reliving these moments and reflecting on how very quickly your life can change.

When we entered 2016, I can honestly say I was the happiest I had been in my life. I was pregnant with our first child.  I was going to be a mother and Andy was going to be a father. By Christmas, Andy and I would be a family of three with a beautiful baby.  I was on top of the world; the prospects of the Year 2016 held unlimited happiness for us.

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As we exit 2016, that happiness is gone.

Continue reading “The Year 2016: A Tale of Two Years”

Remembrances of Jensen

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remembrance
[ri-mem-bruh ns]
noun
1. a retained mental impression; memory.
2. the act or fact of remembering.
3. the power or faculty of remembering.
4. the length of time over which recollection or memory extends.
5. the state of being remembered; commemoration
6. something that serves to bring to mind or keep in mind some place,person, event, etc.

7. a gift given as a token of love or friendship

We had visions of what this Christmas would look like for us.  But, a piece of our hearts and souls is missing during a time of year that is usually very joyous for us.

Although the grief is more pronounced this time of year, the one saving grace that is getting us through are the little remembrances of Jensen we have encountered every day leading up to Christmas.

Continue reading “Remembrances of Jensen”

The Completion of the Angel Tree

 

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The Angel Tree is complete.

When I started out with the idea of the Angel Tree, I wasn’t sure how many parents would allow me to honor their child.  There are 140 baby names on this tree.  I am so happy (is that the right word?) to do this in memory of their children during this holiday season.  Yet when I stand back and look at this tree, and look at each unique ornament, I will admit – I get overcome with overwhelming sadness.

All of these babies – gone.  All of these parents – devastated.  Hopes and dreams utterly crushed.  For me, knowing that I will never be able to spend a Christmas with my son brings me to my knees.  Each year for the next 50+ years, I will always wonder what it would have been like to have him here.  I will always wonder what it would have been like to have him wake up on Christmas morning to see if Santa’s milk and cookies are gone and to open his presents.  We will never know.  A piece of our hearts are missing.  I know I’m not alone in this and that every parent of the babies remembered on this tree feel the exact same way.  Although we can’t be with our babies each Christmas, it is so meaningful to have them remembered.  And that is the purpose of the Angel Tree.

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Dear December – Part Two

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A fellow loss mom, Jess, made this in honor of Jensen.  Isn’t this cute?  Jess, who lives in England, lost her son Shaunie Junior.  Jess has been a great friend to me and is an amazing person.

Dear December,

Although your presence has significantly heightened our pain, you have brought out the best in others.

I shared previously that I have found an online community of fellow parents who have lost a baby.  I’ve connected with these parents on Instagram and Facebook.  These individuals openly grieve, share their love for their children, and have hearts that bleed like mine.  Their sense of community is a treasure trove of support.  It’s through this support that I’ve built a lot of new friendships. I only know most of these women through social media, but we are all invested in each others’ lives and how one another is doing. Continue reading “Dear December – Part Two”

Dear December – Part One

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Dear December,

I have been dreading you.  But you are here. You’ve been here for a few days now and Andy and I are tentatively learning how to navigate your waters of frigid and harsh grief. We don’t want to be swimming in these waters.  We never asked to be here.  And yet, we are.  And we are trying to figure out how to swim against your forceful current.  I know it’s not entirely your fault, but I associate you with Christmas. 

Never in a thousand years did we think we would find ourselves in these shoes; figuring out how to live through Christmas after the loss of our child.  No one thinks this can happen to them.  Until it does.  I never thought I would be silently and passively protesting Christmas.  It is hard to simply just exist when the season is one that is overwhelmingly full of joy and good cheer.  

Continue reading “Dear December – Part One”

Feeling Connected

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What a busy week.  Christmas is fast approaching and we’ve hardly had time to slow down since Thanksgiving.  We have a large family to buy for and we’re normally done with  Christmas shopping by now.  We’re behind our game this year.  I just haven’t been in the Christmas spirit.  But luckily you can buy anything online.  Continue reading “Feeling Connected”

Feathers, Sparkly Beads and Glue Dots

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.

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Continue reading “Feathers, Sparkly Beads and Glue Dots”