Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dimensions of Christmas.

Christmas was okay here, although I'm relieved it's over now, for another 11 months.

We had a tree. We had stockings. We had presents. We have Jesus.

But Merry Christmas stuck in my throat. Only one person was wished a Merry Christmas from me. A person who understands that Merry Christmas comes with a cost.

Many people wished me a Merry Christmas but all I could muster in response was "thank you, you too".  Have they so quickly forgotten? Is my facade so effective that I look like someone at least 50 people can wish a Merry Christmas to, unflinchingly?

On Christmas Eve, Mike and I got the video camera out to record the stocking madness in the morning. We looked back over the videos in the camera and there was Eva playing with cups and grabbing her little toesies...and if I could throw myself through that screen into the world that still held my darling I would...

And then Christmas morning and it's gifts came and the one gift I would do anything to unwrap was still not under the tree. Again. And never will be.

But we do have another gift and that gift has a name now, be s/he girl or boy. I'm sure most of you know that if the baby we are hoping to welcome in April 2013 is a girl her name will be Hope. But of course there is the likelihood that this baby is a boy.  And if he is a boy, his name is Nathan (we have been known to change our minds at the last minute, but, for now, if he is a he, then he is Nathan).

Hope Eva Christina? or Nathan Evan?

Nathan, appropriately enough, means Given or Gift. The whole story of this name will be made clear on another post, another day. Suffice to say that the Gift is not lost on me as we yearn this Christmas. Yearn for Eva. Yearn for heaven. Yearn for Jesus.

Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Amaryllis. Part II

I just felt it was important to give you an update on our Amaryllis. You might remember my previous post, The Amaryllis.

The sequel is that we planted the bulb anyway, and, at Vincent's insistence we also stuck the broken stem and flower in the pot of soil.
Amazingly, out of the dry and broken bulb a new Amaryllis flower grew. Every day we saw it grow and grow.

To our astonishment, the broken off flower began to blossom as well, yesterday.

The blossom only bloomed for a day, and not fully...and now it's gone.  The new flower is growing strong and hasn't blossomed yet.

I can't help but see the metaphor here. Eva was broken. Eva bloomed but for ever such a short time.

The other flower is growing strong and isn't blooming yet. It is growing out of a dried and broken heart. 

And it is growing still.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree!

We cut our tree today.

If I don't look at the widget detailing the months and weeks and days without Eva I wouldn't remember the exact number.

When my children were born I counted their time with me in minutes then hours then days then weeks then months...and sometime after their first birthday I couldn't keep track of exactly how long they had been with me but it felt like forever and a moment. They were just born but they also had been with me for always.

When Eva died I counted my time without her in minutes then hours then days then weeks then months...and now that it's a few months over a year it seems like forever and a moment that she's been gone. She just died and my heart aches for my little princess but she's been gone for so long. She has spent more time breathing the air of heaven than she breathed the air of earth. I miss her, oh how I miss my little darling.

And today is another 15th. We cut down our Christmas Tree. We hung our stockings. We hung our special Eva stocking but there will be no excited little Eva digging into her stocking on Christmas morning.

And today I also remember and honour the children who died in the school shooting in Connecticut. More parents enduring their first Christmas without their children. Senseless deaths and I grieve for the world I am bringing my children into.

And still we found joy in cutting down our tree and drinking hot chocolate in the forest. 

Miss you my special girl. Miss you so much my little sweetheart. I love you always and always you are in my heart. And while you were not in the photos today if my heart could have been exposed, you would have been there, shining through.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas ideas for parents of kids in heaven.

One of the things I regret the most not buying for Eva when she was alive was a little doll. Now it hurts extra much to see little girls toting those little baby dolls around. I was planning on buying her one on her first birthday...but she never got to celebrate it here and sending a doll to heaven is pretty impossible.

I follow some other dead kid blogs and some had some neat ideas about remembering their little lost loves over Christmas.

This is what we are doing:

We have a small 'Eva tree' in the living room just for her. On it there is already a snowbabies ornament of a baby with wings. I wanted this last year but couldn't find the perfect one and then found it in July. So that is her 2011 ornament. The year she got her wings. This year I found a little mom and baby doll. The baby doll is perfect and I made it into an ornament. It will go into her stocking and I will finally give her the doll that my heart has been aching to give her for the last 16 months.

The 15th of every month is our special 'Eva day'. It's not something I make a huge deal out of every month but I don't make plans for that day either and I try to do something enjoyable like ride my horse or go for a special coffee, or something on that day. Last year on December 15th we were only 4 months from losing Eva and every 15th, every day, was excruciating. We just happened to decide to do something nice on the 15th and we went to cut down our Christmas tree. We decided to make tree-cutting and stocking-hanging on December 15th our special Christmas tradition on Eva's Day. So this Saturday we will be packing a thermos of hot chocolate for the kids and tromping out to the Saddle Hills Road to go cut down a sparse Christmas tree and then hang our stockings on the banister. Waiting for Santa (or mom and dad) to fill our stockings with goodies to open on Christmas morning.

And speaking of stockings, I got a small stocking made for Eva that matches our other stockings. She did have one Christmas with us before she died so she had a full size one but I am going to take that one over and she will have this new one that is partially made from a pair of her cute little pants. In it we will put her ornament as well as memories of our princess. So the stocking will be filled with her over the days leading up to Christmas and sometime on Christmas Day we will open her stocking and remember her.

If you have not lost a child and you think this is over the top I urge you to think momentarily how you would remember one of your children should they die.  Would you just be happy and full of joy on Christmas, only getting gifts for your living children, or would you try to include ALL your children in celebrations, however that may look...

Monday, December 10, 2012

The way it seems.

This smile is difficult to maintain. I'm going politely insane.

Rufus Miller in All on a Christmas Day