Merry Christmas to you friend! It seems that Christmas has snuck up on me this year! Less than a week and we will be celebrating together. One of the things I struggle with throughout the year is keeping Callie's memory alive within our family. I want our children to grow up knowing about their sister. This may sound strange to some but to others you may understand that though she is gone, she is still very much a part of our family.
One of the ways that we do this at Christmas is through ornaments. When I was pregnant with Callie we bought a stork carrying a pink bundle. It was only fitting that the following year we continued to buy ornaments. We buy each of our kids a different ornament each year. We also place a teddy bear/animal under the tree for each child. Callie's bear was a bear that came with her coffin. We were presented with it on the day of her burial. Once a year her bear comes off the shelf with all of her other keepsakes and sits under the tree.
For her ornament this year we chose something that looks like a crystal teardrop. Each ornament has special meaning. Corban got a Mr Potato Head ornament since he loves Toy Story. Ellie got a sock monkey ornament with her name on it. Sock Monkeys always make her smile and we are actually doing her 1st birthday in Sock Monkeys!
I still haven't found many consistent ways to honor Callie throughout the year. We've taken blankets to the NICU, donated flowers or other things in her name but nothing that is consistent. It is my hope that someday I find a new tradition that doesn't just happen once a year. But for now I am thankful that Christmas has wonderful meaning for our family of 5. I don't get to buy my daughter many things, but I always look forward to choosing that special ornament for our tree. I hope that if you have suffered loss recently or not so recently that you find special ways to honor your loved one and keep his or her memory alive.
Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate this year!