Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

Normally this is my favorite time of year. We usually have Christmas music playing, old movies like "White Christmas" playing on TV and I make Tim drag up about five bins from storage of all the decorations & the tree. Usually by now we've made several dozen cookies and have lots of presents wrapped.

This year is so different. We have some gifts wrapped, Tim did make one batch of cookies a week ago (they're gone now), and we saw part of "White Christmas" but one decoration that is missing is the Christmas tree. We decided not to bother putting it up this year. I'm usually the one who does the decorating and I couldn't bear the thought of hanging up all the ornaments when it's normally such a fun experience, knowing that I would just be crying the whole time. We had all these plans for our baby's first Christmas with us. Christmas brings out the kid at heart in most of us and we were so excited to finally have a baby to share it with and start our own family traditions.

Instead, we have one little silver tree with lights. It's only about 2 ft tall and it's Sofia's tree. I tried plugging in the pre-lit tree in several outlets and it just would not light up. I was so frustrated. I told Tim that Sofia deserved a tree that would light up. He said of course she does, she deserves everything. So I plugged it in again, sat on the floor and just stared at it. Low & behold - about 30 seconds later the lights just came on. I wasn't even touching the tree! I looked over at Tim & he gave me that "doo-doo-doo-doo" look. He thought maybe Sofia was playing games with us. So I unplugged the tree and took it over to the table where I intended on having it sit. I plugged it back in and no-go. It would not light up! So I repeated my previous steps and got it to light up again. She must have liked it on the floor in the family room but I told her it couldn't be there because of the dogs. So I unplugged it, picked it up, again walked over to the table and before plugging it in I said aloud, "Sofia, behave please, we want the tree lights on". I plugged it in and voila! Lights!

This year we will only have Sofia's tree up. There are a few ornaments (gifts we've received) and one that we bought and had engraved for her first Christmas. Next to it we have the rose from the hospital, the beautiful musical snow globe from family, a framed photo of her and a large bell ornament that I received from another baby loss mom.

From Christmas 2010

One of the support groups I joined online is Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. This year they started a gift exchange where they pair each baby loss mom up with another mom and you give something special to them in memory of their baby. Ironically I was paired up with another mom who lives in Omaha, just down the street from our previous house. She sent me a nice card & wrote the quote "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings" from the movie "It's a wonderful life". The gift is a large heavy white glittery bell with pink roses on top. We decided to have it out every year by her tree. I suggested to Tim that on Christmas morning before we open any gifts or go anywhere we could ring the bell in remembrance of Sofia and that when we have other children it could be our own little tradition to have them ring the bell. It will be in remembrance of her and will make us feel good that we might just be giving an angel some wings. Tim of course agreed this would be a nice idea and we cried. How badly we would love to have her here with us.

From Christmas 2010

Something that reminded Betsy of her baby girl, Olivia (Livie as they call her) is dragonflies. I found that interesting considering Sofia's bedroom has a few dragonflies painted on the walls and on the mobile that hangs over the changing table. There is a great dragonfly story that is an analogy to death & heaven and I painted with watercolor the scene that is described in the story. I also found a pretty little enamel container with a dragonfly on top and put an angel pin inside with her daughter's November birthstone. I loved the container when I saw it because it also made me think of Sofia. I bought one for us too so we could keep her lock of hair inside it. I'd like to think Sofia & Olivia are up there flying around together happily as friends, watching over us all.

From Other Photos
From Other Photos


  1. A Different Child:

    A Different Child:

    A different child, people notice
    There's a special glow around you.
    You grow surrounded by love
    Never doubting you are wanted;
    Only look at the pride and joy
    In your mother and father's eyes.
    And if sometimes between the smiles
    There's a trace of tears,
    One day you'll understand.
    You'll understand there was once another child.
    A different child.
    Who was in their hopes and dreams.
    That child will never outgrow the baby clothes.
    That child will never keep them up at night.
    In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all...
    Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
    When mother and father miss so much
    That different child.
    May hope and love wrap you warmly
    And may you learn the lesson forever:
    How infinitely precious,
    How infinitely fragile is this life on earth.
    One day, as a young man or woman
    You may see another mother's tears
    Another father's silent grief
    Then you, and you alone will understand
    And offer the greatest comfort.
    When all hope seems lost
    you will tell them with great compassion:

    "I know how you feel.
    I'm only here because my parents tried again.

  2. That's a nice poem, thanks for sharing.