This was the first year that I went the entire two days without hearing a word from anyone about Rachel. Her name wasn't on any of the cards... not included in any of the gifts...nobody said it out loud... and nobody visited her grave, unless they did without leaving anything....? When I went there on Christmas day, it felt very vacant.
I did get a gift card to the flower shop from my mom in Rachel's PO Box last night and I heard a message my mother in law left on Christmas day that mentioned Rachel - I just didn't get either by Christmas day. So as the night closed in, and I realized that nobody remembers her anymore, I was so sad. Ironically, this year, even in the midst of just barely putting Christmas together, I got Rachel a few things. I usually hang her stocking and put candy in it, but this year I bought gifts and wrapped them. God knew what I was going to need... and I really needed her to be included.
I bought all of the kids pillow pets for a trip we're going to take and I 'accidentally' ordered one too many and it 'just happened' to be a pink pig, so I kept it for Rachel, knowing I will be happy to use it and have something representing her on a trip I would love to take her with us on.
I also bought her a pink memory box like the ones I got for the hospital that I really liked. The first one came damaged, but I returned it and the new one came in time! It's perfect... pink, yellow and green with a daisy type flower!
I wrote on Facebook a couple days before Christmas that while I was in the shower, the kids knocked over and shattered the shadow box I had put together. Her hand and foot molds were okay, so I wasn't upset. Thankfully I reacted extremely calmly to the whole thing, because Sam felt so bad he knocked it over. I was so glad I just said it was ok and to stay away from the glass... he would have been devastated if I had gotten upset. He apologized a hundred times.
I had said that I doubted they would be on sale again and the only reason I could get it in the first place was by spending money I didn't have and justifying it because it was 40% off. But the sides were also broken apart and I didn't feel safe trying to fix it and putting her irreplaceable things in there.
So that day, I decided to drive to Newington and see what else they had. I walked in and they were 40% off again!! I was so excited, until I couldn't find the same one. It took me HOURS to put together so I was hoping to just switch out the backs. They had the same one in black, which I didn't really want - or one a little deeper in white (which I found I really could use deeper when I set up the first one, but it was $15 more!) I lamented over it until my kids were running wild and losing patience and I finally grabbed the white one and got in line, again spending money I didn't have... but my heart really needed this. As I stood there, a woman approached me and said "I have this coupon I can't use, would you like it?" as she held it up for me to see.
And what do ya know? After the 40% off, her coupon made up the difference between the black and white one!! So I paid the same for the new one as I did for the first one! Then when I got it home, not only was it deep enough to not squish her lamb's head, but it was slightly bigger - the sizes were supposedly the same, but it had more room around the edges, which allowed me to fit the other items I *really* wanted in there, but couldn't fit before! Suddenly, I was really glad I needed a new one. lol
I put it together tonight... I love it so much more! And now I plan to use the other one for stuff from our wedding to hang in our bedroom. I hate that stuff sitting in a box in my closet too. So I'll work on that in all my free time.... anyway, here it is!!
|Her cloth diaper wasn't in the other one, but I really wanted it to be.|
I couldn't even come close to fitting it before, although I tried like crazy!
This is the one she wore while with us, the other she is buried in.
|The "It's a girl" ribbon, my mom put it on the table at her funeral with a bear and flowers|
in a basket - the basket is still in my bathroom on our changing table.
Also added her hospital bracelet
| I added her necklace... we received two of these, not on purpose! And so|
She is buried in one and we have one.
But tonight, I feel the harsh reality of the fact that she is fading from others' memory... that Christmas won't always - if it even still does - remind people of my girl like it used to... my baby due on Christmas day... the absence of whom made the words of "Silent Night" something that will always remind me of that stupid shirt I bought before I knew she would die... "All mommy wants for Christmas is a silent night" it said... I threw it away. I wanted anything but a silent night. I wanted to be up all night with a crying baby who needed me. But it was silent in 2010, and it still is each year as I miss her like crazy, while the rest of the world celebrates what Christmas is to everyone who didn't bury a baby who was due on Christmas day.
I was so thankful for THIS ARTICLE that I found in my email this morning. I almost didn't read it because of the title, but it was such an encouragement to me. Please read it if you have a few minutes, it's a short read but it really spoke to my heart... my hurting, lonely heart... I'm thankful to know that Christ came for the exact reasons I hurt. And that he conquered death and that in him, I have victory over anything that could stand against me.
While I'm here... I cry, I mourn, I feel left behind and alone...I make memory boxes.
But this is my temporary home and one day I will leave this earth and all of the memory decor behind and I will go to heaven with my Lord and my daughter and I will not fear hand and foot molds being broken... or find myself taking deep whiffs of her hats to try to remember what she smelled like... because I won't need to. I will have the real thing right in front of me.
And there will be no silent nights... no darkness... only light and singing and dancing and worshiping Jesus. I never wanted a silent night. Those early days without her when my house was quiet as could be, brought me the least sleep I've ever had in my life. I love sleep, don't get me wrong, but I'm ridiculously excited about the day when I no longer need it because quite frankly, it's hard to come by and exhaustion is awful.
And on that note, I better get to bed, even though I feel like this post is not at all what I wanted it to be... welcome to the writings of a mom of 5 living kids... Little, sweet Ezra is such a gift, but I'll tell you what, #6 (5 at home and so much to do for one in heaven) has been more than I was ready for... this is HARD stuff!! Even 4 (#5 - when we added Asa) was completely different for me and I have had my last 4 all within 4 years of each other. So it's not like they were all that spaced out before. I had all but Des really close together.
I always remember Michelle Duggar saying that when they had 5 it was harder than having 19 because they were all little and close together... and since I seriously look up to her, I find that encouraging that she thought it was hard too! LOL. So for anyone with 5 kids thinking it's way harder than you expected - ME TOO!! I hope that encourages you!! LOL. These are the *very best* days of our lives... hard, but beautiful... don't lose sight of that because they will go by way too fast and we will miss them! It's not something people just say... if you have 5 kids, you must love kids and if you love kids, you *will* miss them when they are gone and your house is quiet! Bring on the grand-babies!!
Anyway, we don't get a silent night here... ever. Someone is always waking up - last night we were up about 5 times between 3 of them and Sam had his elbow in my back or was coughing in my face most of the night. Same thing the night before, except we also had to change sheets because someone had an accident... we literally do. not. sleep. And you know what? I'm okay with that. It's hard... but it's not anywhere near as hard as a silent night.
Take it from me, silence is overrated.