Monday, December 7, 2009

Remembering at Christmas

If you are missing someone you love this Christmas, someone of ANY age who is spending Christmas with Jesus this year, I hope you will join us on this very special Walking With You. We are sharing our Christmas memories and the ways that we remember our loved ones who have gone home to heaven at Christmas time. If you do not have a blog or do not wish to link a post, you may leave your Christmas memories in the comments below. If you do a post on your blog, come back and link up on the MckLinky following this post on Kelly's blog, and you can also enter her give-away.

This year is our first Christmas to remember our daughter Eliana. Last Christmas we were excited to announce our pregnancy with her to all our family members. It was especially exciting when my husband's sister announced her pregnancy too. Our due-dates were just a week apart. Here we are at Christmas last year, so happy to be expecting our third child.

This year we thought we would be bringing our beautiful baby girl to all our Christmas gatherings, letting all our loved ones spend time with her. She would be all decked out in that pretty green velvet Christmas dress my Grandma still has hanging in the back of her closet, and we would allow her to be passed around from one set of loving arms to the next until she couldn't take it anymore and we had to rescue her. There would be lots of presents under the tree with her name on them, and a pretty pink stocking we would fill with little baby toys.

Instead, this year I am thinking of ways to honor her life, and trying to remember that as much as I want her in my arms this Christmas, she is so much better off in the arms of Jesus. Instead of wrapping up presents with her name on them, we picked out some toys we might have chosen for her if she was here to enjoy them to donate to a mission project at church, along with Candy Land that my son picked out. We will plan to do this each Christmas in her honor.

I've also been working on making Christmas ornaments for other families who have lost a baby. Please let me know if you would like one of these. I am still planning to make more before Christmas. You can e-mail me at, include your address, your child's name and gender, and year of their first Christmas in heaven, and I would love to send one to you.

Usually, each year I take off what I have on top of the entertainment center and set up a Christmas display. This year, I am going to leave it as it is, with Eliana's momentos, and I have just added two Baby's First Christmas rattles that each of our children have played with as babies.

I am planning to decorate a small tree for Eliana this year, with ornaments I have collected over the years since I was a little girl, and some butterflies and other things I have purchased specifically for her. I'm just waiting until my mom can bring the little tree I will be borrowing, so I'll have to post a picture of that later.

Finally, yesterday I purchased some Christmas flowers for Eliana's grave. I went to Wal-Mart, and was pretty disappointed in the selection, but ended up with some red and white flowers that would work. I still want to get one more red one to put in if I can find more at a different Wal-Mart. As I stood out in the cold putting them into the vase, I found myself obsessively trying to get them in there just right, and being continually disappointed with how it was turning out. Then I realized, it's not the flowers I am disappointed with, it's the whole act of celebrating my daughter's Christmas by decorating her grave. This is not the Christmas I had envisioned for her, or for our family. I want to be taking care of her this year, and so I do, in each small way that I can.

The gravestone in the picture is actually my Dad's. Eliana is buried in the same plot, and we haven't been able to purchase her stone yet. The plaque stuck in the ground next to it is her temporary marker that is faded now so you can't read it anymore. We're trying to save up money and hope to have her marker in place before her one year birthday in heaven.

Even as I write these things, and think of how much I miss my daughter, I am continually reminded of the joy she will be experiencing this Christmas in heaven. Joy that is greater than I can imagine, and greater than the very best things I could ever give her here on earth. If I could have one wish-to celebrate Christmas with her-I wouldn't ask to bring her back to be with us, I would ask if our family could please visit her in heaven, for just one day, so she could show us how happy she is, and all the love she is constantly wrapped in.

"Better is One day in your courts than thousands elsewhere." Psalm 84:10


  1. Jess, your blog is beautiful. I"m sorry for your loss.. I think you have some nice ideas going here for Christmas too.. I LOVE the ornaments you make.. WE used that picture on SEth's memorial service program.. I"ll send you an email later (workign right now)

    Thanks for visitng my blog and for sharing Eliana's story!

  2. So many hopes you had just last Christmas. You are honoring Eliana in wonderful ways. I know whoever gets those toys will appreciate them so much. And I love the ornaments you make. They are so special, extra special because they are made by you. I, too, was disappointed in Walmart's selection of Christmas flowers. I hope that you can save up enough for Eliana's stone. Those things are expensive!!

  3. Jess...I love the ways you are remembering your sweet Eliana. The donated gifts are so nice and the flowers are pretty. The ornaments you are making are just beautiful, and I'm honored that you've made some for my Faith, Grace, and Thomas. Those sketches are some of my favorite. I will email you soon. Thank you so much.

    Praying God's continued comfort and peace for you and your sweet family...

  4. What an awesome wish, Jess. I never thought of it that way. I used to think of it more like that. I used to think that just seeing one glimpse of her in her new home would settle all this restless and painful grief. Thank you, thank you for the reminder!!! I needed to hear that today.

    I think her flowers are lovely and the ornaments are such a beautiful way to honor her life.


  5. What a beautiful wish! It is so hard- knowing that our babies are wrapped in such love- but not being able to completely wrap our minds and hearts around it. It is so true that they are experiencing more than we could ever provide for them here on earth- I know that in my head but my heart sometimes forgets.

    Peace & love to you!!

  6. What beautiful ways to include Eliana! The ornament you made her is beautiful. It's so hard to find an ornament that accurately describes where we are at. I hope you have a very blessed Christmas!

  7. Jess ~ The flowers are beautiful. You did a wonderful job. I feel like you do because we have to do what we can for our daughters. We still have to "mother" them in a way.

    Blessings to you today, and I pray you feel GOD's presence so intimately right now.

  8. Jess,

    I am new to your blog from the Blue Sparrow's link. The ornaments you are creating are such a beautiful tribute to Eliana. And, the flowers that you arranged for her are beautiful.

    For me, this Christmas is a bit difficult, as our Christian Noel was to have made his debut on Dec. 2nd. Like you, I had so many plans for sweet baby and now feel a little bit lost. However, I am holding onto FAITH and praying for God to direct my steps in the interim.

    At this moment, I am praying for you and praying for me. I pray for your heart to be soothed and for your growing little one to be strong. And, I pray that we both know "peace like a river"

    Visit my blog if you like:

    Love to you...