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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Looking Back





Every year as I take down my Christmas Tree I am spend the time in prayer and thoughts about what the New Year will hold for our family. This year though as I was putting up my tree I reflected on the past 6.5 years. Now my tree will never win a decorating award and it certainly is NOT a "show" tree. It is the kind of tree I grew up with. A mix of 1st ornaments, mother's day gifts, macaroni art, and teacher gifts my parents brought home from school each year. Every once in a while mom would bring home an ornament from a special trip.
My Tree is no different. I like to think of it as a Hodge-podge of memories from each year. Each ornament I put up a think about when and where I got it. Some ornaments mark places we have been.




Some places like this one from St. Louis, will always remind me of James SDR surgery. Last year we were celebrating Christmas with a child that could barely sit up on his own and we had just been told that he would be wheelchair bound. But this year, after St. Louis, we are celebrating with a child that is walking to the playground at school in his walker!!


Some ornaments are homemade and make me think about the bright eyed children that spent a Saturday making such sweet gifts for me. I care for these just as gently as any store bought ornament.

There are a few ornaments that just make me LAUGH!! For a few years at thanksgiving ( when puff paints were all the rage) My family had a craft that we all worked on. Some years it was a quilt that we would all sign. and over the year when we realized that boyfriends and girlfriends come and go and that it looks odd to have larger puff paint smear by a name ;-). We moved on to ornaments. This was my 2005 creation! Now in my defense we were making "silly" ornaments......Silly isnt the word that I describe this one as now ( it is in the back of my tree)

And in keeping with my childhood tree, I have many ornaments from my days as a K teacher.


This is the ornament that I always let Josh hang. It was given to us by his grandparents. We dont see his side of the family very often and they arent involved in James' life, which is very sad, but it is our reality. But these ornaments remind me of better times.


And then there are the ornaments that mark time. Time in our lives that might be sad and overwhelming but remind me to live my life looking to my Savior. Some of my ornaments are the only connection James will have to Josh's Father since he passed away just a few months before James was born. This ornament was one that BJ ( Josh's father) would always hang on the tree. He would come over to watch me put the tree up and I would force him to put at least one ornament on the tree. And this was the one




Then there the ornaments that reflect our life with James. Oh how I LONGED for these ornaments to hang from my tree. Not just a symbol of a heartbreak that will never be here on earth but one that celebrated LIFE. And boy does he have many! 6 as a matter of fact ;-) This is my favorite. James was just 2 week out of the NICU and 6 weeks old. He was still SOOO very tiny that Santa held him in just the palms of his hands and just lifted him up to his face. his outfit was just huge on him too . I just think it is so cute and I love it!





Sometimes I think back to those days and I just wish I could tell myself to slow down and enjoy it more. I wish that I could tell myself that the next few years are going to be the hardest of your life but not to worry because they will also be the BEST years of my life too. I would tell myself to deal with my guilt earlier than I did and to not let it rob me of the GIFT I had been given in James.
So there you have it! This was my stream of consciousness as I was putting up my tree for 2010 Christmas.

































1 comments:

Gmama Jane

I Loved reading this post and going back in time with my own memories. You got to go down memory lane this year when you helped me put up MY tree...thanks so much because you know it is NOT my favorite job now that everyone has left home. The ornaments made by you children are my favorite and next are the ones marking a special trip or event in the life of our family. I'm so glad both you & Matthew have continued the tradition of a "family" tree rather than a showcase tree.
Much Love
Mama

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