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Sunday, December 27, 2009

#43 - WE MADE IT

So Christmas is over, and while it wasn't without some anticipated ups and downs, we made it through in one piece.  I got to talk to my sister quite a bit over the last few days, including a video call on Thursday.  Later on Thursday, we hosted 17 family members for Christmas Eve dinner, which ultimately served as a pretty good distraction.  Between dinner and presents we did a balloon release.  It was a cold, breezy night, yet all of the balloons somehow grouped together and stayed that way until we could not see them anymore.   We managed to get a pretty good picture right after they were all released.  Thursday really was a decent day.  Jeff was somewhat overtaken by emotion during the balloon release, but having other things to focus on really helped. 

Friday was a different day.  We made a stop at the annual Christmas gathering for my FIL's family.  It's a big family - there were about 30 people there while we were there.  I was okay going in, but that was short lived.  We weren't in the door 10 minutes and I had to duck back out to compose myself.  Several of Jeff's cousins were there with their kids - one has a 3 year old little girl who is more or less how I imagined Gracie would have looked and acted at that age, and one has a son born May 28th.  Apparently seeing them together was enough to just knock me over the edge a bit, and it really made me feel what we were missing. 

From that gathering we continued to the cemetery, and then to my father's.  We were greeted by a little stuffed dog that was left there to watch over Gracie by my husband's friend.  We were somewhat disappointed that the solar lights on her trees were not working, but it wasn't a very good day for storing solar energy.  Dinner was pretty uneventful, but I had trouble shaking the sad, empty feeling for the rest of the evening. 

I think it is safe to say that Gracie was alive in most of us over the last few days.  She was present in conversation several times, and she was remembered in a few gifts.  Jeff's parents gave us a shelf with a quilt bar so we can safely display some of Gracie's mementos, including the baby quilt that my sister made.  She got a few more tree ornaments to compliment the ones already on the tree, and my father and step-mom gave us a beautiful figurine.  Perhaps the most touching gift of all was the very unexpected gift from a fellow baby loss mama friend; she and her husband had a star named for Gracie. 

There were definitely some rough moments, but overall, our first Christmas without Gracie was not quite as traumatic as I had anticipated, and the time away from work has given me a chance to generally decompress a bit.  I am looking forwardto a new year and the new opportunities that it will hopefully bring.  I hold tight to the hope that we will bring home a living child in 2010, and that many of my hopeful loss-mama friends will be blessed with the same. 

On a different note, if you are reading this today (12/27), please take an extra moment to remember angel baby Sophie on her 3rd angelversary.  Her mom, Debbie, is a real life friend of mine.


Franchesca Cox said...

It's good to hear that you survived and your family remembered your daughter. That is awesome that someone got a star named after her! How special :) I will head over to Debbie's blog now.


Karen said...

It's good to hear that you made it through the day. It is a bittersweet day for babylost moms. But I think it is so beautiful that you had people remember Gracie during this season.

Thank you for commenting on my question for my giveaway. I love your ideas on the silicone bracelets and ribbon pins to include in parents' boxes. I need to look into where I can order those.

Blessings to you...

Jill said...

The balloon release is just beautiful!

margaret said...

I love, love, love your figurine from The Midnight Orange. I have been coveting one for awhile. Having a star named for Gracie is such a beautiful thing to do, now you know she will live forever in the night sky. I'm almost in tears reading this...Sending you hugs

Anonymous said...

*hugs* glad all peace was with you.

Heather said...

I'm so glad you survived.

Here's to 2010. May it be a good year for all of us.