Raun and I have faced many holidays since we lost Samantha.  She died in January so we have faced Easter, Mother’s day, Father’s day, and Thanksgiving so far this year, and soon we will be able to add Christmas to the list.  The first year of holidays is tough.  I have run the gamut of emotions.  I am happy to be with family and celebrate, but saddened because Samantha was not there to be a part of it.

Thinking back to when our due date was, she would not have been born yet for Easter, Mother’s day, and Father’s day.  We would have still been pregnant at the time had there been no complications with the pregnancy.  Either way, because of when she was born, January, we faced those holidays without our daughter here on earth.

Fortunately, we have been blessed with a very supportive family and strong group of friends.  With them, it has been easier to get through the holidays.  Instead of moving through them in a blur, I have been able to be present and to find some joy throughout them.  On each of those holidays, our family has honored and remembered Samantha in some way.  Even though she is not here on earth, she is still a part of our family and our family holds her closely in their hearts.  They show it through their words, prayers, and cards.

I know this may not be the case for others out there who have lost their little one(s) through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.  I have heard stories of people’s relationships becoming strained with their family members, in-laws, or even their spouse after the loss of their child.  Sometimes, even friendships are broken because of the loss.  My heart aches for those who have lost this supportive circle.  Most of the time it is because people just don’t know what to do or say, so it becomes easier for them to ignore what happened.

Holidays can bring the best or the worst out in people, no matter what their life situations are currently.  The holidays bring a different disposition to most people.  For those who have experienced the loss of a child, this time of year becomes tough in a whole different way.  They are celebrating a holiday, but they aren’t able to have their little one with them physically to celebrate it too.  This creates a tension.

So, I want to help give you the tools to create a plan in hopes that you will find your burden a little less and that you can  find happiness and beauty in what is in front of you.  I will provide some things for you to think about and help set steps towards a holiday plan.  Your answers and feelings may differ than your spouse’s, so be sure to sit down and talk through these things together.  I will also share with you what my husband and I will be doing.

Raun and I are truly excited for the holiday season.  Yes, we will miss Samantha and will feel saddened that she won’t be here physically to celebrate with us.  But, we do know that she will still be celebrating with us in spirit.

I send you extra thoughts, prayers, and hugs during this holiday season.  I wish many blessings for you and strength.  I hope you may find some beauty and joy in the season.  Your little angel will be near in spirit, holding your hand and guiding you through.  Lastly, I pray for peace for you.

 

Ever since we moved into the house we have been building our gardens.  I went from having one garden to know having five!  Thanks to my father and his well developed garden, he has been able to give us plants.  Over time, we have split the plants and been able to grow our gardens.  We haven’t bought many plants, just a handful of perenials over the years and several annuals each Summer. 

I remember while growing up I would pick handfulls of flowers around the house and each weekend we went camping.  To some, they were weeds but to me as a child they were a beautiful boquet.  For whatever reason, once I had my own gardens I didn’t pick flowers all that often.  I don’t know why, maybe I used the cats as an excuse.  I didn’t want vases around that would tip over or that they would eat the flowers from.

In the last year, at least since Christmas last year (2010) Raun and I have been back to our hometown almost monthly.  If we weren’t back there, we had family up here.  So far the only months we haven’t been back home or had family to visit has been May and September.  Each time we went home I noticed something at my parent’s house.  There were always bouquets of flowers.  They were in the kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms.  Some were bigger and some were small, but it didn’t.  It was pops of color and beauty, as well as life and vibrance added around the home.

So, I decided to start finally picking my own flowers.  I have done a few larger bouquets to have out in our living room to enjoy, as well as a few small ones throughout the Summer up in our bathroom.  Right, now though, I have to wait a little bit more for my late Summer/early Fall flowers to fully blosoom.  I have realized that there are certain times throughout the gardening season that I don’t have much color in the gardens and have to wait to make my own bouquets.  So, instead when I get a chance and find a good deal, like at the farmer’s market, I will by a bouquet.

Here’s to picking flowers, adding bursts of seasonal color & life into the home, and for enjoying the nature all around us.  What do you do to add bursts of color and life into your home?

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