Family, Fun, and Holiday Festivities

Annah Elizabeth Leave a Comment

Beauty and Fave made it home safely…

School’s out for a glorious SIXTEEN DAYS!

Our home has been filled with laughter, love, and liveliness…

Rousing games of the silliest sort of Mario fun…
and, of course, an occasional serious discussion or two…

signs of continued growth and healing for all of us…

The stockings are hung…

The shopping is done…

This year, Warren surprised me by spending time an entire day helping me finish those gift selections, one store at a time.

He’s also been watching those Hallmark movies with me!

But don’t let me give you the wrong impression…halfway through the second Christmas show last night, he said, “Next we need to watch something like Troy or Men in Black.”

Yesterday, both ends of my day were filled with the joyful task of wrapping…

Christmas movies playing in the background…

And in the midday was a nice gathering with Warren’s family.

 
Tongue-in-cheek, but we survived another family holiday!
Normally, we come together at our house on Christmas Eve day, but this year we moved the event up as our daughter is having surgery today.
After the meal and gift exchange and cleanup, the five of us headed to the cemetery a few days early to visit Gavin’s grave, since Beauty won’t be able to climb the hillside after her knee surgery.
I must say, as hard and painful and unwanted as the death of a child is, living through it has presented us with invaluable experiences, like being able to talk about death with our children.
It has also opened up opportunity for other discussions, such as cremation and burial and our changing thoughts and beliefs about life and death and spirit…
I had always hated the idea of cremation, but after Hurricane Katrina, I began to question my fears about having my body burned.
As I watched the news and heard stories about caskets floating in the flood waters, I imagined how difficult that sort of catastrophe could add to a person’s conflict, and the withstanding fears of not knowing where her loved one is…
I acknowledged what I’d always sort of believed but never really thought about in context with burial: That our soul leaves our body when it dies, and that we live on as energy in the world around us and in the hearts of every person whose life we touched…
Warren and I had always said that when one of us died, we wanted Gavin’s casket exhumed and reburied with us, but since I have been entertaining the idea of options other than burial, I’ve also been pondering other possibilities pertaining to my firstborn.
Yesterday, as we talked about all of the children buried, this topic somehow surfaced and I mentioned what Warren and I had talked about in the past and voiced my wonder if our son’s remains could be cremated with Warren and/or me.
Beauty was the first to express her feelings about this, followed closely by her brothers: All of Gavin’s siblings prefer to have him left where he is or buried with us, and they definitely don’t like the idea of him being cremated.
Their reactions surprised me because their responses were resoundingly strong, and they also comforted me because my children weren’t afraid to talk about what they do and don’t want with regard to death.
Gavin has always been a part of their lives and their memories and their stories.
Though they believe he is always with them, Babyland is the place they can go to actually be with him.
I get that.
When I mentioned that I’d like to go a few days early because Beauty wouldn’t be able to climb the knoll after surgery, she told us she’d already thought about that and had visited her brother the day before, but she’d be happy to go again.
We stopped at a local Dollar Store to buy a few festive items, as our handmade ones disappeared from the site a year ago.

We returned home to more togetherness and holiday preparations…

My happy is full from last week’s family fun and festivities…

Journeyers, may your coming week be filled with the joys of love, the light of laughter, and the feeling of togetherness, and an occasional Moment or two…

Love, Annah…

Soon…

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