Saturday, December 25, 2010


It's that time of the year... the hustle and bustle has begun. People are busy, shopping, and getting ready for Christmas! It's a time for giving, a time for families, a time for memories.

We woke up this morning at my in- laws house. We try to do Christmas with each side of the family every other year, alternating with Thanksgiving. So this was the year to be in Maryland. Because Elliana aws born so close to Christmas the year we would have come up here last, this is actually the first year we have been here on Christmas day since 2007. It didn't even dawn on me until we were here. Sitting on the couch, seeing the live tree full of colorful glass balls and tinsil. The memories starting flowing back. It hit with a flow of emotions. In the pit of my stomach the realization caused a churning and an ache. December 2007, the one and only Christmas we were granted to share with our precious Brayden... was here, with Gramma and Papa. I could see the memories like visions or flashbacks. I so treasure these wonderful moments we have captured through beautiful pictures. Yet the longing came back like an unexpected title wave.
What a joy it is to see Elliana smile in delight as she and Nathaniel help Gramma finish decorating the tree. How fun it is to sit around the table with everyone. The excitment filled the air as Papa, Daddy and Uncle Brendon play with the kids.
Yet the void is so ever present.

What I wouldn't give to have him here with us today. How I would give anything to be able to make these memories and share these memories with him. How exciting it would be to have all three of them together. Candy, chocolate, and cookies galore and treats for breakfast. It's definately Christmas.
But it's just not the same.

The kids were so excited to run downstairs this morning to check on whether or not Santa came! Paper was ripping, trash was flying and the room was full of excitment. Ooh's and ah's could be heard around the room as all the new presents were being discovered.
I am so thankful for these moments, so blessed to create these memories, so love the joy all around...

Just missing him today... in a big way, and wishing he was here with us.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Through this journey of loss and grief I have come to a very different perspective and appreciation for candlelight.

So often used to symbolize light admist darkness, hope in a seemingly unbearable situation the light from a candle is bright, and radiates an amazing beauty.

We were blessed with the opportunity to share a special eveing and Christmas dinner with my Compassionate Friends group. It is a tradition that has been for several years. Dinner at Gilligans restaurant, an ornament exhange.. and then a candle lighting.

It's such an experience, such a feeling in the air as the room transforms from eating, chatting, and laughter... to quiet, remberance. Each family represented goes to the front of the room, lights a candle in honor of their child, and shares about them. At the end a few moments of silence are shared as we watch all the candles burning.
It sad yet selfishly comforting to see all the lives represented that were lost too soon. It's a reminder that we are truly not alone on this journey of bereaved parents.

In a beautiful way, the light of the candle shines brightly, reminding us that though Brayden is not here with us phyiscally now... his light still carries on in our hearts.

We will cherish the memories, we will relive the moments through photos, and the love will ring through us all who have been touched by his life.

It is a joy to speak his name, it is humbling to be admist and apart of such a group, and to honor the life of our precious gift, Brayden... burning bright through candlelight.