Well another year of reliving is almost over... it usually takes til around Dec. 19th (the day we found out Cameron was going to be ok) for the darkness to lift completely. For the most part, though, I don't think people would think of it as a time of darkness. I don't think I show that side, I don't think I live under a cloud of sorrow for those 8 days...but maybe people would disagree.
This year December 13th fell on a Sunday and this meant I spent part of the day at my church...a place that brings me such great joy and hope. By some divine plan, this year I was asked to sing on the worship team on Sunday. I knew it could prove to be a challenge to be up in front of the whole congregation (of 350 or so) on a day that I felt so vulnerable and so I rose early so I could get my tears out and my emotions under control. I wrote my annual blog post about this day, had my big cry and felt ready for the day. Being on the worship team was awesome. It was a distraction but it was also joy building. I love to sing and I love to praise God this way so this seemed like the perfect thing to do on this day. Pastor Jeff had a wonderful sermon on hope and what that means to Christians...
Passages like this have always spoken to me because I feel like this is the story of Cole...and of Cameron, Jodie, Geoff, Zack and Brycen. We suffered but we perservered. Our perservernce brought about changes in our character that no one, especially us, could have anticipated. And it was that change in character that brought us to a feeling of hope...an awareness that there were greater things out there. That God had a plan for us and Jesus could and would forgive us for our sins and give us eternal life....where we would once again be united with our sweet son Cole.
Paster Jeff also spoke of what hope means at Christmas...and how we can share our hope in Jesus with others. There were many ideas shared but the general theme was giving of ourselves so that others could feel hope. And so, that afternoon, we started a new tradition. We went as a family and shopped for a gift for Cole. We picked out something we knew a 6 year old boy would love...because we have a six year old boy who offered great suggestions. We purchased this gift out of love and we brought it home. Late that night we wrapped it up as a family and we talked. We talked about all the things Cole would have loved about this gift and how he would have played with it. And then we placed a name tag on it that had been chosen from an 'Angel Tree'...well from a list of boys and girls whose parents just aren't able to provide the Christmas they wish they could for their kids. And we blessed it and lovingly placed in a special place awaiting it's delivery to our churches Christmas Blessings event committee.
And so the day was a really good one for the most part. (we'll just leave out the part where the kids would not stop fighting long enough to get this done until mommy got tired of yelling and became very quiet and emotional...it's amazing how quickly they get back on track when they realize their mom is hurting) It had it's moments but for the first time ever my kids, especially Cameron, talked about Cole with curiousity, hope and peace. Cameron is at an age where he expresses that he misses his twin brother often but it is rare that he seems sad....it's more of a matter of fact statement then an emotional state. They loved our new tradtion and it's defintely something that will happen each year. Buying a gift for Cole it's something that is heartwarming and heartwrenching but it feels so right. It almost felt like a gift that Cole was giving us rather then we were giving him or the little boy who will receive it.
I know that he is forever with us and this tradtion seemed to give us just one more connection to him. I will live each day for this child who lives in my heart and this is just one more step in seeing him and his presence in my very existence. He may not walk this earth but his footsteps will be felt by others.
I found this quote and just felt it was the best thing to leave this post off with....
As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us, as long as I can, I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us. - Author Unknown