Thursday, December 18, 2008

My favorite ornament this year





I smiled when I opened it....sent from a dear friend who knew the perfect ornament for my tree this year. Alaina's favorite shoes to wear were her red sparkles. It didn't matter if they matched, usually they didn't...she didn't care. Those were the shoes she was buried in. They didn't match her little dress with pink flowers but I knew this is how she would've wanted it. I just can't type it without tears....buried. It's an ugly word, just like gravestone, funeral, death. I hate, yes, HATE those words. Days like today are hard. Days when I'm so busy with the kids and we are literally gone ALL day...then I get home and have a minute to "think" and it hits me all over again. The brief moments during the day when I'm alone, the grief is so raw and heavy. Physically it feels like a heaviness on my chest. In the midst, I am reminded of the season and what we celebrate and I have hope to continue on. Deep down in the fiber of my being if I believe I'll see her again one day I have a whole new view of heaven. The thought of her running to me, when I can touch her again and hold her...I pray that this is part of eternity. And I know there's nothing here that is her loss...it's OUR loss and pain and struggle, not hers. Her creator is everything she needs now and truly HE is what we need to make it. I can have joy this Christmas because He continues to be the Atchisons Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace. I don't know what heaven will be like, I just know what I WANT it to be. I've got to trust the Lord for that too...that it will be as He has planned...perfect. Billy is constantly asking me "Do you think she'll still be a four year old when we get to heaven, will she know us, why can't God just "talk" to us, etc." I don't have the answers but I do know that God holds all these things and it will be ok...just like the christian life is that cycle of repent and believe, repent and believe, it's also surrender and trust, surrender and trust. And by His grace that is what I choose to do every day. Would I change my circumstance if I could, YES!! but that's not what He is calling me to do..that's not an option. He IS calling me to surrender and trust and so I will.

We're going....we're going to Butler the day after Christmas. I have peace about it, not that I think it won't be hard...I think it's unrealistic to think it will be an easy, laid back trip, but it's time. Time to face it, time to "push through" the memories of that day in July and get to enjoy the great place that it is. I hate the term "moving on." I won't call it that. To me, moving on suggests that we're leaving her behind and forgetting somehow. Let's just say we will "keep going." We'll keep living. We'll continue to talk about her and enjoy who she is in our lives. My Mom and Elley were making a little gum drop tree and Elley said "I wish Laina could see it." I love that she will say things like this. I love that she remembers her sister and can express it this way. I love any way that she is remembered....the memories you've shared with me, the angel ornament that says "in memory of Alaina, Dec. 2008".... thank you for remembering with me. Her life is something to celebrate and I need help to do it. This time last year, to me, she was the star of the Christmas card...you didn't have to convince her to scowl like a redneck, she just knew what to do. She was so fun like that.


Merry Christmas friends,
Hope

13 comments:

Leigh Ann Renfroe Glass said...

OH HOPE !! I LOVE THE ORNAMENT! OUR HUNTING CAMP IS ABOUT 5 MINUTES FROM AUNT MONA'S HOUSE IN JACKEN, AND WE STAYED THERE THE WEEKEND BEFORE THANKSGIVING UNTIL THE TUES. WHILE I WAS THERE MY MOM & DAD CAME UP TO SEE US AND I GOT HER TO SHOW ME WHERE ALAINE WAS RESTING. AND I PLAN TO GO SEE HER EACH TIME I GET. JUST BECAUSE I CAN!
WELL THATS NOT WHY I AM WRITING YOU. THIS IS... I WAS SHOPPING AT WAL MART IN THE SHOE DEPARTMENT WITH HALEIGH AND SHE SPOTTED A PEAR OF SHOES ANS SHE SAID " MOMMY I WANT THOSE, I LOVE THOSE" WHEN I LOOKED TO SEE WHICH ONES THEY WERE. I JUST SMILED AND THOUGHT OF YOU AND ALAINE!! THEY WERE DORTHY SHOES! RED AND SPARKLY! JUST BEAUTIFUL.I COULDN'T HELP IT.I DIDN'T KNOW HER VERY CLOSELY BUT I JUST REMEMBER THE STORIES I HAVE HEARD AND THAT VISIT AT AUNT MONA'S . A BEAUTIFUL ANGEL SHE TRULY IS!!
HOPE YOU HAVE AS MERRY CHRISTMAS AS POSSIBLE!
LOTS OF LOVE!
~:0)
LEIGH ANN RENFROE GLASS

Sarah said...

I love you, Hope! The ornament is perfect. I remember that day when you were deciding on the shoes. Perfect decision...you are right, Alaina would have definately wanted it that way. I remember when ya'll came to play that day when you were in F'hope...she had them on. I know it will be hard to go to Butler. I will specifically pray without ceasing for you and Billy the day after Christmas. Rest in Jesus, my friend.

Jackie said...

Hope,
I haven't commented much, but I check your blog and pray for you and Billy and the kids daily. I will pray especially for your trip to Butler.

I'll be in Sweet Water at my parents' house all of next week. I know it's a busy time for everyone, but I would LOVE to see you guys if it works out.

Love & Prayers,
Jackie

Kristin said...

Love you, Hope. What a perfect ornament! What a sweet friend!

We continue to pray and think of you daily. And Alaina is never far from our hearts and thoughts. That precious little girl and your words about mothering from a different perspective impact the little decisions I make each day... Thank you, Hope. For showing us that even when the very worst we can imagine happens, Jesus is still there. Even when you have to use the ugliest of words like "buried", Hope and Joy can still be found, all because of Him. Thank you, Hope. I really want you to know you make my "Much Afraid" heart braver... and my love for our God stronger.

Merry, merry Christmas. We will pray especially for comfort on the day after in Butler. Love you all.

JJMERKEL said...

Hope, I remember Alaina wearing those shoes all the time. They were so pretty. What a wonderful friend to get you that ornament. It is perfect!
I will be praying for you all when you go to Butler. I am sure it will be incredibly difficult. I love the pictures that you put on here, I am so glad that you have so many of them.
We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, as hard as it will be. Please tell Billy and the kids hi for us.

max harrell said...

I pray for peace in the midst of grief for you and your family. I pray for God to continue to give you strength, grace, love and mercy. Merry Christmas to you and your precious family. You are being prayed for and loved my many people.
I stumbled onto your blog and your family has touched my heart.
Prayers for you in Athens, Ga. Carol Harrell

Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

I've read your blog several times and haven't been able to bring myself to comment. Truly, thinking of you enduring such pains hurts me and I'm left without words! Yet, I want to write so that you know I'm still thinking of you and praying... I love the ornament, too, and love the picture of Alaina from Christmas last year - piled up in B's lap, with the blankie and her wet thumb. I know that she brought you such joy and that she was so happy! I love that she was a spirited redneck in the card's picture also (I'm sure that Billy was proud of that :)! It so made me laugh when I got it last year, and I thought, "They are so fun!" The beauty of her life lives on in you and I still enjoy hearing about what she loved and did! I told W. the other day that your blog is such a beautiful picture of your heart. The way you write seems so much like the psalms to me too. When David suffered, he poured out his anguish to God and still ended in praise, trust, and surrender. You are such a picture of His grace! I will be praying as you travel to Butler. Love ya!

Shea said...

What a beautiful ornament. What a dear friend to think of Alaina and send it to you. I was so glad to get to spend some time with Mary Helen today in Butler at FBC. She is such a cutie!! We were in town visiting and the kids and I played in the nursery. She is adorable! And your mom is so dear! She was so worried about the bump on MH's head from a fall she took at their house this morning. I told her that MH and Cray made a perfect pair because he busted his mouth THREE times just on Friday from climbs and falls and his lips are swollen still!

I know your trip "home" will be a difficult one but I know it's going to mean so much to "MAW" and "PAW" having you there. I'll be praying for you as you make that trip. Just know that you are still thought of and loved by us all. God bless you!

Love, Shea

Sharon Shepherd said...

Merry Christmas Hope to you and your family. I pray that you have peace and joy this Christmas season and in the New Year. Thank you for sharing your faith. You are a blessing!
The ornament is beautiful. You are so blessed with many good friends.
God bless you, God love you and God keep you.
Sharon Shepherd

Emily Shepherd Martin said...

Merry CHRISTmas, Hope. There was a special reason you were named Hope. You give everyone such HOPE. I love the ornament. It is such a reminder of what a sparkling little joy Alaina was to so many people. I will continue to pray, especially for you, Billy & the gang as you come to Butler for Christmas. Thanks for bringing me and others such "HOPE". Please continue on the blog throughout '09. God bless you all!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that we have been praying for you!

christine dawkins said...

I have been praying for you everyday. God is so good. just having 3 girly girls-I know Alaina would have wanted her sparkly shoes. You are such a sweet mom. We love you-Christine and Davis

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