Our Christmas Tree Story

We began our December (and our Christmas tree story) by purchasing a small cedar tree for Clara. We will spend the next two weeks making Christmas ornaments for decorating this lovely little memorial tree, and once the holiday season has passed, we will plant it at the family cemetery near Clara’s headstone.

So far, we have two little bunny ornaments and an engraved brass ornament with Clara’s name and birth/death date, courtesy of McAfee Funeral Home, who handled her cremation. I bought the bunny ornaments many years ago, for Lakin and Addah, but they insisted that we hang them on Clara’s tree this year. I think they’re perfect there.

Christmas Memorial Tree and Ornaments for Clara, our Stillborn Baby Girl

Our “big” Christmas tree is up and decorated as well. We were not able to put up our own tree last year, having just moved back from Texas to South Carolina, so it was very special to unwrap each ornament and remember where it came from. We have many handmade ornaments, made by the girls, David and I.

Our Christmas Tree Story

My favorite ornaments are the fragile hand-blown glass ones that I have collected over the years — snowmen and three little bluebirds on a branch.

Hand Blown Glass Snowman Christmas Ornaments

I found the bluebirds in a shop in Brevard, North Carolina in 2006, and bought it to commemorate the first year that I was a single mom with two daughters. We were the three little birds, sticking together no matter what, huddle on a branch in the cold, us against the world. Now, as the mother of three daughters, I think of the bluebirds a little differently than I used to, but it is still my absolute favorite ornament.

Hand Blown Glass Christmas Ornament - Three Little Birds

I sat on the sofa last night with David, his arm wrapped around my shoulders. It was dark in the house, save for the Christmas tree and Clara’s tree. It was lovely: safe, comforting and peaceful. These things are in short supply most days, which made the moment all the more wonderful.

It’s proving to be a very difficult holiday season for our family, emotionally, but we’re doing our best to keep our chins up. I’m very fortunate to have my little family to hold on to when the days and nights just get too long and dark. I wouldn’t make it without Lakin, Addah and David, of that I am convinced.

“Rise up this mornin’, smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, “This is our message to you…
Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
~ Bob Marley ~
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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

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  • JanineHuldie

    Oh beautiful post Heather. I love the tree that you have done for Clara, as well as your big tree with all those gorgeous blown glass ornaments. The three snowmen, I love them and of curse Clara’s ornament. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Thinking of you Heather and looking forward to painting ornaments with you on Tuesday. Clara’s ornaments are beautiful.

  • Coming to you from Studio 30. Beautiful post. I love the photos and the stories behind them. But mostly I love your honesty and transparency. Thank you for sharing
    Vicky

  • Thank you, Bethany!

  • Thank you, Janine!