Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jackson!

Dear Jackson,

Today marks your third birthday in Heaven. And guess what? I still miss you like crazy. I still wish you were here with us. I keep thinking your birthday will keep getting easier as the years go by, but I still feel very sad today and an aching that has consumed my whole body. It was such a hard day. I'm so glad I got to meet you though and hold you through the night. I'll never forget how it felt. Never.

I know I do have a lot to be thankful for and happy about. Your sister is growing quickly -- I can't believe she will be two next month! And I also want to thank you for giving us your brother this July. He's so beautiful and fun -- not to mention how much he looks like you. You guys have the same gorgeous hair. I just think it's super cool. I'm so grateful they have such a wonderful big brother watching over them from Heaven. Maybe that's why I had you -- to give your siblings and extra-special guardian angel.

We went on a little hike again this morning. It seems to be our tradition to do on your birthday. It's always fun to get out in God's creation, get some much needed fresh air and look at the beautiful fall colors. It was a little shorter this year due to your siblings, but it was still good.

I always wonder what  you do to celebrate. I always imagine you get to eat the most yummy cake and have a choir of angels sing you happy birthday. I also bet you get to play with all your little friends too.

Whatever you are doing, I'm certain you are perfectly happy. I just want you to know how much I still miss you -- how much your family misses you. There will always be a part of my heart that belongs to you and you only. I love you!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jackson's Urn

If there was a fire in my home there are a few prized possessions I would want to make sure I had. My daughter and husband would be number one of course, dog, wedding ring, our computer's hard drive so we would have all our family photos and Jackson's urn.

It's one of the most precious things I own. I think it's beautiful. Maybe its weird to some people that we keep an urn with our dead son's remains on display in our house, but I don't really care what others think. I don't think people even really know what it is anyway; it just looks like a fancy decoration. And it's my way of feeling like my son is still near me, and no matter where our family goes, he can come too.

Never in a million years would I have thought I would be picking out an urn for my child. It was the furthest thought from my mind the days before he died. All I cared about was making sure the nursery was perfect and everything was ready for him to come home. Instead Brent and I found ourselves trying to plan a funeral and flipping through a catologue trying to pick out the perfect thing to keep our son's remains in.
Jackson's urn

In the midst of our grief though, we were completely blessed with how it all came together. Our pastor recommended a little funeral home to us in Golden where the owner cremates babies for free. All we had to do was pay for the urn. The owner even came to Jackson's memorial service and he told us how beautiful Jackson looked and how cute his outfit was we had put on him when the owner picked up Jackson from the hospital. We gave him one other blanket to send with Jackson too -- a classic Winnie the Pooh one to go with the theme in his nursery (we kept the one we had wrapped him up in the hospital).

A week later, his ashes and urn were ready. I remember how nervous and scared I felt driving over the the funeral home. I just had no idea how I would react. Again, we were warmly welcomed by the owner of the home. We paid for the urn. The owner had the urn sitting on the altar in the chapel. Brent and I held hands and we walked up to it, then we both broke down and cried. It was nice though, and the urn was beautiful. But this day, I was also FINALLY bringing my baby home. 

At the beginning of our grief, I did some crazy things with that urn. I would swaddle it in a blanket and rock it. I would just lay on the couch while watching TV and cuddle with it. I would hold it while I prayed. And now a little over two years later, I don't really do any of these things anymore with it, but I will still pick it up and give and squeeze and sometimes a kiss.

I'm so glad I have it. It helps me. I don't remember how much it cost, but to me it is priceless.