Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve and an unexpected surprise

Right after losing Jacob, I was given the phone number of a woman at my church who had lost her baby 6 years ago. I called her 5 days later and we talked a few times, for several hours each time. She was a big help to me in the beginning, listened to me cry, listened to my fears and answered alot of questions. She said a few things that have always stuck out to me. Many were good and helped me heal, but one of them has haunted me a little. She said that at Christmas, I will probably be the only one who remembers Jacob.

I'm happy to say that that wasn't the case. 

On Christmas Eve day, my sister Laurie told me that they had a surprise for us that night. I figured that it had something to do with Jacob, but didn't know what. I suspected it might be a Teddy Bear.

On Christmas Eve night, my sister Jessie called Ted and I into my kitchen, clearly to get us out of the living room. When we came back in, this is what we saw.

As Ted and I stood in front of the chair, with my family gathered around, I cried and cried. The minute I saw it, the tears came. Tears that I couldn't control at all, tears that made it so that I couldn't even speak. I was shaking and crying and was so grateful. I didn't even see Ted's reaction because he was standing behind me, taking it in too. 

Each of these items is so special and involved so much thought. 

The bear:

The outfit the bear is dressed in is one that my Mom bought for Jacob before he was born. I didn't even know about it until now. There was a bow around the bear's neck that had Jacob written on it. The bear is the perfect colour. We wanted one that was somewhere between white and black, since I am white and Ted is black.  I slept with the bear on Christmas Eve. 

The books:

"Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch

Just the title had me in tears. Then I opened the book and saw this:

It says: Dedicated to Jacob, the nephew/grandson/cousin we never got to know, but will never forget. 
It is signed by Andy, Laurie and Ben; Lindsay and Brian; Jessie and Dave; and Nana and Grandpa. 
Lindsay told me she looked up Robert Munsch and discovered that he wrote the book in memory of his 2 stillborn babies, born in 1979 and 1980.

The Butterfly Book:

They know that butterflies remind me of Jacob. The inscription in this book says:

To Dear Jacob Evan on your 1st Christmas. Love Nana and Grandpa

The box:

Lindsay found the pictures of Jacob's name that other baby loss Mom's have done, printed out some and put them in this box. She chose one of her favourites for the front of the box. Engraved on the front is June 1, 2010. 

The stocking:

This touched me alot. Now Jacob had a stocking to put with everyone else's. On Christmas Day, I discovered Laurie (my pregnant sister) sleeping on the couch with the stocking.

Inside the stocking was this key chain:

After we looked through everything and I composed myself a little, Ted and I hugged everyone in the room. I spent the rest of the night sitting on the chair with the items, holding the bear and occassionally opening the books and re-reading the inscriptions. I couldn't do that much though, because I started crying again every time I did.

Jessie also gave me this ornament for Jacob a few weeks ago. When it isn't on the tree, it is hanging in our bedroom.

I found out the next day that the whole thing was Lindsay's idea and everyone did some part of it. As Lindsay left last night, I thanked her for saving Christmas. We still had alot of hard times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but without knowing that everyone was thinking about Jacob and all of the thoughtfulness they put into this gift, it would have been alot worse. 


Angela said...

So many beautiful and wonderful gifts. Our friends and family remembered Charlotte this year, too. It's amazing how much it touched my heart to receive gifts in her memory.

Jessica said...

WOW what is simply amazing and so beautiful that they did that for you. What a huge blessing! I am so glad that you had that happy surprise and happy tears for Jacob being remembered! <3

Melissa said...

That was so sweet of them. What a wonderful surprise. I'm glad he was remembered. *Jacob*

car said...

What a wonderful way to include Jacob in your Christmas. Your family did a great job. I can't even look at "I'll love you forever since Reid died and it used to make me cry before.

J. said...

Wow, that's beautiful...their effort and remembrance is such a huge gift...I wish my family (or inlaws even) would have done the same. Most of them never speak of my daughter and some have never been to the cemetery where she is buried.

Danae said...

So beautiful and so touching. I'm speechless. I'm glad your family did something special to remember Jacob. I thought of you, Ted, and Jacob so often yesterday!

The Wellman's said...

amazing! what a wonderful thing for your family to do!

Violet1122 said...

How beautiful! The most you were probably hoping for was someone to mention Jacob... and look at all they did for him, and for you and Ted. What a wonderful Christmas memory!

Rhiannon said...

How wonderful, Dana! I am so happy that your family was so thoughtful and kind in remembering Jacob. It really is the little gestures that mean so much. Thinking of you and sending love. <3

Sheri said...

What a loving and thoughtful family you have. It must feel good to know you're both so loved and supported. Sending you good thoughts!

Elaine said...

that is so sweet. You have a beautiful family Dana, I am so happy for you that they included Jacob. I know that must have made it a little easier for you.

Drew's Parents said...

What a beautiful post, Dana! What your family did made me cry all over again! I am so so so glad that the girl you first talked to was wrong. So many people were thinking about Jacob on Christmas. The bear is so adorable. It is amazing that it is exactly what you were looking for, and how sweet that he is wearing one of Jacob’s outfits. I love what you said to Lindsay…"Thank you for saving Christmas"…it was perfect and so true. Your family made a difficult day just a little bit easier. The gifts are so wonderful, perfect ways to honor and remember your little boy. I am anxious to read your other Christmas posts :) Thank you for sharing these pictures and everything your family did and said. I am thinking about you and your angels always! <3 <3 <3

Lindsey said...

That was so sweet. I thought of you this Christmas, I am glad you were able to include Jacob in the family celebrations.