Archive for December, 2012

A Different Christmas Celebration

I am sitting here, knowing I have to update this blog…it’s probably been two months since I even got on this website.  “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is playing on my CD player – Amy Grant – one of my favorite Christmas collections.  Somehow it doesn’t bring the same feelings of excitement and anticipation as it used to.  It takes a great deal of effort to prepare for the season this year.  I don’t even have my Christmas decorations up yet, except for the beautiful tree in Tyler’s honor, given to us by Erika and Brian, and Jimmy’s Flower Shop.  Can you believe this beautiful tribute to Tyler?!?

Our Amazing F2TF Tree


Darren and I came home from work and found this in our family room…So touching.  We have pretty amazing people in our lives…thank you Brian, Erika, Mike, Martin, and all those at Jimmy’s who helped with this!  We love it!

As we move almost to the end of the holiday season, I am filled with so many different emotions.  A big part of me just would like to move to January 2013, where most of our ‘firsts’ are over with.  Anyone who has experienced a loss knows this – the ‘first birthday, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, etc.’.  I don’t know how much better the ‘2nds’ are, but I’m thinking that they can’t get any harder…We had a quiet Thanksgiving with just our family, mostly so if one of us fell apart, we would be here at home with each other to help us through it, but I think it was best to spend this holiday season with the kids.  Someone once said to us, “You know what is just as hard as having cancer?  Having a brother with cancer…”  I believe that is probably true.  My other kids have loved, prayed, and been okay to be quiet supporters in the background for the past 18 months, never complaining about being ignored, with their needs set aside until someone could get to them.  I believe it is time for them to know how much they matter in this family and how much their service mattered to Darren and I – and to Tyler.  I am so grateful for them and for the part each of them plays in our little family.

As we moved into December, I could feel the dread coming.  One of the family said, “It doesn’t feel like there is anything to celebrate this year.”  I get that on so many levels.  I put a Christmas CD in my car the other day – first one of the season.  When I climbed into the car after work and started the car, ‘Silent Night’ began playing with David Archuleta singing a most beautiful arrangement of it.  I felt transported back to last Christmas, listening to this same song, laying next to Tyler in the family room as he struggled to feel well one night.  The lights were off, all but the tree, and I laid next to him all night with the soft light of the Christmas tree, watching him, praying in my own ‘silent night’ that somehow we would get a Christmas miracle.  This year, listening in my car, I felt like my heart might explode into pieces, the pain was that real.  I sobbed all the way home.  It’s so crazy how music can transport one back instantly to another place and time.

So the comment, “It doesn’t feel like there is anything to celebrate this year” I understand.  But, as I thought about that comment through the evening, I realized that this Christmas, there is everything to celebrate.  Because of Christmas and the birth of the Savior, Tyler’s life, and life of each one of us doesn’t end here.  Because He was born and because He lived, we all will live too, not just on this earth, but forever.  We went to The Savior of the World last night at the LDS Conference Center.  It is a play on the birth and the life of Jesus Christ, but I was so focused on Mary, and how she must have felt.  It was a beautiful play with wonderful talents and I truly felt the Spirit as I watched it.  I know that Jesus Christ’s life and death was for my benefit and that because of it, our lives do not end here.  Because of this great plan of happiness, this Christmas means more to me than perhaps any other Christmas before.

Our family has decided that because this season will be hard and different anyway, we are only giving “Gifts of the Heart” – gifts that are of service, or that can help someone else.  I am hoping that the true reason for the season will stay with this family forever.  I am guilty of getting caught up in the commercialization of the holidays, and worrying about money, gifts, making sure everyone gets what they are wishing for.  I am hoping for a change of heart this Christmas for my family, and that they all understand what to truly celebrate this holiday season.

So, this leads me into the ‘Giving Tree’ part of this post.  If there are any looking for families to help this holiday season, I have found several very deserving families.  I watched a story on KSL a few weeks ago that broke my heart and I knew we had to help.  Watch this segment here.  I have contacted Ryan’s mother, and this family could truly use help for Christmas this year.  We will be giving a “Giving Tree” to Ryan on Monday, December 17th.  If you would like to donate to the tree, help assemble the tree, or help to deliver it, please contact me at  Ryan has an Xbox 360 that he was given.  He has a few games, but loves Lego games (such as Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, etc).  He wears a size 7-8 slim clothing.  He has a little sister who is four years old who wears size 4 clothing.  I will probably just put gift cards and cash on the tree, but if anyone would like to add to the donations, we would love to have them.  Thank you, as always, for your giving hearts.  If you cannot add to the tree this time, remember, that those who came to Tyler’s fundraiser in August have already helped to give to this family by attending that evening…you have given already!  Because of the success of that evening, we are able to do these trees.  We have five trees that will be delivered in December.  Thank you for helping to make those possible!

So, and I know this sounds so cliché, because I was on the other end of this post, but as you shop for those you love this Christmas, remember that the true gift of the season has already been given – the life of the Savior for each one of us.  Don’t get caught up in keeping up with what the world may say we need to do for Christmas.  Just love those around you and remember the true ‘Reason for the Season’!  Merry Christmas!