Amanda shared this poem on her blog. She received it in a Christmas card from the funeral home that did precious Caroline's funeral. How true!
"Around the Christmas table
there's an empty chair this year....
The precious smile is missing
of someone we still hold dear.
And yet our hearts are hopeful,
though the season's bittersweet,
Because we know the one we love
has filled another seat.
For another banquet table
abounds with joy and love
For those who've made the journey
to be with our Lord above. "
I remember very well sitting down to eat at the kitchen table for the first time after Janie Beth passed away, and I kept looking at the empty chair. That empty chair had so much meaning now! That chair now has a booster seat reclined in it for Joy Michelle, but I wonder what Janie Beth would look like in it sitting upright, and having a high chair in the corner.
Memories are hard! My memories are not as vivid anymore of my time with Janie Beth. I am so thankful that I wrote in her journal so that I can be refreshed of what we did each day. I can't remember the feel of her anymore, and my arms still ache to hold her little body even as they are filled with Joy Michelle's small body. I wonder just how tall Janie Beth might have been at Christmas time, and I know she would have been darn cute!
Memories are hard to make too. I was talking with some friends a couple weeks ago, and I said that I am still having trouble baking things. I just can't bring myself to do things from scratch very often, esp right now with the holidays. My precious friend said that it would be hard because it would be making memories. How true!! I hadn't thought of it like that. Part of my problem is we are making memories and she isn't here. Why baking is my issue, I do not know, but I know it will slowly come back. I have started baking some lately with pre-done mixes. Hey, it is a start!
I make memories with the kids, but all the while I am picturing what it might be like if Janie Beth was here too. When I am in the girls room, I picture her little self in there. It makes me smile as well as tear up. Then, I try to picture what she must be doing in Heaven, and I realize that it is better than I can even begin to picture! Change the perspective! (I seem to have to do this quite often. :))
There were so many dreams of the memories we would make with Janie Beth; little did we know what shape thoses memories would take.
We were reading "The Legend of the Three Trees" this morning. (A book you must have!) It talks of three different trees God created and what their dreams were.
One dreams of being a treasure chest holding beautiful things. It becomes a manger, holding the best treasure ever, Jesus.
Another dreams of being an elite ship carrying kings and queens. It becomes a small ship that carries Jesus and the disciples across the sea.
The last dreams of always staying on the moutaintop to remind people of God's creation. It becomes a cross that will forever remind people of God and what He did for us.
The last page in the story goes like this...
Each of the three trees' dreams came true-- in ways even bigger than they had imagined! And so it is with each of us: if we follow God's path, we will travel far beyong even our greatest dreams.
WOW! That is all I can say! God speaks to me even through a children's book. :)