Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our First Christmas & Remembering..

Our first Christmas without Amber.  This has been the most difficult holiday season in my life.  I have had many trials in my 50 years on this earth.  My mother passed away a few days before I gave birth to Jennifer 28 years ago.  My dad passed away the day after Christmas last year.  Amber was diagnosed at the age of 10 with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.  Having to purchase and let Amber decide on the color of a wheelchair knowing she would be confined to it the rest of her life.  My husband being unemployed for about 2 years and we oftened wondered how we would pay the bills and pay health insurance. Jennifer was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2000 during her first year of college and was very ill.  My family endured my own health crisis in 2001 after complications from surgery, developing ARDS and spending 3 weeks on a ventilator in ICU wondering if I would live.
I believe the good Lord let me live to care for Amber because He knew she needed me.
But this has been the most trying time of my life.  I have spent many hours crying over the loss of Amber.  I miss her so much.  I do know one thing she is looking down on me as I write this.  She is spending her First Christmas in Heaven.

My girls - Christmas 2007
Amber has on her "Believe" tee shirt with a snow angel!  How appropriate for such a sweet girl!

As I mentioned in a previous post I did not know whether I would decorate for Christmas this year. Jennifer reminded me of how much Amber loved for me to decorate for Christmas each year and she would be disappointed if I did not even put up a tree.  So I pulled the decorations out of the basement.


I wanted to make a heavenly scene near our front door for Amber.  I found a poem "First Christmas in Heaven" at a craft show and gathered some of Amber's favorite things.  She purchased the little snow houses with the snowmen last year and I added some gold sheer fabric with white lights.


The picture is of her dressed for her senior prom in high school.  The poem is framed and in the middle for everyone to read.


And the Reason for the Season nativity scene under my cloche with an "A" ornament I placed in front with angel wings on each side.


I placed an angel, a feather tree and her baby shoes in her wheelchair along with a special Precious Moments throw she gave me many years ago.  I can't part with the wheelchair just yet. I can still smell her on it.


I also put her tree in her bedroom as she would have wanted..  It is decorated with snow angels, stars and snowflakes.  I light her Yankee Candle every night.  She always had a candle burning in her bedroom. 


I want to thank Becky from http://sweetcottagedreams.blogspot.com/
She sent me this beautiful card along with the Faith ornament below.  Her precious son Jordan also went to Heaven this year.  Oh how they must be celebrating!  Can you imagine spending Christmas with our Lord and Saviour!
That has to be a wonderful party :)


I have the faith ornament on my tree.  I will always remember it's special meaning.  Thank you Becky.  I know your pain along with other bloggers who have lost children this year.
If you haven't told your loved ones today you love them - take a minute and let them know they are loved.  Just 3 simple words - "I Love You".

Have a Merry Christmas!
Blessings and Hugs,
Donna




13 comments:

Jan said...

What a beautiful post Donna and your decorations are gorgeous. Amber would be so proud of you for going forward w/all the decorating in spite of the sorrow that has flooded your heart. It's hard to comprehend the lost of a child ... they are supposed to live on way after we leave this Earth; and I'm so sorry that your Amber our Micki didn't. God obviously had other plans for our precious girls; and as we celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior, I pray that the thoughts of Amber celebrating in Heaven will bring peace to your heart and warmth to your soul. When I think about Micki in Heaven, it truly brings a smile to my face; and that my dear is what I wish for you and your family :) Merry Christmas.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I can't even begin to know how this feels -- I can only hope that as you go through this season of celebration that there are moments of joy and peace. Thank you for sharing this touching tribute in honor of Amber -- your love pours out with every thoughtful way you've remembered her with your decorating. The picture of your girls is beautiful. Wishing you many blessings for the new year and healing of your broken heart -- Faith is what gets us through the darkness and guides us toward the light of everlasting love -- I believe that and I know that you do to. God Bless you and your family and may you feel His love every moment of this Christmas and everyday.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

(((hugs)))
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Glenda

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Dear Donna,

Your beautiful decorations for your daughter are so touching. You have found such a lovely way to honor Amber and the Christmas season. I imagine that she is joyfully looking down from heaven at the tribute you have created for her and your family. May God grant you peace as you celebrate Christmas this year.

Blessings to you and Merry Christmas!
Janelle

Miriam said...

Merry Christmas Donna.

((hugs))

My Mum and my son are together in Heaven for Christmas too.

from our front porch... said...

Wishing you and your family much peace this Christmas. How blessed you were to have Amber, and she, you!
God Bless.
Love, Misha

erin said...

dear sweet donna, i know this time for you is very difficult and challenging. no words can help your feelings of loss. just know that you are being thought my dear...
merry christmas
erin

debbie said...

DEAR DONNA,
I PRAYED FOR YOU YESTERDAY AND I KNOW AMBER WAS VERY PROUD OF YOU AND THE BEAUTIFUL WAY YOU DECORATED FOR CHRISTMAS. EVERYTHING SO VERY PRETTY INCLUDING HER BEAUTIFUL WHEELCHAIR....I PRAISE GOD SHE NO LONGER NEEDS THAT CHAIR AND SHE IS WALKING, RUNNING, AND DANCING PAIN FREE IN HEAVEN WITH ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN WHO SPENT THEIR FIRST YEAR IN CHRISTMAS. IT IS US, THE ONES LEFT BEHIND THAT HAVE BROKEN HEARTS.
LOVE TO YOU MY FRIEND
ANGEL HUGS
DEBBIE

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

How awfully hard it must be for you this season, Donna. Even harder than what I've been going through, I know. But I know it's a comfort to you, as it is to me, to know that Amber spent Christmas with Jesus this year. What a celebration that must have been. I've thought of you often this week and you've bee in my prayers. God bless you and your family.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Good morning Donna, I can't even imagine how this feels. My thoughts, prayers and hugs go out to you during this trying time in your life. Your angels are beautiful, the most beautiful of all is your darling Amber, I know she watches over you each day and will soon give you peace and understanding. If there is one thing we know she sits with our Heavenly Father. many many hugs my dear friend..
~lynne~

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Donna I now your sweet daughter is looking down on you this holiday season with a smile on her face. That was very nice all the stuff you wrote about her. She would be proud of you for decorating. I can't imagine how a mother would feel. It must be awful. But you have to know she is in a better place. No place better than heaven right??
Hugs
Sharon

Allyson said...

Donna, what a sweet tribute to Amber. I'm sure she was thrilled to know you decorated with such love and consideration. My heart goes out to you. I love your faith in Christ and the knowledge that Amber is now with Him. Blessings to you and your family this year.

Jen in NY said...

{{hugs}} Donna...lots and lots of hugs. Your Christmas decorations are just lovely and so meaningful. Thinking of you!