This week, three and a half years after we said hello and goodbye to Ella, a friend sent me a small package. Inside was a note that said "remembering your precious child with you this holiday season" And there, wrapped in tissue paper, was a small wooden Christmas ornament with Ella's name and birth date burned into it. I wanted to sit down right were I was and just stare at this piece with her name on it. This gift was precious to me for so many reasons. First, there are very few times I will ever get to see Ella's name in print. She won't have her name on coloring pictures or school work. I won't be filling out doctors forms or even signing her name on birthday cards. But when I do see her name written down, it always give me pause. It reminds me- she was here, even if for just the blink of an eye.
Second, I love that I have friends who are so sweet and kind to think of me. We didn't just go through the horrible grief and shock of her death. Three years seems so short yet so long. It gives me comfort to know that others remember her too and she has not been "forgotten".
Lastly, I am so thankful that because of this gift and a few others I have bought or made, Ella has a place in our Christmas celebrations. She has four ornaments that proudly go on our tree every year. My kids smile and oh and ah, when I pull them out and each asks to put them on the tree "in a special place mom!". So far decorating our tree each year has been a time where I stop and let a few tears go thinking of the little one who isn't here with us. But I am proud to honor her and proud to think of her as I look at her ornaments nestled in with the ones for my children here with me now. I am grateful that she is not forgotten.