Our family went to the Angel Watch Memorial held at this is the place heritage park. It is held at the pioneer children's cemetery. It is beautiful up there and the view of the valley is spectacular. We hit rain coming and were a little worried that it would be cancelled but, the rain was tempered and the skies cleared just in time for the memorial.
Here is the kids waiting on a bench for the memorial to start.
Here are the unmarked pioneer children's graves that were undug somewhere else in the valley but, were re-located here. It's a beautiful cemetery that has walkways and trees.
It even has a beautiful statue of christ in a gazebo with children sitting on his lap. So perfect for this location.
A group of angel watch fathers sang an original song written by one of the fathers. Then the microphone was passed around as we each lit our light in remembrance of our child that has passed away.
The lady seen in the picture with the red bag was one of the original angel watch families and she is the lady that makes the winnie bears in remembrance of her daughter winnie. We are so thankful to this lady that has given us a remembrance of Jacob by taking one of his blankets and lovingly sewing it into a teddy bear. We will always cherish our Jacob bear.
Then everyone went to the outside of the fence to plant daffodil bulbs in remembrance of their child.
Here we are planting our bulb in remembrance of Jacob.
We each planted a bulb in remembrance of our child. Here's Jacob's daffodil bulb!
It will be beautiful next spring to come and see them bloom!
Isaac by Jacob's daffodil bulb
My friend Brandi, planting her bulb for Aaron next to ours.
Ours is planted on the east side of the fence.
Here is Brandi and I with Abbie and Brooklyn. Brandi was so cute and wanted to hold Brooklyn. She said, "get a picture so I can show people that I DO hold babies and I will have proof." Oh so true. Life changes after you lose a child and little things mean a lot.
The elements clearing and the sun starting to peak through.
Such a peaceful serene statue. I love it because it reminds me of the simon dewey picture we used for Jacob's Funeral Program of a small boy with Jesus. That's how I picture Jacob....in the arms of Christ.
Here's Kay and I. I truly respect and love this woman. She is amazing and just a wonderful person! She helped us get through some really hard times but has become a dear friend as well.
This is Carolyn and I (and Abbie, of course). She is the lady that founded Angel Watch and I will be forever indebted to her for putting her passion into a program that is so selfless and giving! She has also become a dear friend.
Now for a more Personal Thought:
We get regular mailings from Angel Watch and we received one recently that I wanted to share part of it that really touched me.
Dear Reed and Cassy,
"During this past year and a half, you have been through a lot. Your little Jacob was your special angel child. As you know very well, you are a different person than you were before your child died. You have been wounded but not destroyed, devestated but not demolished by your loss. You have found the courage and the wherewithal to go on. Perhaps you have even found that life has new meaning for you.....you have found new understanding and wisdom that you could not have learned any other way. Though you feel that you would have gladly given all of this away for just one more minute with your child, hopefully you are on your way to a kind of reconciliation with this experience."
This letter really resonated with me. I feel like both Reed and I are different today than we were before Jacob coming to our family. I feel like I have learned so much. I am still learning. But now so much is different. I have learned things that never could have been learned another way. Reed and I have changed. We are still changing. We are better in some ways and still working through others. We have come closer together. I am grateful for all we have learned yet still know there is a peice of my heart that still greives for the child we will never see grow old. We have come so far and yet have so far to go.
I want to end this post with another small part of that letter. It is written more eloquently than I could ever write so I will end this post with this.
Building a "New Normal"
It is sort of like experiencing a forest fire.....
There has been a devestation that has been unthinkable- a loss so sublime that it has caused exquisite sorrow, reaching into the most tender parts of your heart.
Yet just like a forest fire, there is a scouring of the earth....a scourging of the soul that hoperfully has given you a knowledge and understanding that could have been gained in no other way. Just like in a fire, under the scorched, blackened earth there are buds of new growth. There is an opportunity for the stirring of the soul in increased faith and hope- with a renewed sense of appreciation and gratitude for life- as well as an acceptance of its fragility.