Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Dear Stevie,
Well, as expected, Christmas was hard. But, as has been the case with a lot of things since you died, the anticipation of event was worse than the event itself. I have spent so much time dreading December 25th, but by the time it actually rolled around, it wasn't quite as horrible as I had imagined it might be. I'm convinced there is only one reason for that: the wonderful people in my life.

I was so afraid that no one was going to remember you this Christmas, but boy was I wrong. There were cards, there were letters, and there were all these beautiful ornaments, which each made spending Christmas without you just a tiny bit easier:

 From Leanne

 From Erin (along with other items on my "Christmas List," like red wine and lots of Kleenex :)

 From Andrea

 From Amanda

 From Amanda and Stephanie (this one opens up like a locket, and your name is engraved inside)

 From Grandma Cook (Dad's mom)

From Vicki (Kara's mom)

As we were driving home on Christmas Day night, I was staring out the window into the dark, the lights from the passing cars all a blur through silent tears, when John Mayer's 'The Heart of Life' starting playing. I hadn't heard the song in years, but my iPod was set on shuffle, and it could not have picked a better song for me to hear in that moment. Here are some of the lyrics:

I hate to see you cry
Lying there in that position
There's things you need to hear
So turn off your tears
And listen

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Isn't it the truth? In the midst of unimaginable pain, there's unfathomable love. Love that has the power to  pick us up off the ground and get us through things we'd never thought we'd have the strength to survive. 

The cards, letters, and gifts in the mail from loved ones and strangers alike. The text Christmas morning from a best friend simply saying, 'I'm thinking of you today. I love you.' The mother-in-law who hung up a little stocking, just for you in her home. The mom who told me, in a typed-up letter, how badly she wished there was a present she could buy me that would bring me back my joy. The dad who picked out sushi, and hummus, and peach salsa, and all the rest of my favorite foods for our Christmas Eve feast. 

These are the things that convince me that life, deep down, underneath all the pain and sadness and sorrow, is good. 

I know it's good.



PS. As I logged into Blogger to type up this post, a strange thing happened: I saw my dear friend, Tiffany, wrote a post about the same song earlier today! I love how this random song from four years ago has touched us both, and at the same time. If you haven't already, you really must read her story and follow her blog. Tiffany's four-month-old son, Julius (a little boy with the biggest smile I've ever seen), passed away from SIDS in October, and her honesty, grace, and strength are incredibly inspiring. Xoxo


delaney's mom said...

i love that ornament with the locket. it looks so beautiful. do you know where it's from? i'd love one for my little girl

DeniFay said...

All of your gifts are so beautiful! How great it is to be showered with such love when you feel such pain! Family and friends do make the hardest times less hard! :)

Lori said...

I am so glad you had so much love and remembrance shown...I totally agree in that even when our hearts hurt, there's so much power in the love and support of others!!! Sending you more love! xoxoxo

Tiffany said...

o kristin, those gifts are so wonderful. it seems like you definitely are surrounded by loving people. and thank you for posting the chorus to that john mayer song on fb the other day. it has captured my heart ever since. and of course i can never thank you enough for mentioning my little boy and his wonderful smile. i miss that smile so much every day. :') ♥ to you, and your precious Stevie!

MamaE said...

Check out the Willow Tree figurine called "Remember." I have been collecting them for a few years - just to signify important events in my life. I recently saw "Remember" at a store and immediately bought it for myself for Christmas! My little Noah passed in Feb a few years ago, so I am coming up on a hard time too. Glad you found a tiny bit of joy this season.

Mattie said...

What beautiful ornaments to remember Stevie!

rebecca said...

It definitely has been the kindness and compassion of everyone surrounding us that allowed us to survive these last six months. You so eloquently said it, without that unfathomable love I don't know where we would be. Glad you have felt the love of so many surrounding you, the ornaments are beautiful!
Tiffany is such an incredible person, I'm so thankful to call her one of my closest real life friends, I'm just so sorry that this is one of the many things we now have in common.
Sending lots of love to you, hoping that 2011 holds more happiness than you've ever known ((hugs))

The Great Elephant Symposium said...

Stevie's ornaments are so pretty! I'm glad you had so many loved one's remember little Stevie :)

Jessica said...

I have NEVER heard that song before but I can totally see why it touched you so. Glad that Christmas was better than expected! <3

Ausmerican Housewife said...

Oh good! We've been keeping an eye out for when you'd get your ornament! :D I'm glad you like it. Mom's liking this supporting mothers and grandmothers with a memorable personalized ornament to remember our babies.

Caroline said...

Everything is so beautiful !!! Sending you {{HUGS}} and Love !!

Maggie said...

Oh wow, it's so special so many people remembered your Stevie. XOXO

Rhiannon said...

I love all of the beautiful remembrances for your Stevie. It is so nice to be surrounded by so much love and to know so many are standing here, right beside you. ((hugs))

Melissa said...

I heard that song on my trip back to New Orleans too...Continuum is a great cd for a season like this...

glad to hear everything is going well -


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