Today's ornaments again come from my mom's tree. The sparkle comes from the love that my mom has for these ornaments, for they were either owned or handcrafted by my late sister. I know these ornaments hold a special place in my mom's heart and there's a melancholy that looms when she places them on her tree each year.
My sister possessed an incredible talent for crosstitching.....everything from large wall hangings (which I have one) to tiny treasures like the ornaments below.
And then there's this ornament below, which belonged to her. I believe it was one that my mom took from her house after she died. I remember the year that my sister got this ornament. It was my A's first Christmas....and everyone got a special ornament that year from my sister. This was the one that she got for herself.
When I look at images like this and think about the memories of when these ornaments came to belong to our family, I'm flooded with emotions of all kinds.
Mostly I think about how, even after all this time, I still long to have her here to experience a holiday season. I imagine what it would be like with her, how our relationship might be, what we would talk about, I think about her child(ren) and what they would be like, how we would all fill my mom's house with noise and laughter and mayhem during our family gathering. I think about how it would be for my mom to have more than seven grandchildren filling up her lap and her heart. I think about how it would be for my sister to see how my oldest daughter has turned out - how she's at UGA and about to finish up her first quarter. I'd love for her to see how beautiful all three of my daughters are and experience how much of a sense of humor M has. She never got to meet M - or perhaps she did and I just wasn't aware of it - because she died 7 weeks before M was born. I'd love for her to see our new home and what we've done with it, I'd love for her to be able to tease me about marrying my highschool band director.....but I know that she'd be happy that I've moved away from my previous life and into something so loving and joy-producing.
Recently Karla shared with us the ornaments that she hung in Ava's memory - and my heart tingled with grief and empathy at what she is going through. As beautiful as these ornaments are and as special of places that they hold - they will never be able to replace the person that they represent. All we have are the ornaments and the precious memories that sparkle in our hearts. And they do sparkle.....love lights the way.
If you haven't accepted the invitation to participate in Operation Spread the Sparkle - I hope you will. It isn't that complicated and you aren't committing your first born...you're just sharing some ornaments or decorations from your home or area and spreading the sparkle. So far only two people have agreed to participate....I hope we'll have more soon.
To learn more about Operation Spread the Sparkle, click here.