Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This tree is a special new Kenyon family holiday tradition. It's very small, as you can see, and is decorated with tiny star ornaments. This holiday season, we will invite friends and family who visit to take one of these ornaments and remember Will as they hang it on their own tree at home.

Last Christmas, of course, we had our own special memory of Will in the arrival of his brother Edward, who we still think of as Will's gift to us. We look forward to this simple tradition as a powerful and tangible way to include Will in our family holiday celebration.

We got this idea at the NICU memorial service we attended in the fall from a couple who spoke about the tragic loss of their two sons, both victims of the same rare genetic disorder that meant they each lived less than two years. Their story was both heartbreaking and inspiring, as they spoke of their boys as if they'd hardly been gone a day, let alone eight and ten years.

As we move further and further from those 12 weeks of Will's life, we'll have more people in our lives who weren't with us through it all and who don't "know" Will. I still cringe when someone asks how many children we have or if Edward is our only child. The answer to that question is too complicated and too personal for casual conversation with new acquaintances, but how can I answer "One" or "Yes"? It may sound strange, but in a way, the tree can help us with this complex, emotional conundrum. Anyone who is close enough to spend holiday time as a guest in our home should know our whole family.


Anonymous Kelly said...

What a wonderful way to share the memory of sweet Will with everyone.
Merry Christmas!

10:04 PM  

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