Shortly after having Grace, I was sitting in the hospital room when a nurse walked in with a box. It was a handmade box filled with little items. A little prayer printed on a sheet. Handmade crochet booties and hat. A small silver coin hand stamped with the word "Hope". Small blankets and other keepsakes.
I couldn't believe that people cared enough about someone they would never meet. A box decorated with love and each item in it thought out. With purpose to bless and to minister.
In those moments of despair and heart ache, having just delivered Grace, having held her and said goodbye, I held on to those pieces in that box like they were her, pieces of her. One of them was a little hand made crochet doll. It had been held up next to her, pictures taken with it, to show her tiny size. Reminders for me. Sweet mementos.
When I had Faith, I was given a box again. This one was different. Each box is. Each item prayed over and cared about. Which makes it even more special. That someone I would never meet, would care enough to put time and love into a box like this.
In Faiths box was a little pink bear, with angel wings and a small pink blanket attached. I told myself right there that I would have another girl one day and that I would give her this bear as her own. To hold and to love. To remember. Her sweet sister who came and went before her.
I have these boxes tucked away. High and out of reach. I have only gone through them a few times, simply because it's hard. But I will tell you that those boxes mean more to me than I could ever describe. I took out that little pink bear after we found out we were having another girl. A symbol of God's goodness and promise.
I held it each night along side Mia as I would rock her, feed her, sing to her. I would lay her down with it each night. Set it beside her. It made me smile to see it laying next to her.
3 or 4 months old, I walked in to check on her as she slept. As I peeked over the side of her crib, I saw her. Holding on to the little pink angel bear. She had reached out for it by herself and took it as her own. I smiled and I cried. My heart so full. From that day on, Mia holds that bear close. When she is sleepy. When she is happy. It is her favorite. And it is mine too.
Sweet mementos. They help us remember.
What I have learned above all is that a gesture so small can be so great. A group of women sit and they sew. They pray and they talk. They create these boxes for mommy's like me. Mom's who hold hope. ...Who lost life. They donate their time, money and life for a cause, so beautiful. Dr.'s and nurses, they have care and medicine, but God heals through love. Through people willing.
I wondered if they knew, what they did meant so much. I found the organization "Threads of Love." The ones who gave, who prayed and who cared.
I can think of no greater way to live out the sweet memories of my girls, than to give of myself to women in the same way. It has been my heart to connect with this organization for some time. It's become a burden on my heart to minister and to love mom's like myself. To offer hope and to offer love. God's love and the healing that comes with it.
October 15th is Infant Loss Remembrance day. I will be launching a project in collaboration with "Threads of Love" to make boxes for moms like myself. And maybe like you, or someone you know. To touch the hearts of women in the moments of their most difficult pain.
These boxes are hand made, and each item is donated. If you own a business that would like to donate items to these boxes please contact me. I will have a list of items on the day that we launch but feel free to email me with any ideas you might have. Businesses involved in the project will have buttons displayed on the sidebar of my blog for the span of the project.
It is my heart and my hope to reach out to these women and to give the same opportunity to as many of you as possible.
I also hope to hold a craft night event here in San Antonio for women to get together and decorate boxes. All of those details will be coming. There will be lots of ways to donate in different ways if it is your heart to do so. The project will go from Oct 15th to December 15th. Boxes will then be given to Threads of Love and distributed to different hospitals.
For now I am looking for someone who would be willing to design a button and graphics for the project. These will be used on all letter heads when contacting outside businesses and organizations and in spreading the word about the project.
If you would like to get involved in any way, please contact me at bitsofsplendor (at) yahoo (dot) com. I am looking for creative ideas, anyone with the "know how", as well as those willing to help me begin spreading the word now!
And most of all, please be in prayer as I step out in something I know is far bigger than myself. I know God desires to use me and to use you, to love and to heal through these sweet mementos.