If you are visiting for the first time, this post is part of the series “12 Days of Christmas With You in Heaven”. To learn more about this series, please click here. Today Candice shares a beautiful tradition she carries on in her son’s memory.
I married into a family tradition where my husband’s family would go to Frankenmuth, Michigan each year (a Bavarian styled village), eat at the famous Zehnders Restaurant and then go to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland where each family member would purchase one ornament that signified that year. It is a wonderful tradition! When you look at your Christmas tree a flood of memories come back as you remember the events and circumstances that are tied with each ornament.
Six years ago, our second child, Jack Forrest, was born in the town of Bethlehem. The same Bethlehem that Jesus was born in over 2000 years ago. He was born in the Holy Family Hospital not a mile from where Jesus was historically born. A short seven weeks later he passed away from a very sudden and tragic accident. It is beyond words to describe the pain and sorrow I went through in losing a child. Yet there are so many beautiful things that happened after that event that aided in my healing.
Four months later we were back in the United States to celebrate Christmas with family. We did the traditional Christmas trip to Frankenmuth. I planned on getting an ornament for Jack. This would be his one and only ornament that would encompass his short but beautiful life. Nothing moved me. Nothing could give me the depth that I was looking for. Then my husband came back with a gorgeous green glittered pinecone ornament. The tag on it said this, “The Tradition of the Pinecone – Because they withstood the cold of winter, evergreen trees were regarded as symbols of eternal life.” That was it… his ornament would remind me that he is not gone forever.
So each Christmas I hang that most treasured ornament in a prominent place on our Christmas tree in remembrance of Jack Forrest. Oddly enough, before this, we had planted a small pine tree at his grave. I had done this because of his name, but there is so much more of a significance now.
There are a million craft ideas for pinecone ornaments… this may be a great way for you and your family to hang something on your tree to remember your beautiful child! Although our precious Jack is gone, each Christmas his glittering pinecone ornament reminds me that there is hope after death and that Jack is safe with God the father. I miss him dearly but soon I will again hold him in my arms.