Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giving Back

Since my son's 2nd birthday in Heaven is quickly approaching, you might see more posts this month about him. As the mood strikes, I will write...but we will also be spending time as a family remembering Josiah, so it's possible I might not be around as much.


I'm always amazed at how quickly time goes by. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's came and went in the blink of an eye, and, for the most part, I feel the same about the past two years. So much has happened, yet I can clearly remember the events that took place the day Josiah was born, as well as the days leading up to his birthday. More on that in a later post...


Sometime in December, I was reminiscing about the love and care we received while in the hospital. We are so grateful to the hospital staff for all that they did for us and gave us (more on that later, too). One of the things sent home with us was the blanket that Josiah was wrapped in after he was born and cleaned up.


Many do not know the woman or the program that started this act of love and kindness. Stephanie Cole and her husband were expecting their first child, Madeline, in January 2007 when Madeline suddenly died in the womb, one week after Stephanie's due date. Out of this tragedy Stephanie started the Sweet Pea Project, which provides hospitals with blankets to give to bereaved parents, as well as a copy of Stephanie's book, Still.


Curt and I explained the Sweet Pea Project to the kiddos, who know full well all of the things we were given by the hospital after Josiah died. Danae and Caedon often look through the hair clippings, booties, blankets, pictures, and outfit, knowing their special nature and (at least for Danae) talking about the memories.


We barely had to explain that Stephanie Cole was having an art exhibit in January in honor of her daughter's 5th birthday, and that if you made a donation in December, Stephanie would write the name of the child you lost gave back to Jesus on a candle and have it brightly burning during the exhibit reception. Immediately the kids went to their piggy banks, selected their amounts, and put them together in an envelope, with Danae writing "For The Sweet Pea Project" on the outside. My, how my heart melted at their decision!




The reception was last Sunday, and while we didn't really choose our arrival time wisely (right after lunch, but on the cusp of naptime...which equates to being on the brink of a meltdown), we still spent some time look at the exhibit, meeting Stephanie, and seeing Josiah's candle, brightly burning next to so many other candles for babes who are in Heaven.


A piece in the exhibit, painted by Stephanie Cole

There's beauty in all of this, and there's beauty in being able to give back to something so meaningful and important.



(Yes, that would be Danae's middle finger - she wanted her red nail polish to show - and a lion sticker on my little boy's hand. It kept him slightly happy.) 


5 comments:

Kara Stoltzfus said...

My heart beats with yours, as we both continue to remember our sweet boys!
Thinking & praying for you this month!

Mrs.Rabe said...

My Emily makes Frakturs and made a birth certificate for a friend of hers who lost her baby at 5 months in the womb...the friend told her that the hospital only gave them a death certificate and Emily wanted to give her something to show that he had lived...

Deanna

Stephanie said...

I love that your children were so willing (and excited!) to use their own money for Josiah's candle. It melted my heart. I'm glad I got the chance to meet you, if only briefly, on Sunday. Thank you for allowing me the honor of including Josiah.

hooigracht 15 said...

Love this post... with the birthday of our boys approaching, i have been thinking of you and praying for you often these days. you and your family are so strong and special, beth. you are one in a million, and we love you!

Cousin Ruth said...

this is so touching, i don't even have words right now...