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Debbie Wiley – MOMS Founder 

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Creating new traditions

I know everyone is feeling the pressure of the holiday season approaching and I would like to know of any suggestions that will help ease the pain somehow.Possibly a new tradition to start in our angels honor.Nicky's gravesite is visited by me at least once a week.His headstone won't be till hopefully Christmas but I planted a garden where he is buried complete with pictures and statues of dogs and animals.The groundskeepers kept taking the angels and statues away but I kept replacing them so they gave up.Three rows in front of Nicky there were also beautiful arrangements in front of one of the graves.One day I decided to go over to it hearing my Nicky chiding you're so nosey mom.I bent down to look at the name and low and behold this grave was also a Nicky,but the kicker was he was born in 1983 same as my Nicky.He died in 04,My Nicky 08.Well I went home thinking this family is also in so much pain,I will write them a note to express my sorrow at their loss.I told them that even though our children were gone it was nice to see their beauty live on if not for anything but a beautiful garden.I wrqpped the note in plastic and left it amongnst the flowers.Next week I went up with one of Nicky's friends and when I left for awhile to replace some plants,Nickys friend said the family came to visit their son's grave and he gave him their phone number.I was elated that we connected.I called and the mother cried so much that I thought enough of her to write she told me how much my note meant to her and her husband.Her son was not murdered but died during a freak work accident.Her pain was just as real.I thought perhaps that for Thanksgiving I would buy a bunch of yellow roses( I think that means friendship)from Nicky and a bunch of red roses for the moms (from me) and stick a small note in there saying thought of your son or daughter today and we're praying for you.I would go around to maybe the section that he is in and look for the young angels who died too soon no matter how they died.I know I am happiest when someone thinks to mention my son's name or a new entry on his guest book.It sustains me somehow.If you have any suggestions please reply as this is what keeps me going.At his funeral there were so many people who wanted to be pall beares and read but there weren't enough things to go around or time.At his luncheon (because they wouldn't let me release balloons at his gravesite) I had 100 balloons and a table set up with cards to attach to the balloons so his friends could all write something to him,everyone felt like they didn't get to say goodbye and wanted to be a part of his day.The only regret I had was there weren't enough balloons so his friends wrote several messages on one card.They were all so happy scrambling to write messages of undying friendship.It was beautiful the site of so many balloons at once being released.God Bless and Lots of Hugs Barb/Nicky's MOM

Re: Creating new traditions

It sounds as if you already have a head start on new and beautiful traditions.
Wes was a hunter and gatherer so for Thanksging we have a very tradional meal, Hickory nut dressing,wild turkey or venison brought to us by one of his or our friends and we always set a place for him, I give thanks that I had such a wonderful sweet soul in my life for 20 years. I give thanks that my friends except the fact that after six years I still miss my son and that he will always be with us.I give thamks that my husband knows how much I miss Wes and supports my feelings.
I have found a lot of things to be thankful for and the rest of it I just let ride for the holidays.

Re: Creating new traditions

Dear Kayt
I just went on Wes's site.He was gorgeous what beautiful hair!!!!!!He really sounded like his years here were to the fullest.How proud you must be of him,such a little adventurer and wise beyond his years.I think God takes the happy ones,would you want to be around a bunch of grumps,no you would want back what was given to us on loan,God missed him,and said it's My turn!! Nice to see you set a place for him and everyone is involved in trying to get through the holidays as much as could be expected.I'm trying to light candles and get on the calendar but I guess I'm doing something wrong.God Bless and Keep you Hugs your way.Barb/Nicky's MOM

Re: Creating new traditions

For Thanksgiving our family always had the tradition of writing each other letters of what we are thankful for about that person. They were placed at the persons place at the table and we would read them after prayer and before we ate. I still have the ones Kaylin wrote me every year. I could not bear to think of not writing her note this year, so we have decided that there will always be a place set for her and we will now write letters to her to tell her how thankful we were to have her in our lives. Then after dinner we will attach them to a helium balloon and "send them to heaven" to her. I don't think we will continue the family sleep out in the living room unless my son wants to. if he does we will continue for him. We are also making a donation to Feed the Children in her memory. I have thought briefly of Christmas but for now I am concentrating more on how to get through Thanksgiving first. Traditions were so important to her too. I don't want to stop doing something that meant so much for her, but I know it will be hard now. She will always be included though. it is just not a holiday without her and she will always have a place in them.

When my mom died, that first Christmas without her, I bought some rose shaped lights. My mom collected roses. I just bought one strand and I put them on the tree every year. I put the one strand because that is my way of including her memory in our Christmas. I never see roses that I don't think of her and seeing those roses staying lit up through the blinking lights around gives me a symbolic sense that she is there.

Re: Creating new traditions

Well I did a small garden at his grave site too, and I try and decorate it each holiday. I also did a small garden out back my yard. I have a little angel fairy and I put his name on the fence with little wooden letters I got from a craft store, and then planted daffidels all over boy they went crazy over the summer. I will do that again come spring. I want to plant what they call a "butterfly bush" it's supposed to track all kinds of butterflies. I wasn't able to find them this past spring, but hopefully next one I will. I am having a hard time thinking about the holidays. I normally have half my shopping done. I've done nothing. I don't even have anything yet for Thanksgiving. but it will be me and my one son. My other son is still away and Ihaven't gotten to see him yet. It hurts me so bad, he has missed last Christmas and Timmy's b/d alone. and then again will miss this year, 2 Christmas' without 2 of my boys. My God I can't believe it already, I just can't even think about it. I will still make him a cake as I did every year. Timmy's b/d is New Year's Eve, he would have been 17 this year. I take it with me where I will go if I go anywhere that is. I usually spend with one of my friends and a few other people we sing happy birthday even when Timmy was alive I'd take a cake and we'd sing to him and he loved it. I also got a tatoo on my shoulder with his name. Just small things to keep him with me all the time.

I was thinking maybe in the future of doing something different to ease my pain but can't think of what that is. Last year one thing I did do is Timmy was a part of the Boys & Girls Club so I donated a football and basketball (2 of his favorite sports) and wrapped them real nice and put Timmy's picture on it and took it there and asked the director to give to who he felt was most deserving or a kid who may not have much to get at Christmas. I will do this again this year, I am going to try and do it every year, donate some toys and wrap them up for the kids.

God Bless
Timmy's mom

Re: Creating new traditions