Friday, December 26, 2008

Just What I Needed

For those present in our house when my sister and I were little or have ever seen our home videos, you may know that this was a common phrase. As I opened presents on Christmas morning, I would often excitedly exclaim, "Just what I needed!" And in an effort to be like her big sister, my sister Kate would do the same. Looking back at those videos, I must say it's quite charming.

This year I thought a lot about what I needed this Christmas. Like I mentioned earlier, I had trouble answering people when they asked me what I wanted or needed for Christmas. The truth is, I just wanted Isaac here... and yes, I would even go so far as to say that there's a part of me that feels like I need him here. I just miss him.

While Isaac wasn't here with us this Christmas, nor will he ever physically be until we're reunited with him in Heaven, there was a lot of ways that he was present with us this Christmas... and truthfully, I have my family to thank for that.

We started the morning at the cemetery, and while it was comforting to have a place to go to be "with" him, I just couldn't help but think, "I can't believe that this is where I will be spending each Christmas with my son..." I still don't think that realization has fully set in.

From the cemetery, we headed up to my mom's. She purchased two kids' Christmas books for us to have in memory of Isaac... my favorite one growing up (a scratch and sniff nonetheless!) and her favorite one growing up, entitled The Littlest Angel. There was also a beautiful little angel of rememberance pin and an angel ornament. My sister, Kate, and her husband, Tim, gave us a Christmas ball with pictures of them with Isaac in it, too. These things were so thoughtful and sweet.
We then headed over to my dad's house. My dad and stepmom also gave us a beautiful angel ornament for us to hang on our tree. We didn't set up a tree this year, but next year... next year we have a few ornaments that we'll be able to hang as we remember our sweet baby boy.

The part that moved me the most, though, was at my aunt's. Admitedly, I was a little nervous to be around so many people all day long. My extended family is a ton of fun to be with... always lots of laughs; but I just wasn't sure that I felt like laughing. It's been hard feeling like I want to celebrate when my heart is still so broken. And I wasn't sure if people would feel comfortable asking me about Isaac or not... it can just be a hard thing.

Anyhow, each year we do a stocking exchange that involves clues and guessing who gave each person's stocking to whom. It's a little confusing, and I am not sure that we all even understand the "rules." After the exchange was done, my aunt Janie announced that she had one more stocking to give. My heart started to pound... hard... when I realized what she was up to. She mentioned how much she wished that Isaac was here with us this Christmas, but that he would always be remembered. Inside the stocking were contributions from various family members towards Isaac's playground.

Needless to say, I just lost it... and the tears just started flowing. Tears of sadness because my sweet son isn't here and I wish so badly that he was; but also tears of gratitude that they remembered... that I got to hear Isaac's name on Christmas... it was just what I needed.

I wanted to leave you with just a few pictures from our day...

An ornament we made with Isaac's footprints and birth information thanks to the generosity of the String of Pearls ministry...





The Rochfort sibblings... my uncle Dick, aunt Janie, uncle Steve, and my Dad!
The gang... TOP left to right: my brother-in-law Tim, step-brother Brendan, cousin Emily, cousin Meghan, cousin Doug, Spencer; BOTTOM left to right: sister Kate, cousin Grace, me, cousin Annie; front and center: cousin Missy





Stockings galore...


Isaac's sweet little stocking...


Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer, for continuing to encourage us, and for continuing to walk with us. It's my hope that your Christmas will filled with love and peace as you celebrated our Savior's birth.

Our littlest angel....

28 comments:

Traci said...

Merry Christmas to all of you :) I love your precious ornament. Every Christmas since Zakk died we find an ornament *usually an angel* to place on the tree for him. He's got nine so far. I still find this tradition to be very healing. Now the kids are older and they love to be a part of picking it out. Rhys was just a baby when he died, so he has no memories of him, and he LOVES to help pick it out, it's a very important job to him.

Your family has so much love! You guys look like you were having a great time!

Never forgetting and always praying for you!

Traci

AmandaHoyt said...

Merry Christmas, Stacy.
My prayers are with you daily.
Hugs,
Amanda

Emma's Mommy said...

I pray you were able to get some joy out of the day yesterday. I have the same book "The Littlest Angel", and I love it.

As I continued to read your post, I was moved to tears by the generosity and the love your family showed you throughout the day. What a blessing.

Still praying!!!

Open your Eyes. said...

Just beautiful! x.

Anonymous said...

Your family is so full of love, so glad your Christmas was full of memories of Isaac!
Alicia

Ang said...

I am so grateful that your family included your precious son in your Christmas this year. I am sure such a caring family will for years to come! I was moved to tears the entire time I read your post.

Devon Rene said...

oh sweetie, it sounds like a beautiful day, considering...i know it wasnt a "good" day but it was a day filled with lots of good.

so glad that your sweet isaac was talked about and remembered. its an amazing gift others can give us.

love you and praying for you always...

Lucky said...

I recently returned to the PL board due to my 3rd loss and I came across your blog. I am floored by your and your husband's strength and faith. Your son is absolutely beautiful. You are an amazing family. The three of you will be in my prayers.

mikeandmonica said...

Merry Christmas - I just wanted to let you know that we're still praying for you!

Brooke said...

I am so pleased to hear that your family was able to be so supportive and sensative to your needs during this time of difficulty. I will continue to pray for you. Merry Christmas and I hope that God has many wonderful things planned for you in the new year.

Angela said...

That stocking is so very sweet. I'm glad that you will always have it. I'm sorry this was such a hard Christmas for you. I'm sorry that your heart is broken. Thank you for staying true to the Lord when all that is within you just wants to scream out. And it's okay to scream out at times. He's always there no matter what. Hugs and prayers,
Angela

Julie said...

Merry Christmas, Stacy and Spencer. I was in tears reading today's post - how special of your family to remember Isaac in such a special way. When I lost my twins, it was in January and it was still hard that following Christmas and wanting others to remember. I'm so glad you had those moments.

Thinking of Isaac...as I do each day. I know we've never met, but your little boy has touched my heart.

I hope you are able to relax some on your trip.

Hugs and prayers!

Susan said...

It sounds like it was EXACTLY what you needed...the love of family!

The stocking was so extremely thoughtful...your extended family sounds a lot like mine!

Glad that your day had some happy moments...

Courtney said...

Hello -

I have been following your blog since the end of September. I pray for you each night and think of you often, hoping you are finding peace. Your story has touched me deeply and I wanted to let you know how much of an impact you have had. Although your holidays weren't what you had planned for or wanted, I am so glad you were able to find joy amongst the heartache. I will continue to pray for you all and send you warm thoughts of comfort and peace.

Taylor said...

I've been meaning to come and leave a comment for some time... but have been away from the computer visiting family. I just want you to know that I still think about you and pray for you. Because we were out of town, we didn't get to visit Nathan's grave on Christmas morning, but we did go on our way out of town. It seems so wrong and so surreal. A "reality" that I never had envisioned. We WILL see our boys again. We will celebrate Christmas in the arms of our Savior right with our babies. Praying for you... and that ornament with Isaac's little footprints is absolutely precious!

Jen said...

I am so glad that those who surrounded you on Christmas remembered Isaac in person, as those of us who don't know you personally would have loved to on Christmas. What thoughtful and sacred gifts they gave in honor of such a sweet blessed boy who has such wonderful earthly parents. I know that Isaac had the best Christmas celebration ever yesterday, being held by the arms of our Savior. May God continue to bless you and Spencer, and the rest of your family- as year after year you stop to remember and commemorate his short, but oh so meaningful and powerful life. You are still in my prayers.

Jen in California

Nicole said...

Wishing you peace over this season...your story brought tears to my eyes...I'm so glad you were able to make memories in honor of Isaac for Christmas.

I'm also glad to know that I wasn't the only one dreading being with large groups of people celebrating the holiday.

Praying for a peaceful weekend for you.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

So beautiful, Stacy...I'm so glad your family was so loving and supportive....that you were able to remember your sweet baby Isaac together. When our Faith and Grace passed away, we received many Christmas ornaments in their memory. We still hang them every year and I'm so grateful to have these ornaments along with ornaments to remember our Thomas and my mother to add to our family memories every year. So glad to hear your Christmas time with your loved ones was precious...and just what you needed.

Continuing to pray the Lord's blessings and comfort for you and Spencer...

Kelly

Our Life in Pixels said...

I found this and I thought of you.

My First Christmas In Heaven

I am having my first Christmas in Heaven
A glorious, wonderful day!
I am standing with saints of all ages,
Who found Christ, the truth and the way

I am singing with the heavenly choir
I- who so loved to sing!
And, oh what celestial music
We bring to our Savior and King

I am singing the glad song of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came,
And why they called His name Jesus,
That all may be saved through His Name!

Oh, loved one, I wish you could be here!
No Christmas on earth can compare,
With all of the rapture in glory,
I witness in Heaven so fair!

You know how I always loved Christmas,
It seemed such a wonderful day,
With all of my loved ones around me,
We were so happy in every way.

Yes, now I can see why I loved it,
And, oh what a joy it will be,
When all of my loved ones are with me,
To share all the glories I see!

So, dear ones on earth, I send greetings,
Look up! Til dawning appears,
And, oh what a Christmas awaits us,
Beyond all our partings and tears!

erin w. said...

thanks for sharing about your christmas day. what a special way to honor isaac.

rebecca said...

What a wonderful family you have! You are still in my prayers. God Bless!

Laura said...

I love seeing Isaac's ornament....so thankful your family included Isaac in Christmas. You are doing an amazing job to be sure he is never forgotten.

I know I will never forget sweet Isaac.

Love to you,
Laura

aprilnandy said...

I "stumbled" across your blog last Friday and I know it was not by chance. Your story is truly that of the grace of our Lord. It is remarkable to see you both trusting in the Lord during the most tragic time of your lives thus far. He WILL carry you through. Keep the faith, He will honor your love, trust and obedience to Him in miraculous ways.

Your fellow sister,
April

Alexandra's Mommy said...

I am glad you got just what you needed on Christmas day! It sounds like you have an amazing family and an amazing aunt!

We are still thinking about you!!

Anonymous said...

Stacy,

You and your family are nothing less than amazing, although I undertand you would rather be just average.

Your blog broke my heart, and I'm not sure how I found it other than led by God. I lost my mother when I was five months pregnant with my first child, her first grandchild. She was also my best friend. We buried her on October 7, 2007

She died within two weeks of being diagnosed with non smoking lung cancer that had spread through out her lungs and liver. I think up to this point I have been just plain angry at God for taking my mother when I thought I needed her most.

I think Isaac and your relationship with him and with God has moved me past that anger stage.

So thank you for publicizing your grief, and for sharing Isaac's fight with the world. My mother had that same fight for two weeks that your angel had for 9 months and 16 beautiful minutes.

Chelsea Pang said...

I sewed a stocking for my baby too. I really loved the material but the skill in construction left a lot to be desired! I asked my family to put letters to her to hold in the stocking. I needed some way to include her, our first Christmas with her memory.

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

I just happened to come across your site. What amazing faith and perseverence you and your husband have. Here I sit at work, trying to prevent the tears from falling while reading your post. What a challenging, yet very special Christmas you got to experience. It must be so hard for you and your family but please know that I will lift you up to the Lord when I think of you!

As a sister in Christ, know that you are loved! I can't wait to see Isaac someday too!

~Becky