Monday, December 31, 2007

Our Katie tree

Before the holiday season completely passes by, I wanted to write about our Christmas tree, also known around our house as our "Katie tree." You'll see why...

Long before we ever actually started ttc, we knew we wanted a little girl, and that we wanted to call her Katie. Christmas 1986, the second one that we were married, I gave dh this Hallmark ornament of a little girl angel, swinging on a star (below) -- which was called "Katybeth" (!!) -- with a note saying, "I'm afraid this is the only Katie we can afford this year." He hangs it on the tree every year. How did I, could I know then that this would be the only Katie we'd have for Christmas, ever?

After Katie was stillborn in August 1998, I knew I wanted to find a special Christmas ornament for her. At a Christmas craft bazaar that November, I saw this Boyds Bears teddy bear angel & knew I had to have it for her:

That year, we also attended our pregnancy loss support group's memorial candlelighting evening, where I found this stained glass ornament & had her name written on it (I also bought ones for my mother & grandmother):

We were also invited to take home a pair of beautiful handknit baby booties from the Christmas tree at the event (made by bereaved grandmothers specially for the event). In the years since then, I've amassed quite a collection of booties, hand-crocheted snowflakes & other keepsakes from the annual candlelighting ceremony (we also take home the candles we've lit). I sometimes wonder what people might think if they visited our home to see a Christmas tree covered in baby booties (but I really don't care):

I have several of these red felt miniature stockings. One hangs on the tree; another decorates Katie's niche at the cemetery every year, along with a festive sprig:

Over the years, I've amassed quite a collection of teddy bear angels (many of them Beanie Babies). A few of the smaller ones hang on the tree, along with the original Boyds Bear teddy angel. The others sit around the tree on the floor, like an honour guard. (There are usually very few presents actually under the tree, as we always go to my parents' for the holidays -- & I'm usually not organized enough to have anything wrapped in advance anyway, lol.)

These are just a few of the ornaments that make up Katie's tree. I also have a substantial collection of Classic Pooh ornaments, which are not shown here. They're meaningful because Katie's nursery theme was supposed to have been Classic Pooh.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I love the Katie tree! Recently I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that I will have no living children. I have a precious son who died during labour and I am grateful for being blessed with him for even such a short time.
    While looking for advice and clarity on moving forward, I came across your blog. I think I was drawn to your blog because you're also from Ontario. Thank you for sharing your stories as I know that it's not easy. You are courageous and you can never know how many people you help. I don't think it's crazy or obsessive to still think about this many years later. I do know that it doesn't seem to ever get less painful...I just get better at coping.
    Many thanks!