"Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day."
President Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beautiful Socks...

I have not shared this part of the story with most people. It came up tonight in conversation, so I realized it was such a blessing that I would share it with you and you might have a glimpse into those days, and the peace that was given to us.

After Amberlee's viewing (which I thought was absolutely perfect with the ribbons and flowers and just everything)...Kyle and I had a very special moment.

Most everyone was gone...and the funeral director decided that we wrap up. We were really unsure of what we should do at that point but she was gracious and guided us every step of the way. She began by asking us if we wanted to take one more look...and we did...we took what remained of Amberlee in and she looked beautiful in her dress. Then Jennifer kindly asked, "Would you like to hold her?"...This was a very awkward question. Of course we did but questions flew through my mind...was it allowed?...how would that feel?...what is Kyle thinking? So Jennifer gently picked her up...with as much respect as one would pick up any sleeping infant...and she gently handed my baby to me. It felt amazingly comfortable holding Amberlee, and even talking about it now warms my heart.

Shortly after I held her I handed her to Kyle. Our Sister In Law was taking pictures to help us remember these very special moments. Jennifer then suggested we walk to a room for privacy so we carried her into this little room, and Jennifer laid out a beautiful blanket and we laid Amberlee on it. Then Jennifer gently said, "You know what...I am a ditz...I forgot to put her socks on?" I was like...what...you forgot to put her socks on...weren't YOU supposed to dress her...of course I said this in my mind and not out loud. Jennifer asked if we would like to do it...and following her guidance we said sure. She handed me this beautiful pair of socks that we purchased for Amberlee...and we proceeded to dress our daughter for the very last time.

About then is when I knew it was a setup. As I laughed to myself I realized that it was inspired ...and that there may be something to Jennifer's suggestions. I unpackaged these beautiful socks and I found Amberlee's perfect little foot hidden beneath her princess dress. I still remember how chubby and soft her foot was. I almost didn't want to cover it...I wanted to stand there holding her foot and never pass into the very end of her life when we would not be able to see her again. I smoothly slid the sock over her foot, and I noticed the sock was wrinkled...what amazes me still today is that I had to straighten it a couple of times. Even when my baby was no longer alive...I still felt the need to make everything perfect for her...I still wanted her socks to warm her chubby little feet and not be wrinkled over them. After I was done...Kyle took the other sock and did the same thing with the same feelings. However slight this seems...it felt enormous...and it stands as one of the most significant memories of my life.

We are forever grateful for this slight experience that shapes how we view the last few days with our daughter. We were blessed by Jennifer's presence and her gentle guidance through something that would most likely be a nightmare...but she managed to make it a peaceful memory that blesses us even today. As we look back...we think that all of the services were simply perfect...and we could not ask for more support than we were given for those days when we needed it the most.

Sleep well sweet Princessa...until one day...when we meet again with pure happiness surrounding us, for eternity.

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