Friday, October 31, 2008

Branson's 1st Halloween


Rob and I have talked a lot about how the holidays, especially this first year, will feel incomplete and lonely. As we listened to General Conference this October, we felt impressed with the message to find joy in our journey, even when the journey isn't easy. We knew that ultimately we had two choices: We could let these holidays be filled with anger, sadness, and empty memories...or we could be human and let it hurt, but still fill these holidays with treasured memories. We have decided that we would like to try and find an appropriate balance in our efforts to remember our son, keep his spirit alive, and allow ourselves to mourn our separation from him...but to also allow ourselves to feel the joy that comes from celebrating. We have a great desire to start some new family traditions this year that can be carried on throughout time as we welcome new members to our eternal family and teach them about their older brother.
We know that Branson especially would want us to find and share this joy in the journey. I'm sure that he knows how much his mom and dad enjoy decorating and preparing for holidays, and how much we looked forward to spending all the "firsts" with him...the 1st Christmas, the first Thanksgiving, the 1st Birthday, and the first fireworks show.
Well, tonight would have been Branson's first Halloween. This is just one of the many nights we had "dreamed" about spending with our son. Had Branson been with us tonight we would have dressed him up, carved pumpkins with him, and taken him around to friends and neighbors homes to show him off. However, since he's not with us...what could we do to make this "first" memorable and special to us?
Every time we went somewhere we would keep an eye out for just the right thing to help us face this difficult hurdle, something that would help us create a memory, a tradition that we could share with our future children. One afternoon while shopping, we found this adorable little pumpkin man. It was originally just the stand without the head. When we saw this, we immediately new that this would be the perfect thing. It just screamed "Branson" to us.
So tonight, we started a new family tradition, a tradition that will be carried on for many years to come. A tradition that we believe has the power to help us remember Branson, and still enjoy the festivities of the season. We bought one of those artificial, carvable pumpkins, and tonight we spent time carving this pumpkin for our little guy...didn't it turn out cute?
I can't think of any better way to spend our time tonight, the time we would have spent trick-or-treating with him. Time spent with my awesome husband and Branson's daddy, creating a physical reresentation of the love we have for our son. From now on, each year when we decorate, we'll pull out our little pumpkin man and remember Branson's first Halloween.
Happy Halloween buddy...we love you!

3 comments:

The Hammonds said...

Nat,
That pumpkin is so beautifull. I did not even realize that you all carved it. Thank you so much for keeping peyton and shareing Branson's swing with him. It was funny when we were saying our bedtime prayers last night and I said "Thank Branson for us Jesus for sharing his swing", Peyton let out the biggest Coo and smiled so big. They say that babies can see angels very easy because how pure they are. I think withough a Doubt they do because Paxton seems to know my Mamaw when I show him pictures and she passed befor he was even born. Anyway point being I know without a doubt that Branson is a angel. So maybe that look out in to what I thought was nothing was something to him. He just might have been thanking Branson all by himself!

L. Smith said...

That was a sweet idea for Branson. We think of you both so often!

Gordon and Jackie said...

Perfect, absolutely perfect!! Of course you know me and that I cried all the way through this posing as I read it. But it's perfect and what a wonderful idea and how lucky Branson is to have you for his parents! Love, Mom