Details about our 2005 Tree...Dec. 3-11
2005's "Little Stars...Forever in our Hearts" Bear Topper
Chosen by Tamara White in memory of Ryan
Look for our Teddy Bear as you search for our tree...
Click on the small tree for an enlarged picture of SHARE Atlanta's Memorial Tree
Click on the small tree for our Festival of Tree's Story Picture Album
Our Festival of Tree's Tree ~ by SHARE Atlanta's Member's Collective Efforts...
SHARE Atlanta invites you to visit the World Congress Center, Exhibit Hall A, to see our beautiful "Little Stars...Forever in our Hearts" memorial tree! The committee, Allison Egger, Suzanne Chezem, Julie Franklin, Jennifer Nulty and Tammy White put together a beautiful theme with angel teddy bears, tiny star garland, twinkling lights, star and heart memento boxes and a beautiful star shaped tree skirt created by Tammy and her friend, Pam. The cream color fabric has tiny hearts embedded in it and the burgundy has tiny stars. Sharon Cryor provided us with the pretty gold, flowing fabric that we allowed to peek out from under our tree's skirt! Debra Mattis also joined us for our second workshop.
In the hall by the tree, that was bought with Kim Shiflett's donation, Tammy and I were joined by Debra Mattis, LaWanda Lee, Julie Franklin, and Coretta Monroe for the actual trimming of the tree on Tuesday. When the group started to add the many lovely ornaments given by our members (many from out of state), it was, once again, so moving to be part of this (I hope!) tradition.
We all agreed that once again, Julie's thought is true, "..each ornament represents much more than the child lost...it represents the love, hopes and dreams of the parents. It is a special tree, while full of sorrow, full of more love than anyone could fathom." And, this year's contributions will provide Neonatal Intensive Care Units for the Children's Healthcare System of Atlanta. Our love for our babies is carried on in our outreach.
Stars with Baby's Names...
This year, the committee decided to add a star for as many babies in our group as we could...each star is cream colored and tied on with a burgundy ribbon. And each reads...Baby Ryan, Baby Lliam, Baby ... to show that these little ones were indeed our "babies." If you look closely at our picture, you can see the tiny stars that hold the names. The written litany of our babies' names can be found at the Gingerbread House near our tree or online!
Click on the small tree to read what I wrote to the FOT's about our theme "Little Stars"
Click on the small tree to read our 2005 "Little Stars...Forever in our Hearts" Litany (pdf)
Send me your thoughts upon seeing "our" tree...
Can you believe that 100,000 people might "see" our tree! This is nice "pr" because our sign reads "Little Stars...Forever in our Hearts"..SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support. Any thoughts that you wish to share with me/us upon seeing our tree, I would gladly add to our site. We all love hearing them because it makes the effort even more meaningful! Please send me any pictures of you and the tree as well!!!
Two notes that were sent with two different ornaments...
From Nicole: "We are sending this precious angel ornament in honor of our sweet angel, Darcy Quinn Strickland, who was called Home on June 21, 2005. We felt a sense of peace when we found and bought the ornament. We bought a separate ornament for our own tree just like the one that will hang on the SHARE Atlanta tree! We plan to make this an annual tradition. We sent this ornament from Spartanburg, SC, and we sincerely hope we can get down to the Festival of Trees to see the beautiful memorial trees. We are also sending a poem." Nicole Strickland
"Your First Christmas" by Nicole Strickland (12/01/05)- for Nicole's poem and other Christmas and Holiday Thoughts...
Trisha Coronado's Note: "The cinnamon stars were made by my Brownie Troop #748 here in New Bern, NC. The bears (I was glad when I learned that was the theme) were inspired by my husband. While in the hospital, Ricardo had a teddy bear and was telling Valeria how lucky she was to have a 'Giant Teddy Bear.' That every baby dreams of having a teddy bear as big as they are. It was a very special memory, and I am glad to SHARE it with all of you!
A note: Our first ornaments were sent in from MaryBeth Nance in Maryland. MaryBeth's loss of, Mikaela Elizabeth, was one of my first stories on our website in 1997. She has remained a "long distance" friend, and I receive pictures and updates about her two subsequent children and her new love of being a doula. She sent 6 star ornaments in memory of her daughter and 5 other little ones. She touched me by sending a moon and star ornament in honor of my 3. Our friendships in SHARE Atlanta run long and from the near and far!
Directions to our tree:
As Tammy points out, "We are on the first 'street' corner about '1 block' from the front of the Build a Bear truck" Look for our Teddy Bear Topper and lots of twinkling lights and stars and Teddy Bears!!!!
Or...as you come in the Exhibit Hall A, our tree is on the far side of the Merry-Go-Round on the corner by a pretty lamppost...facing the Merry-Go-Round. It is right around the corner from the Compassionate Friend's tree (A grief support group for bereaved parents - more focused on those whose children were older - up to teen and adult losses. We actually trimmed our tree as they trimmed theirs! We have a "blurry" picture of us all..I am going to try to get Jayne's picture and post it.).
Link to the World Congress Center's website for information about time, location, directions, parking, Marta, etc.
Throughout our 21 years, SHARE Atlanta has been blessed with many giving and sharing parents and families. This years annual memorial service and candlelighting highlighted many poems, thoughts and feelings shared by our parents and their families. We had about 150 family members at the memorial service.
At our Women's Candlelighting, around 40 mothers, grandmothers, sisters and girlfriends joined together to light memorial candles as we remembered our special babies, and to express the hope of healing. Many shared beautiful and meaningful thoughts about what their baby meant to them. We also got a close up look at each others' Festival of Tree's ornament and many told how they chose or made the one they did! Finding these meanings is part of our collective healing.
Kelly Mishkoff and her friend, Jennifer, brought some of the SHARE Atlanta blankets and highlighted what the 4B's project has meant to those hospitals that have received our donation of blankets for bereaved families. Their story will be in our next newsletter. Kelly suggested that we need fleece or monies to buy fleece so the senior citizens can make more of these tiny blankets.
Several parents have donated some fleece for this purpose during the holiday season and two have shared that this is what a close relative is contributing to for the holidays.
Thank you for 21 years of "Caring and Sharing"
In closing, I wish to thank each of you for "sharing and caring" throughout the year. SHARE Atlanta is what it is because of what we do for each other. Without this outreach and support there would be no group. Collectively, we work to find ways to cope, support one another and ultimately to heal.
Healing is what happens as we work through the grieving process. It is what happens when we find meaning for our babies' presence. We know that our babies mean much to us and that we love them. When we extend our love and find the ultimate meaning then we make their presence in our lives safe and one we can always hold tenderly. Our babies would want us to remember them in love and tenderly...
May each of you find peace as you continue to heal and find your path of "what will be."
Have a blessed holiday season.Take care,
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