Marcia's Update about the 2004 Candlelighting in her home
Candle light is bright with hope, love, and peace
and memories of our special babies...
The Warm Flame of Memory and Love
We light our candles in memory of our baby’s life knowing that we will never forget their presence in our life’s journey. Let the flame remind us of the love we feel for them; a love that must carry us as we continue down our path. Tonight we share our pain, our memories and our love as we reach out to find peace and hope along our walk. We are here to remember…how special these babies are and how they will be...Forever in Our Hearts.
Over fifty women joined us
We had more than 50 wonderful women celebrate the memory of our babies at our candlelighting on Wednesday. Once again, as Pam Renner said years ago, the "dark" corner (like the corner of our grieving hearts) where the "SHARE Atlanta" table rests became bright with the flickering light - full of hope and peace by the end of the evening (as many of our own heart were so filled). As in the nineteen candlelightings of the past, our babies were remembered, honored and loved as each candle was lit. Mothers, friends, and relatives shared names, memories, and "gifts" that the presence of this special person in their life has brought.
As the women lit their memorial candles, they shared memories and the "gifts" of their babies...
The gifts were many: compassion, the gift of suffering that brings understanding and humbleness; spirituality; the love found in motherhood/parenthood; learning that our ability to have children should never be taken for granted; deep, lasting, and supportive friendships; outreach and support; appreciation for the blessings that we have; patience; appreciation of the simple and often unseen part of each day; exploration of self; joy, peace, and hope...
We had uplifting fellowship and a table laiden with all kinds of delicious food! Cindy, once again, brought her wonderful family and friends - her sister Mandy, two grandmothers (Pat and Julia), and Helen and, her daughter and Cindy's childhood friend, Angie! Magan brought five generations (as her baby's great grandmother proudly stated!) and beautiful, loving pictures of William who was born at 15 weeks. Nikecia brought her cousin, and we had several grandmothers present. Some moms brought their friends who gently expressed how their friendship had endured and grown. Some shared for the first time about their own loss - even if the loss had occurred many years ago.
There were a lot of hugs of support and loving smiles of encouragement and understanding. You could hear voices of pain released to expressions of peace even happiness as comfort was shared and pain was understood and supported.
As everyone departed, she received a rose and a copy of The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. Our angel is based on that story.
Moms become very creative as they begin to heal
and choose lovely candles for their babies
Many lit the little white candles they received at our Memorial Service...
You can see the painting that Mary Morgan, a SHARE Atlanta mom, made of our angel. She is also the person who did the sketch found on our brouchure.
Thoughts by some of those who joined us
From Alyse Jones:
"Just want to thank you for once again for opening up your home for such a beautiful and meaningful candlelighting ceremony. And I want you to know that your home (especially that sitting room) will always be a special place of warmth and comfort to me.
Also, it really did my heart very much good to hear Magan's story and especially to see those photos of her little teeny tiny baby being being cared for in such a loving manner. Although vicarious, it has been a very good, very healing thing for me. It is strange how the mind and heart work. And by the way, I finally do understand what you mean by "gifts" and by the love staying after the sharpness of the pain has left. I am amazed that some women seem to understand so soon."
Mandy, Cindy Ivey's sister...
"Thank you for having all of us in your home. It will always be our "special" time with Lacey. I come to the ceremony as a way of expressing my love for Lacey since she is not here with us physically.
Thank you for all that you do for the lost babies, their families and most especially their mothers."
Karen Verner's thoughts:
From the Candlelighting: Jonathan's gifts to me are the Peace in my heart that he is nestled safely in God's arms, Joy in being his Mom and Hope for a bright future.
Also I read on my daily angel calendar today for Thanksgiving day and it sounded like it might apply here: "Candles melt away as they are used. We often feel we are the same-burning up, burning out, burning down. What we must remember, though, is how we light the room of this world in the time allotted to us." When I read this today, it kind of reminded me of all the candles burning together the other night.
"The candlelight ceremony meant so much to me. It was such a nice way to remember my babies. I thought a lot about what gifts our children have given us on the way home. I realized the biggest gift for me was that my babies chose my husband and I to be their parents. That is the greatest gift they could have given us."
Some of the mementos on the sharing table...
As the theme of this year's Memorial and Candlelighting Service expresses...our babies will be "forever in our hearts.
Know we are thinking of you during this holiday season..Marcia
copyright(c)SHARE Atlanta '04