The year of 2001 was a tough year for us.
I was extremely sick and pregnant with the twins.
We were working hard but struggling financially.
We had just moved down to Lehi into a little place the kids nicknamed 'the stuck together house'.
It was an old rundown duplex, definitely not our favorite home,
but we were doing the best we could.
I was still traveling up to Bountiful to work
and our time, energy and resources were all stretched to the max.
We were happy, we had a beautiful family to be thankful for.
We were grateful to have a place to live, we loved our jobs, and enjoyed each others company -
But life was hard.
In late March, my body could no longer handle being pregnant,
and after a scary life flight helicopter ride, our miraculous babies were born.
They were tiny and fragile and 3 months early.
If we thought we were stretched before, we were wrong.
Life had much more stretching in store for us.
The month of May stretched our hearts to the breaking point,
when our beautiful baby girl returned home to her loving Heavenly Father.
The sorrow was unbearable.
I don't think you ever fully recover from losing a child.
Your whole world has been completely overturned and will never be the same,
yet all around you the rest of the world doesn't stop, life continues on.
Life for us also had to continue on.
We had four little kids and a new preemie baby to care for.
We somehow needed to work to provide for them
and try to keep their world as 'normal' as possible.
It was hard!
When Christmas rolled around that year,
I didn't have much left to give - mentally, emotionally or financially.
Somehow one of my dear clients found out we didn't have a Christmas tree.
She and her daughter presented a darling little, lightly snow frosted tree to me
after their nail appointment. Along with it, they gave me tiny knitted mittens to hang on it.
It was perfect, exactly what my family needed.
One night after work, a week or so later, I headed out to my car to drive home.
I opened the door to get in and much to my surprise, my car was filled with food.
The seats were stacked to the ceiling with bags of groceries.
No one ever confessed, (although I have an idea),
nor do I know how they knew we had very little on our pantry shelves,
but I will ever be grateful for their thoughtful kind deed.
Over the years, little by little, I have added many different ornaments to the 'Memory Tree'.
The following year I bought gingerbread cookie cutters and tied them on with twine,
and the next I added rustic bells.
The children's handmade ornaments have been added each year also.
I love this tree!
It represents all that is good in this world.
Although over the years we have added other trees to our home,
this little tree will always stay-
for it represents the true meaning of Christmas...
I know that there are angels here on earth.
I've been blessed to have seen them.
I've known them, I've worked with them, I've received from them,
I've lived by them, I've loved them,
and I've sent one home.
May your December be filled with Memories, Angels and Love.