Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Colors of our Christmas

This month on the Sketchbook Challenge the theme is colors of the holidays. I have so many colors that come to mind during the holidays that I took some time to think about this one. At our sketchbook class we painted ornaments, our favorite ornaments. In years gone by I have had many ornament parties for my artistic friends. They had to handmake their ornaments, actually twelve of them. At the party we all got to talk about the technique we used to make our ornaments and then everyone is given a box to collect one of each handmade ornament and take them home. I have so many wonderful ornaments that each year when I take them out of their tissue paper I remember that person that made it and pray for them. It is a special time for me since many of these friends have moved away.

I thought that I would share something very personal and special to me this season. It is a memory that is bittersweet, brought to forefront by a special remembrance that I bring out every year. Some of you may not know this story, some of you do, please forgive me if this is redundant.
Back in July of 2000, Jennifer, our third child, and only a week away from her 24th birthday, was hit by a drunk driver. It devastated our family, it changed all of our lives forever. She was critically injured and there was little hope she would live, but she did. She fought to stay alive and we fought for her! That Christmas, in 2000, Jennifer was starting to come out of a 4 1/2 month coma, the holidays were going to be hard at best. My mom, hated that fact that Jennifer was still in the hospital for the holidays and wanted to make sure she had a tree. She got these three artificial trees, more of forest type trees that came wrapped in burlap. She put lights on the trees and filled it with things that were special to Jennifer. A dove at the top to signify hope, a praying mantis since she loved bugs and to give her something she loved, an ornament with her name and lights to help her feel festive, an angel because that is what she was to all of us and we knew she had an angel watching over her. This little tree was delivered to Jennifer in the hospital and we plugged it in and enjoyed that little piece of Christmas when we didn't feel like celebrating at all. It reminded us that we still had so much to be thankful for, Jennifer had survived and we were Thankful to have another Christmas together. 

That tree has been set up every year in her room, as I plug in the lights I think about that horrible year and then the blessing of her surviving, something that many people thought was not survivable. It sits in her room today, a gift from my mom, that will always be so appreciated. That year we even sent out Christmas Cards, we had to hold Jennifers head up for the picture but we sent them out with the fragrance of thanksgiving. So I guess for me, the color of Christmas is this painting of a little tree that was given in love, to celebrate a life saved. It is multicolored and full of hope and love and blessings. 
Today Jennifer is a walking testimony to God's Love and Mercy. Jennifer has been telling her story on her blog, from her point of view, with our help since she was in a coma for so many months. If you are interested in reading about her amazing journey you can do so by going to http;// and go to the bottom so you can start at the beginning. She is an inspiration and her story is powerful. It is a story of hope, forgiveness and survival! We hope this Christmas you will remember what is really important and hug someone close to you, there are no guarantees that you have tomorrow.

Our family Christmas Card 2000, we have much to be thankful for, what is your color of Christmas?


Jane LaFazio said...

I read a bit of your daughter's blog, dear Desiree. I send you love and strength. Let's get together in Janauary okay? Xoxox

Joan T said...

I love the story about the little tree! It is great that you still set up that tree. It stands to show the strength of Jen and all of your family in making it through that ordeal and coming out on the other side better and closer together than before. I admire all of you so much. Thank you for showing us that love can make things, even impossible things, happen! Wishing you and your gorgeous family all the blessings and joy that the holiday can bring!

Desiree Habicht said...

Thank you so much Jane, would love to get together.

Thanks Joan, Merry Christmas to you and your family too!

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