When remembering is the beginning of healing <3

We are continuing our packing and purging here at the Reimer house.

An interesting holiday season, to be sure.

As I have gone through papers and pictures and kids/parents treasures…my heart has been on a roller coaster of emotions.

Some things make me laugh and some bring such tears.

And that is is life on planet earth, isn’t it?

A mixture of tears and laughter…and often both mixed together in a messy glob.

This very day marks the 8 year anniversary when my own mom defeated death as she passed from this temporal life into the arms of her Savior, covered by HIs blood…His treasure reclaimed.

That first year without having a mother existing somewhere was a strange one.

I remember grief would come from the most unexpected places but as the calendar rolled around to December, I would have said I was feeling closure on the whole healing process.

And then I got a letter from the church she had attended for her time here in Central Illinois.

She had found a home at the Presbyterian church in Mt Zion and so they considered her one of their own.

They invited me that first Christmas to participate in their “Memorial Tree” ….

which meant I could select some ornament that represented my mom and bring it to hang on their tree.

I am not a big one for this kind of thing.

Group participation is not my style…and I blame it on a mixture of rebellious and reclusive tendencies in my natural self.

I am not proud of this…just honest.

But I am also a rule follower, so felt compelled to answer the call and thus I purchased an ornament for the tree in the lobby of the church my mom had called home for five years.

The day I dropped it off, I thought I could just give it to the secretary and slip out.

But, no.

She directed me to the front lobby so that I could hang it on the tree.

I was not prepared for the experience in the least.

At the top of the stairs just outside the door to the sanctuary was a tree laden with ornaments.

All manner of themes were there and I realized how much each one represented the grief of the ones who had stood in the same place where I now stood…

reaching out to find a branch to hang this ornament that, in the smallest of  ways, attempted to capture who my mom was to me.

Grief and healing….both mixed in an odd way…flooded my heart as I had a tangible way to express that someone who had meant so much to me….and I probably never ever expressed it to her at all the way I should have…had left a big hole in the sphere of our lives with her passage to glory.

The experience and opportunity impacted me and I have longed to offer the same to others.

This year, our class room at FCC will host a little memory tree and we are inviting anyone who would like to express a sense of loss of any kind to bring an ornament by and hang it on the tree.

Perhaps you lost a loved one…perhaps you have watched a dream die…or are mourning the end of a relationship…we invite you to bring some kind of ornament that represents your particular loss and add it to the tree.

When you do, remember….Jesus Christ also hung on a tree…to rescue us from the sin and sorrow, the betrayals and failures that befall all humans since the fall.

Let this be a time of acknowledging your grief and allowing Jesus to bear it for you…

and then, our class prayer for you will be, let the healing begin <3

You can hang your ornament on our Memorial Tree any time in Room 201 during regular weekend worship services.

If you come in during the week, please stop in the office and let them know you are headed up to the room.

You can pick up your ornament after January 1st. Any unclaimed ornaments will be donated to NLPC thrift shop after that date <3

I realize some who read this do not live in this area or attend our church. May I suggest you find some way to replicate the idea on your own? I pray you find a sweet release wherever you are <3

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  1. I cry every year as I take out the ornaments the girls made so many years ago. Same as you the memories come flooding back. I think back to when they made them and wonder where the years went. This year was so different. I wasn’t even going to put a tree up, but decided I probably should and almost each ornament brought tears as they all represent mama. Many years back she ordered the gold ornaments from the Bradford exchange, and we would chat about which ones were our favorites as we hung them on the tree. No chatting this year. Just tears and an occasional smile as I thought back of the memories that each one brought. I know she is in a much better place and pain free, but some days that doesn’t help the emptiness I feel in my heart.
    So thankful for you and so many others at FCC that are walking with me in this craziness called life.

    1. I hear you girl. In our home as a child, hanging the ornaments was a big thing for me. I loved pulling them out and remembering what each one represented. Tears <3

  2. A great blog. I lost my Dad in 1999. But many years before that he started to leave us in a number of ways. I loved my Dad very much. He now resides in Heaven, PTL! Thankfully, I still have my Mom. She has been a wonderful model of Christ as I have gone through a number of very hard and grief striking times in my life. She is 87 years old. I am so thankful and blessed to still have her on this earth. But I know her days are numbered, as are all of ours. I’ve said it before, but I am thankful.

    1. Oh Connie <3 Thank you for sharing your heart. We truly do become more and more aware of how temporal this life is the older we get. I know you treasure each day with your mom and may the Lord bless you with tender mercies this Christmas season <3

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