Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thankful for Support

Everything is different now.  At our baby shower, guests wrote little notes and bits of advice on baby feet.  We found the box that kept these notes a few weeks after we lost Obie.  One said, "Things will be different, not necessarily better."  Tragic, but undeniably true.

The love and support we've been given from friends and family is very much appreciated.  It's a very unnatural emotional state for us.  The notes and gifts we've received make us smile, and knowing our son has touched others has real meaning.  Even so, no amount of love, support, gifts, or memories can make it better.  Just as a hug doesn't make you less hungry, none of this makes us miss Obie less.  That's not to say we want any of it to stop or that we're at all suggesting to leave the bereaved alone.  Quite the contrary.

We were surprised by gifts given to us to memorialize Obie.  Having physical things we can see and touch has been helpful.  These came from unexpected places and continue to bring us comfort.
  • House divided blanket, made with love specifically for Obie
  • Holiday ornaments with Obie's name, prints, or picture
  • Hand and foot print ceramic ornament
  • Necklace for Elizabeth, with Obie's initial and birthstone (she wears it every day)
  • Another necklace, with a noble bear along with Obie's birthstone
  • Picture frames, scrapbooking stuff, and albums
  • Stepping stone to remember Obie
  • Mickey Mouse ears, with Obie's name embroidered
  • Stuffed "Obearon" bear
  • Suncatcher made with Obie's birthstone colors and a bear
Things with Oberon's name make us smile, even when we are sad.  So much so, that we started a gallery for these!

Two gifts we received were things we would have never thought to do, and are so grateful someone did.
  • Elizabeth's college dance team friends (Katie, Ashley, Bec, Sarah, and Tina) sent a frame with a very special matting.  The mat is decorated with words from Elizabeth's letter to Obie.  It took us a minute to realize that the words were so personal, and so specifically for Obie.  
  • Our good friend Rachel sent us a gift basket filled with love (in the form of yellow things).  She wrote that she looked up Obie's birthstone and that it brings light into the lives of those who work with it.  We latched onto it and are now in love with all things yellow.  A yellow candle burns on our table when we're home, Elizabeth's nails have been yellow for weeks, and pieces of citrine were sent to Obie's grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

We also are thankful for those who provided us with food when we were in no shape to take care of ourselves.  It's still rough and we're not very frugal or as healthy, but we're appreciative for the help we got in the beginning.  Help from local friends dropping off food, Elizabeth's coworkers sending food, and far-away friends sending gift cards made our diets much better than they otherwise would have been.

As we've said before, donations make all of us smile.  The mail brings us a smile when we see a thank you letter from one of Obie's favorite charities - FNIH, NORD, NILMDTS, and JW House.  We're tracking the Obie donations we know of and hope to continue doing so.  So thank you, Rev. Sherry, Christina & Chris, Aunt Jan & Uncle Art, Angela, Erin & Nathan, Sherrie & Melissa, Rebecca & Jeremiah, Obie's Aunt Megan, Jenna, Aunt Sandy & Uncle Larry, Sarah & Mike, Beth, Matt, Janine, Rachele, Jared & Suzy, Julie & Greg, Liz & Bean, Nicole, Janice & Frank, Jenny & Tony, Anne & Brad, Joanna, Tina, Mary, Steve & Jeanne, Jessica & Dan, Myra & Jeff, Justin & Karen, Victoria, Ann & Matt, Katie, Obie's Grandma and Grandpa Fiorani, Lynda, Robyn & Mike, Marilyn, Cindi, Jessica, and Chris's colleagues.  And thank you to those donated in honor of Obie that we haven't been notified of.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Donations make Obie smile!

We have wonderful people in our life.  We know that.  And until now, we've always felt unbelievably lucky.  Now we feel both lucky and cursed.  Thankful and furious.  Comforted and depressed.  It's complicated.

And as selfish as it is to say, we hope the love doesn't stop coming.  We need all the little smiles we can get right now.

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