CHRISTMAS BOX ANGEL REMEMBRANCE SERVICE DECEMBER 2, 2007
Fellow Travelers who attend the annual Christmas Box Angel Remembrance Service:
Emma King, Carroll Helm, Opal Upton,
Jim Taylor, Leann Butler, Brenda Gayle Caddell, Marlene Sharp, Jean Pilant,
We began the evening by reading an email I had received from Angela Wilkins. It read "Do you remember the 'miracle' I experienced with The Christmas Box Angel? Gary and I visited you October of 2004, and saw the statue of the Christmas Box Angel. Two months later when we got out Christmas decorations, I found the box of Christmas books not located since we moved, November, 2001. Saw The Christmas Box Angel boo, and decided to re-read it, since I'd seen your statue. Opened it up and WOW - found 7 pictures of Kyle (mostly Christmas) during last year of his life, and his last Christmas. I probably wouldn't have opened that book (at least not so quickly) if I hadn't seen your statue. How I cherish those statues, especially at Christmas. Love you, Angela." The Christmas Box Angels have given many "miracles" to us all.
We lit our individual candles and then lit the 3 candles of Faith, Hope and Love. The Faith that carries us through and the Faith that we will see our children again. The Hope that we will have a better tomorrow (Hope is also engraved on the wing of the angel), and the Love we have for our children and each other. Three white roses were also laid on the base of the statue represented Faith, Hope and Love.
We each read the following poem, substituting their child's name where the poem reads "Jim":
Candle Light of Love and Remembrance
Jim, can you see our candle light
Burning bright tonight?
Can you see our expressions of love
From the brightness of the light?
All of our Joining In Memory children
That left us much too soon,
Can you see our candle light
As it reflects from us to the moon?
Around the world each parent burns a light
From one end of our planet to the other.
The candle light is to remind all
That we are grieving fathers and mothers.
As we gather around the Christmas Box Angel
And light a candle on the ninth of December
To tell everyone around the world that
We won’t forget…we will always remember.
We came into our home and placed a picture of our child on the Remembrance Tree and each was give a bell to remind us of what was said in "It's a Wonderful Life" that each time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets its wings. The angel at the top of the tree has "Hope" written on it.
(Ironically, later when I was talking about Young Jim and he being an angel, a candle I had lit behind a stained glass angel dropped one wing and then the other, but neither wings broke. The week before, I had had that candle burning for 4-5 hours and nothing had happened. But that night it had only been lit for less than an hour. Hmmm, wonder if Young Jim has earned his wings or not? Maybe he still has things to do in heaven before he does?)
An advent wreath was used with the fifth candle in the middle.
"As we light these five candles in honor of you, our children, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories and one for our love and one for our hope."
Each person was give a copy of the following:
This candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
This candle represents our courage - to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, and to change our lives.
This candle is in your memory - the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, and the caring and joy you gave us.
This candle is the light of love. As we enter this holiday season, day by day, we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us.
And this candle is the light of hope. It reminds us of love and memories of you that are ours forever. May the glow of the flame be our source of hopefulness now and forever. We love you."
Everyone was reminded to light a candle on Sunday, December 9, at 7:00pm. The candles will be lighted at 7pm in every time zone in memory of all children who have died, producing a wave of light that will encircle the earth. As candles burn down in one time zone, it becomes 7pm in another, creating a virtual 24 hour memorial.
After these ceremonies, we had supper and enjoyed sharing our children with each other.
We want to thank Luther and Rosemary Smith for the Christmas Box angel and David and Marika Wilkinson for the pedestal on which the angel stands.