more precious than words can describe, more valuable than they'll ever know. When I thought that no one would remember, my thoughtful friend surprised me yet again. I came home over a week ago to find a decorated tree waiting for me on my front porch. Not only was it festively decorated and strung with clear lights, but it's "ornaments" were different Scripture references written out on strips of embossed paper, each adding its own comforting words. At the top of the tree near the bow a card read, "In memory of Claire Hoffman Misner We loved you too."
You see, my dear sweet friend had remembered that I wanted to start a Memory garden for my precious little Claire, Sarah Kate's twin who was lost at 20 weeks after inutero surgery. And on the anniversary of our loss, standing valiantly on my front porch was a living tree bearing words of encouragement and standing tall in an altered bucket that read "Emmanuel, God with us". When I thought no one would remember. We never really had a funeral, so there wasn't an event that would trigger people's memory. So, I thought we'd have to suffer the pain/loss all by ourselves. But no. My friend remembered, dedicated her time during a crazy holiday season, to think of us, to create a special keepsake for us, to let us know they really cared. I can't even begin to tell you how much that has meant to us.
The tree now stands in our dining room even though it's a live tree. We didn't want the rain or anything else to harm it's decoration. Eventually I'll plant it outside, but for now it stays lit in our home. Each time I pass it, I'm reminded that God has provided for us in ways unimaginable, has used the people in our lives to show us His graciousness and endless mercy. I'm simply reminded, as it reads, that "God is with us." What a comfort! What a gift!