A few weeks ago, I was shopping with a friend for a family we had adopted for Christmas. We walked into Hallmark to see if we could find any devotional books for the mother, and that's when I saw it.
A book called "My Little Angel."
I picked it up and began to read it. And I began to cry.
It's about a little girl who has her very own angel. The angel goes with her wherever she goes. She plays with her and helps her when she's scared or sad.
And the best part? It came with a small angel that you could take out of the book and play with.
I knew, right then, that I had to buy it for Ann Catherine.
I brought it home and showed it to Chris and he said I had to buy one for Lily Baker, too. I did.
We didn't want the books to get lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day, so Chris and I told the girls we had a gift for them to open today (Christmas Eve).
When they opened their books, Ann Catherine cried out, "Melissa!"
Then she hugged me and said, "Mommy, this is the most special gift I've ever been given."
And she meant it.
A few moments later, I found her in her bed with her angel. She was calling her Melissa and talking to her.
My prayer is that this precious angel helps my children as they come to terms with their sister - who she is and where she is.
Ann Catherine said she was going to take her everywhere she goes.
Which is appropriate, because she already does take Melissa everywhere she goes - in her heart.
Later in the evening, we attended Christmas Eve services at church and then came home to my parents' house. Ally and Will read the Christmas story for us, the grandkids put on their hilarious Christmas program (which they had been planning/practicing for two days) and then the grandchildren each opened one gift to hold them over until Christmas morning.
Our Christmas Eve message was called "Hope Alive" and was so appropriate for us. I hurt during this time of year because I miss Melissa so much, but I have hope thanks to the baby who was born all those years ago in Bethlehem. That hope sustains me during the hard times. How wonderful to have that kind of hope!
Merry Christmas to you all!