Clinton Township, MI:
It was just over a year ago that my husband
and I found out that our second child had
a chormosome defect known as Trisomy 18.
This is fatal to anyone who has it. The
chances of our little girl even being born
alive were 40%. If she made it through
a live birth, more than likely she would die
within the first 5 days of her life. There
was only a 5-10% chance that if she made
the live birth that she would live until
she was one. This devistated my family.
Here it was coming upon a season of
Thanksgiving and also the spirit of
Christmas and we had little to be joyful
about. Instead of dreaming how different
our family would be in a year at these times,
enjoying the last time of these holidays as
a family of three, we were planning on
where to bury our daughter, where
to have her funeral, and playing the
"waiting" game to see what would
happen with her.
My husband and I were wondering at
this time, "How can we afford a funeral
when we are just living pay check to pay
check?" We were making ends meet, but
it was rough. It was overwhelming to me,
but I had to remain calm because I wanted
our daughter to have a fighting chance at
life and I couldn't get too stressed out. It
was the Sunday before Christmas. My
husband, son and I were coming
home from church and Sunday School.
We were pulling around to our condo
and I noticed that there was a package
by our front door. After we got upstairs
to our condo (we live on the second floor
one), I asked my husband to go downstairs
to get the package. When my husband came
back upstairs with the package, he was
grubbling that it was heavy and probably
a candle that we would never use that the
neighbors left us. It was right after lunch
and I just put our son down for a nap when
I decided to look in the bag. I am not a big
fan of candles so I was in no hurry to open
the bag. Curiosity got the best of me. I went
and pulled the tissue away and I gasped. I
asked my husband if he actually looked into
the bag to see the candle. He told me no he
hadn't. I told him to come over to the bag.
He came slowly, asking me if it was a scent
that I would like. I told him to open it up and
take it out of the bag. When he looked in the
bag his eyes got really big. He took out this
large Mason jar full of coins, mostly silver,
and we could see bills tucked in here and
there. I started crying. He was just amazed.
We opened the rest of the present and there
was the book, The Christmas Jars, in the bag
also. I sat down and started reading it right
away. We didn't open the jar until later that
night. We were afraid to!
After we put our son to bed, we decided
to open the jar. I had finished the book
by this time and had told my husband
the meaning behind it. Of course we
searched the gift bag, tissue paper, jar,
book, anything to find out who had given
us this. (We did find a button in the jar, but
that is still a mystery.) We dumped the jar
on our living room floor. My husband
decided to count the bills, I started on
the coins. We were both crying by the end
of counting the money. We were in shock.
We had enough money plus a little extra to
pay for our daughter's casket. I am forever
grateful to whoever gave us this jar. You
helped us in a time when we didn't know
how we were going to buy our daughter a
casket for a funeral we planned 4 months
in advanced. Everytime we think of who it
could be, we think of at least ten more
people. We have given up trying to figure it
Our daughter did not make it to a live birth.
She was stillborn at 37 weeks. She was
beautiful, but I know that she is in Heaven
with Jesus free from her chromosome defect.
I can't wait to give our own Christmas Jar
in memory of her.