My failure to update the Garden blog is absolutely no reflection on the activity surrounding it; in fact, quite the opposite! At last writing we were anticipating warmer weather, and once it arrived (and stayed) we experienced a flurry of activity within all of the Gardens.
We finalized a date for the official Blessing as June 22, 2014 and that date brought a wonderful rain which ceased just as families arrived. Pastor Jon Russell and wife Amy Russell (an RN at The Mother Baby Center in Mpls) arrived early to get a ‘feel’ for the Garden, as they were going to be conducting the Blessing service. Several families who had requested memorials for their angel babies came to see where we had placed them prior to the beginning of the service. As they wandered the property they left an aura of love, extreme sadness, yet peace. As Pastor Jon sat in the main Garden quietly playing his guitar we exchanged knowing glances, as we both acknowledged the sense of change that the families brought~an almost overwhelming sense of God’s presence. If there was ever any doubt that our ‘labor of love’ was in His plan, this day removed all questions for everyone in attendance.
Since that day we are reminded in so many ways the significance of this place in the lives of so many. Moms and Dads share that where they had felt so alone in their grief following the initial support they received; that to know there exists a place where their Angel babies are remembered daily gives them comfort. They give us ongoing thoughts and encouragement to continue our stewardship through feedback via Facebook, emails or notes in our Guest Book. Once families visit the first time, they are welcomed back with other family members and friends to share this site and reminisce. Indeed, it is our families who teach us where we need to grow. Where once this was our plan, it has become our families’ plan. We welcome suggestions for improvement and ways to make the Gardens more meaningful and welcoming. Since the Garden Blessing in June, we had visitors here almost every weekend throughout the rest of the Summer and into Fall. Whereas the Garden had been a summer ‘event’, it is now seasonal. We recognize that grief has no specific season, so ask that families bring anything meaningful to their memories to leave within the Gardens. There have been times that, as I wander the property, that I find a little something that a parent or loved one brought to lay next to their memorial~a small pumpkin with their baby’s name, an ornament placed on the Christmas tree, a tiny charm, a sculpture that represents their dreams.
We are growing in ways we didn’t think was possible. Because of that, we welcome any interest or help you might find in your heart to give.
If you haven’t been here, plan a visit. If you’ve been here~thank you, and please come back and bring others. God Bless You all!