Changes. I'm not too crazy about them, but sometimes things need to grow and develop. Like my new blog layout. Took me for-ev-er to do it and it's not perfect, but it is pretty close to what I wanted. I found the background I wanted and knew I wanted a very personal header with a pretty border to match. It was a pain and I've been working on it for a week, but I finally got the picture INSIDE the border just like I wanted. Then the tricky part was finding a template that would not crush my youtube videos of Tommy to one side and just show a sliver of his face. Once I thought I had it right, I realized that blogger had jumbled my layout to a one column blog instead of two. More work to add new page elements, then copy and paste the old content to the new. I tried to just slide it on over to the new column, but nope. Denied!
So now, on to the reason for this post.
On Saturday, we were in town and I asked Rob if we could stop at the cemetery. I was hoping Tommy's headstone had been placed and I'm happy to say that it had been done! A few months ago, a friend put me in touch with the Dempsey Burdick Memorial Foundation. They provide markers to families in need that have lost a child. We were chosen to receive this wonderful gift for our sweet Tommy. I urge you, if you are looking for a charity to donate to for the holidays, please, please send them what you can.
I cannot tell you how sad it was to go to the cemetery and find that the mementos we had left Tommy had been removed for mowing and dumped into the trash without notifying us. If we would have just had a moment's notice. But that cannot be helped. It's policy, and I am sure one that is practiced in many cemeteries. Matthew and Brandon wanted a stone to lay things on so that they would not be taken.
When I was contacted and told we had been chosen, I could not begin to describe how it felt. Like the final moment of closure. Our son finally had a permanent marker to let the world know where his body rests. Rob and I were given the opportunity to design the marker ourselves. We immediately knew we wanted a broken heart with wings, but what else? Many people suggested Nemo, but it didn't feel right. It HAD to be bubbles, but we had no idea how to convey that in stone.
Around this time, my birthday came around and I was sent a handmade plaque made by the sweetest, sassiest little girl I know. It means the world to me. So much so, that if you look in my header, you'll see the picture I so desperately wanted to frame with a border and use here on my blog. She and her mom got me through some tough times. They were the first people I met online when Tommy was a baby and first trached that also had a trach and heart defects. We've bonded long distance through emails, Carepages, Myspace, Facebook, phone calls and endless texts. We've been through wonderful highs (her daughter getting out her trach) to the lowest of lows. Tommy dying.
When I got the plaque, I knew immediately that it had to go on the headstone. The representative from the monument company came to our home to help us and she took pictures of the plaque to use in the design. I quit talking to everyone about the headstone around that time because I didn't want anyone to know until it was finished, and then I wanted my sweet girl and her mommy to know first. I texted her and told her to get tissues first, then sent the picture to her phone.
It's a thing of beauty.
Thank you Lexie for your inspiration. Thank you Suzanne for loving my Tommy as much as I do.
I love what the sunlight did in this picture. I think Tommy likes it.