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Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Trip to See Santa

One of the things Emma has been asking for was to see Santa. She had a full list of toys she needed to tell him that she wanted. I had an idea for our Christmas pictures this year. It's hard to think of having to go a day without our dear Dakota, but we included her within our pictures as well.

The line at the mall to see Santa was crazy. As soon as we got into the mall, Emma and I jumped into line, while Greg went to check something out at one of the stores right by us. I was watching everyone around me and saw how innocent they all were. Each one of them were blessed with their children and laughed with them.

As I was watching the kids going up to Santa, I saw a mother with a huge smile place her beautifully dressed newborn upon his lap. This is when I broke. I wasn't prepared to see any little ones because it instantly reminded me of not having Dakota.

I broke into tears not caring who saw me. As I tried to look away, I noticed people staring and kids asking what was wrong. Emma decided to fill them in and then the looks of confusion turned into looks of compassion and sympathy. Greg returned and helped me gather myself back up.

A young couple standing behind us with their baby boy in his car seat and their little girl began talking with us. I couldn't help but to look at their son. Then, I asked how old he was without even thinking. They told me he was born in June and he was six months old. He's only a month younger than Dakota.

I mentioned this and they looked confused. Greg told them our daughter was stillborn. I was blown away by the fact that neither of them knew what that meant. So, Greg said she was born forever sleeping. Once again... they were confused. So, Greg had no other way to explain it except to say that our darling daughter had passed before birth.

That is when they got it and understood why a grown woman was standing in line holding a pure white teddy bear. The teddy bear stood in for Dakota. Once we were up to Santa, he tried to get Emma to leave the bear out of the photo. With as much willpower as I had, I told him No the teddy bear stays. That's when Greg jumped in and told them why we needed that bear in the photo.

Instantly, those standing around us came to help me because I burst into tears again. One mother helped position the teddy bear just right on Santa's lap. While the photographer cried with me. It was a bittersweet moment because just then, I realized that they cared. They didn't know me but showed their support in this heartbreaking time for me.

I will forever be grateful to the mother who stood in front of us and to the photographer for showing me it's okay to cry!!!

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