Friday, November 14, 2008

Candlelight Memorial Update

Just a reminder - the candlelight memorial is November 23, 2008, at 6:00 pm at Woodland Park in Collinsville. I was briefly worried when the park district decided to start closing the parks at 6:00, but we have a permit, so we're good. That would be a nice headline, wouldn't it? "Mother of Uhl Sisters Arrested for Trespassing and Playing with Fire." I know they'd be up there, shaking their heads, saying "That's our mom. We're so proud." Then roll their eyes.

The candles have been ordered, they are pink, of course. No plain white boring candles for my girls, no sir. Mental note - put lighters on the list. That would be my luck, get all the way out there and have no fire. Again, they'd be shaking their heads.

This year, I am sponsoring a Christmas tree in their memory. The Collinsville Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for different beneficiaries in Collinsville. This year's recipient is the Miner's Theater. The trees are decorated by groups of individuals, or business, and are usually themed. Some of these, I've heard, go all out and spend LOTS of money. There are prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and all the trees are auctioned off. I'm not in this to win prizes, I just want to do something in their memory. Our theme is pink, of course, and we decided to decorate it with ornaments given by friends and family that remind them of Jessica and Kelli. I'm going to find pink disco ball ornaments, because they both loved to dance, and loved to make fun of me when I'd play my disco CDs.

If you'd like to add to the decorations, please drop off your ornament at the memorial, or you can mail it to me (email me at lakegal180 at yahoo and I'll send you my mailing address).

Jessica and Kelli loved Christmas, and not just the presents. Decorating the tree was a huge deal for them. We usually did it the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving. I would haul all the boxes up from the basement, and then we'd put A Charlie Brown Christmas on the TV and start sorting out their individual ornaments. They each had a Baby's 1st through 5th Christmas series. They each hung the ornaments they made in school, and hung their ornaments they'd received as presents through the years. Once those were on the tree, we filled in the blanks with the glass ball ornaments I got from my mom.

We would frame the front windows in lights, and the girls would take lights to hang in their bedroom windows. Sometimes we'd put lights on the deck.

When we were done, we'd turn off the overhead lights and turn on the tree lights and admire our handiwork. We'd then go outside, stand on the sidewalk, and look at how pretty our house was all lit up. One year we put the big old fashioned glass bulbs on the outside of the house and it looked like a gingerbread house.

Last year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I brought up the tree box and the ornament boxes. I also brought up the lights for the porch, but I didn't hang them. It was supposed to be reasonably nice that weekend, so I wanted to let Kelli help me with the outside. We were going to decorate the tree that night, after Jessica got home from work.

I finally pulled myself together long enough to put the tree up with Maddy the week before Christmas. We split Jessica and Kelli's ornaments between us and hung them up. We watched Charlie Brown, and we did the best we could. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have put one up.

We will be moving into our new house this December, so I'm trying to talk Craig into putting lights on the outside of the house. We will definitely put the tree up before Christmas, for Maddy.

I hope to see you next Sunday.


jill said...

sending you hugs,

Susan said...

hi kim, i cannot imagine what you and maddy are going heartfelt prayers are for you and your family...and i'm at a loss for words. how brave.

Zip n Tizzy said...

I know you never volunteered for this role, but the way you have played it is truly inspiring. Your girls must be so proud of how you've chosen to keep on with your life, and Maddy is so incredibly lucky to have such a positive and affirming mom.
Hugs to you both.

MaLeah said...

I think your girls would have LOVED the pink tree idea! I will definitely pick out a pink ornament and send it to you! How fun and what a great way to remember them!! I will be really thinking about you and Maddy this month!