Monday, November 17, 2008

Meadow's tree

My niece, Meadow Leighann Nabors, passed away on July 7, 2006 at seven months of age. Meadow was born with a heart defect and spent much of her short life at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. She never recovered from her second heart surgery.

As you can imagine, it's been very difficult for my family, especially for my sister Susan, her husband Jamie and Meadow's older sister, Autumn, now 11. Last year, my family decided to decorate a Christmas tree in Meadow's memory at The Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees, to benefit Le Bonheur. We chose the theme "Splish Splash" because taking a bath was one of the few times Meadow was unencumbered by wires and machines. She loved taking a bath!

That was a surprise for Susan, Jamie and Autumn, and they went to see the tree on Nov. 28, 2007, which would have been Meadow's second birthday. We plan to come up with a different theme each year to coincide with what Meadow might like to be doing or watching if she were still with us. This year, Susan picked the theme Nick. Jr.--Meadow would have loved Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer.

Nickelodeon was kind enough to send about 15 ornaments for the tree. My stepmother, Terre, sent a box of fun and creative homemade ornaments from Hilton Head, and several of us in Memphis--including the kids--made ornaments with Dora, Diego, Blue's Clues, Backyardigans, SpongeBob Squarepants and other Nick characters.

Then Saturday, several of us met at The Pink Palace to decorate the tree. We were proud to honor Meadow in a special way, especially considering the event benefits Le Bonheur, a hospital that took wonderful care of Meadow and welcomes all children in the MidSouth area, regardless of ability to pay. Susan, Jamie, Autumn, Grandma, Aunt Gina, Great Aunt Pookie, Aunt Nicole, Uncle Kevin and Aunt Lisa, Cousin Erin and young cousins Virginia, Mary, William, Nina, Amelia and Hunter--we all enjoyed spending some time together remembering a very special little girl.

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