Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Smallest of Things can make the Biggest Difference

Every year I try to find cute little do dads to put in my daughter and niece's Christmas stocking. This year I also put together stockings for Chris' children as well. They had never had one. There is never anything very expensive in these stockings...usually stuff like chocolate and candy with some girly things like nail polish and makeup or bubble bath and cute socks.. had to think of boy things for Chris' son aswell....One of the special things I did find for all the kids this year was an adorable little brown bear.

A stuffed bear? you say....other then being cute, nothing special with that eh...
Well you are wrong hehe.

These little bears have a little recorder in them so u can record a short message on them. Granted the quality was somewhat poor but I thought the idea was great. I thought it would be awesome for Chris to record a little message on his son's and his daughter's bear so that when they are back home in France they could just push the left paw and listen to their dad say...I love you and I am thinking of you...or something similar in french ofcourse.

I did the same for my daughter's bear but I had something different in mind for my niece Chantal.

Chantal is 16 yrs old. Her mother who was also my best friend, died of cancer 6 years ago. She was also my sister in law at the time. Chantal's dad is my ex's brother. Cléo my daughter and Chantal have always been very close cousins and ever since Manon died I have always had my door open for Chantal. She also always comes here for Christmas. Her dad usually goes to my ex's house but Chantal prefers to be with us here. I try to make it as tradition as possible for them both.

Anyway to get to my point...Just before Manon died..I brought my little cam corder to the hospital to film her and get her to say a few things to her daughter on tape. The reason for this was because Chantal being only around 10 yrs old at the time was not fully aware of the gravity of the situation with her mom. She was told everything but she was staying with friends here and there and being a kid, and they were not really suggesting she should spend time in the hospital with her mom...they took everything of what the psychologist in the hospital said to heart as in... Do not push her to come see you as to not Tramatize her for life or Let her just talk on the phone with her and let her play with her friends bla bla bla....Now I am the first to agree that forsing the issues would have been a bad idea but I don't think it was a better idea to just let Chantal stay at friends houses with not a care in the world either then have her mother die and then it be to late for her to say her goodbyes. To wake up years later feeling quilty that she didn't spend more time with her when she could.....Everyone in the family hummed and hawed all in agreement with Manon and Sylvain's attitude...I was the only one who seemed to care how Chantal would feel YEARS LATER... I tryed to convince them otherwise but to no avail...So I went without sleep for 2 days trying to think of something I could do. I came up with a comprimize..I asked Manon if I could tape her talking to Chantal and telling her how much she loved her etc....I have to add that Manon even in the last week...looked as she always did..other then looking tired, she looked like herself , she wasn't sickly or sunken looking like some become. I wanted to have this tape for years later when Chantal started to miss her mom or wanted maybe different answers that she was to young to ask earlier. Also something to take away her quilt for not being there .... by knowing her mom understood....this is where my point comes in...

It is from this tape I took a short message for Chantal's bear....she says ( I will always be watching over you from my white cloud in the sky).....

I wish it could have been clearer then it is on this bear..given its from a 6 yr old video cassette and the bear recorder is bad quality, its not very discernable unless u already know what it says but once u do u can make it out. It took me 20 trys to get it in the 6 second frame lol but I made it lol.

When she heard it and I told her about it, she started to cry. So did my daughter sitting next to her. It wasn't a sad cry, it was a touched cry. She never let go of that bear all evening and even went to bed before the others to cuddle her little bear close. She did however ask me where her mom had said that. We have often looked over old cassettes taken over the yrs as the girls were growing...but she realized this wasn't said on one of those..so I told her abit of the cassette I made and if she wanted to see it, we could do that some day soon. I felt that this year she needed to have her mother close. Her father is always absent, throwing himself into work, she can't be here as often as she would like or need given she lives in another township.

Anyway...I just wanted to share this with some of you. It was a very small thing I did but it made a big difference to her.

If you havent already read it, I posted a short story about the day we found out Manon had cancer. Please read it , I hope it saves a life out there. It isn't long and even has some funny bits but the message is very important...take a minute to read it for yourself or a loved one.......When Was Your Last PaP Test?


JustSue said...

OMG Moonie that is so sweet ...I have a huge lump in my throat now from just imagining the emotion that short sweet message must have brought to Chantal. I hope she gets to watch her mom's video with you soon.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, That was an awesome thing that you did. You are so right, she should had time with her Mom. But thanks to her wonderful Aunt, she will always have apart of her Mom with her..love ya, Fran

Rae said...

I read your post to Ry... because since you first told me about the bears I thought it was an awesome idea... I looked up from the computer to see him wiping his eyes ;)

I love my sappy man ;)