Let’s do the Time Warp again!
Welcome to the twelfth installment of my blog hop/writing exercise called Time Warp Tuesday here on Four of a Kind!
For those not familiar with Time Warp Tuesdays, here is the background of how and why I came up with the idea. If you are here to participate and link up your post, you can do so with the Linky Tools at the end of this post (or if you have any difficulty using it, you can share the link to your post in the comment section here).
The gist of Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives and reflect on our journeys since we wrote them.
The theme for this week’s Time Warp Tuesday is: `Tis the Season
“‘Tis the Season to be jolly” or at least that’s how the song goes… For some it is “the most wonderful time of the year” and others it can be bittersweet because it reminds us of those who left this world to soon or brings back other memories that aren’t always happy ones. For many of us this holiday season is filled with mixed feelings of joy for “what is” and sorrow “what might have been.”
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and/or another holiday this time of year, choose a post from your archives where you talk about the holiday season. Maybe you have written in the past about a holiday tradition that is important to you or blogged about the feelings and emotions that this time of year evokes in you. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.
Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might have needed some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:
Why did you pick this post? What kind of response did you get from readers in regards to your post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
Note: If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week. Thank you to all who have already shared suggestions for future weeks! I do plan to use more of your ideas soon, but thought it would be nice to do another “holiday themed” Time Warp this week, which Jen from Here We Go Again suggested (to do holiday themed topics at the appropriate times of year). Thanks Jen!
Time Warp Tuesday: `Tis the Season
Surprisingly (to me at least), I have not written that much here about Christmastime/the holiday season. I found that interesting when looking through my archives, as Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I would have thought I might have blogged more about it over the years.
I did come across a post that I am choosing to reflect on this week in which I talked about my love for Christmas and share about how I have collected meaningful ornaments over the years. I wrote this blog entry three years ago. It was our first Christmas season since our baby girl Molly was born and died and I was doing my best to find joy and peace in celebrating with family and friends, in spite of the immense grief that I was feeling. This was my eighth of twelve monthly posts in which I reflected on things that were helping me and my family to work through our grief, make peace with our loss and heal since our daughter/baby sister had left this world that April. This is the blog entry I chose to revisit:
Please go and read the post that I am reflecting on today (and comment if you choose), if you haven’t already, and then come back here to see what I have to say about my journey since I wrote it.
***Here is where you left off before you stopped to read my old post.***
I enjoyed this trip down memory lane and the chance to revisit what our first Advent/Christmas season after Molly’s birth and death was like for our family. It appreciated reflecting on each of the ornaments that friends and family members gave us that year, many in honor and memory of our baby girl. It was also interesting to see how we were all doing back then with processing our grief and loss. I love that Sean believed and was telling people that “Baby Jesus and Molly are in my heart.”
Ironically, I posted this blog entry on December 17, 2008. Though I didn’t mention it in my post, I know in retrospect that it happened to be the date of the beginning of my last menstrual period (LMP) before we conceived our daughter Abby. So I think it is awesome to get a glimpse from the future of what my family and I were on the brink of when I wrote this. I would have never believed you back then if you had told me I wouldn’t have another period for almost two years (because of our pregnancy and breastfeeding) and that an amazing miracle, our third child/second daughter Abigail Grace, would soon be entering our lives and our hearts. Though she could never and will never replace our baby girl Molly, our rainbow child has brought so much healing, love and joy to our family.
One of my favorite parts of my old post is where I talked about the sermon that our pastor (the same one who ministered to us during our pregnancy with Molly and baptized her in the delivery room after she was born and before she died) had given at church the Sunday before I wrote it:
He gave an awesome homily about what it means to rejoice as we prepare for Christmas and all year long. Our pastor said gratitude is the way that we are able to survive and find joy in difficult times throughout our lives. This really struck me.
This moves and inspires me as much today as it did back then. I still find our pastor’s words to ring true during what can be a bittersweet holiday season for so many people who have empty chairs at their tables. I appreciate the idea that focusing on what we are grateful for can help us to “survive and find joy in difficult times in our lives.”
Earlier this month some of our loved ones lost their mother/grandmother after a long battle with cancer and just a few days ago other loved ones lost their daughter/sister (my cousin) unexpectedly. Though personally I did not have a close relationship with either of these women, I know that they both touched to so many lives and have left many people with broken hearts this Christmas season.
For those who have lost a child or any loved one of any age this year or in years past, please know that my heart goes out to you along with my thoughts and prayers this holiday season.
Three years after writing the post I chose to reflect on today, I still love what ornaments can honor and represent on our Christmas trees. Each year since I wrote my old post we have gotten at least one special ornament to celebrate our family and remember Molly. Pictured below are: our 2009 family ornament, the one we got in 2010 and our most recent addition for 2011 (our first Christmas in our new home), which we have yet to hang on our tree (because it is one of my gifts from Bob and the kids, though I picked it out/designed it with help from Personalization Mall dot com):
Three years later we also still decorate “Molly’s Tree” and bring it to her grave site around the same time we decorate our family’s tree in our home. This is a picture that I took the weekend after Thanksgiving this year, when we brought our baby girl’s tree to the cemetery where she is buried and placed it on her headstone. It is one of many traditions that I find to be cathartic and I believe helps Bob, Sean, Abby and me to honor and celebrate the memory of our our daughter/sister during this Christmas/holiday season.
Thank you for reading and for doing the Time Warp with me this week. I look forward to your feedback about this post, as well as reading and commenting on all of yours.
Please feel free to comment even if you didn’t write your own Time Warp Tuesday post this week. It is not too late to participate if you are interested, click here for the details.
The topic for the next Time Warp Tuesday is: New Years
Update: I have decided to post-pone next week’s Time Warp topic and post until the following week in light of this busy holiday season. I look forward to reflecting on New Years with you in the New Year on Tuesday, January 3!
A new year, a fresh start, a chance to realign your priorities, focus your intentions and/or make some resolutions for the next twelve months of your life. Choose a post from your archives where you talk about preparing for or kicking off a new year in your life. Maybe you have written in the past about a new years tradition that is important to you, shared what your resolutions were for the coming year or blogged about the feelings and emotions that this time of year evokes in you. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.
Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might need some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:
Why did you pick this post? If you wrote about making any new years resolutions, did you keep them? How have your new years traditions changed or evolved throughout your life? Are you making any new years resolutions this year? What kind of response did you get from readers in regards to your post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
Note: If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week. Thank you to all who have already shared suggestions for future weeks! I do plan to use more of your ideas soon, but thought it would be nice to do another “holiday themed” Time Warp next week, which Jen from Here We Go Again suggested (to do holiday themed topics at the appropriate times of year). Thanks Jen!
For those new to Time Warp Tuesday, here is a quick recap of how it works:
1) Browse through your old blog entries to find one that fits the topic for the given week. The topic is shared at the end of the previous week’s “Time Warp Tuesday” post here on my blog (see above for next week’s topic).
2) Write a new blog post in which you introduce, link to and then reflect on your journey since you wrote the older blog post and put it up on your blog on Tuesday. Please include this link http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com/search/label/Time%20Warp%20Tuesdays in your blog entry, so your readers can find their way to my post with the list of other participants, in case they would like to read more or participate themselves.
3) Share the link to your new post here on Tuesday and then visit, read and comment on the other blogs.
4) After you have done all of these things, you are welcome to grab the code for the the Time Warp Tuesday button by clicking here and put it on your blog. The link will take you to a Google Doc where you can copy the code. If your browser does not allow access to your computer’s clipboard, you can use Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste, or use your browser’s Edit menu.
5) Check back here every Tuesday to find out the new topic, theme or question for the following week (I welcome your ideas and suggestions) and then return to Step 1 of this recap to participate.
Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you back here on next Tuesday when we’ll “do the time warp again!”
Thank you again for reading, commenting and participating in my Time Warp Tuesday blog hop. Link up below and click through to visit others who are doing the Time Warp! (If you have any trouble with Linky Tools, please share the link to your blog entry in the comment section.). Also, please don’t forget to comment on my post here, as I do not have a link to this (my own) post below, but I would still really appreciate your feedback. xoxo