Thursday, June 4, 2009

Remembering Henry and Henry's Blanket Travels to Rome

Justify Full(Molly)

I have wanted to pen this post for a while as we just passed this six month anniversary of Henry's entrance into Heaven. Some of you know that I've been dealing with a random flare up of tendonitis in my left hand and needless to say, typing has been quite a chore. So, as important as this post is in remembering our darling son, it has taken me a while to complete.

For some time I have desired a permanent memorial of Henry, one that I could see daily, and hopefully even wear, so that I could share him with those I meet. (We do plan to create a memorial for Henry in our new home, but as of now, it's hard to know exactly when that will happen.) After thinking of a few different options, I finally settled on a ring with Henry's birthstone, Tanzanite, with one diamond on either side to symbolize Brendan and me. It's a sturdy setting, so I'm able to wear it all the time, which I love. It has become a constant reminder of his daily presence in our lives, his prayers for our family, and the short, but meaningful life he lived in my womb.

Before Henry's funeral we received some words of wisdom from the parents of some dear friends of ours. They lost a little girl, Mary Elizabeth, many years ago, and they had the foresight to clip off part of the blanket she was wrapped in before being placed in her casket. We loved that idea, so before handing over a gorgeous white blanket to the funeral director, we cut a corner off of the blanket and later had the edges sewn by Brendan's sister. I have slept with that blanket almost every night since. It has served as a great comfort to our family and I love to imagine Henry's perfect self wrapped snuggly in the blanket.

We were recently offered an opportunity to send the blanket with a family friend to Rome so that it could be blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. There is a beautiful story of how Henry's blanket received the Papal Blessing (one that is too long for me to type in my current condition) and we have been very touched by and opportunity to have the blessing of the Vicar of Christ in our home. The friend, who so willingly brought this treasure to Rome, also placed the blanket on the tomb of the great Pope John Paul II which means Henry's blanket is now a third class relic. Over the past six months I have envisioned our son in the presence of Our Lord Jesus, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and Our Lady. These thoughts have been very comforting to me. Perhaps, though, some of the most beautiful moments in my imagination occur when I envision Henry in Heaven with Pope John Paul II, a man that has so dearly touched my life and inspired our marriage to be what it is today. Brendan and I took the trip to World Youth Day in Rome in 2000 shortly after our engagement and seeing him was one of the most amazing experiences of our life together.


Rachel said...

Molly - I some how missed this post. What beautiful reminders of Henry and how precious they will always be to you. Praying that you have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

Kristina said...

Thanks for sharing, Molly. I know all too well how important those simple momentos can be and how much they can help to ease the grief some. I'm so glad you have found something that helps keep Henry close to you and honors (in some small way) the life that God created, and now lives in eternity with Him!