I have been looking forward to this event for MONTHS and it is finally here! Decorating and donating a tree to Festival of Trees in Charlie’s memory, felt like the perfect way to honor him. Festival of Trees accepts donated and decorated Christmas trees that they auction off and all received proceeds go to benefit Primary Children’s Hospital.
Participating in this event required months of planning. I decided a couple months ago to decorate Charlie’s tree in a Hawaiian theme. But pulling together a classy Hawaiian themed Christmas tree wasn’t the easiest task. However, with the help of some dear friends who have good decorating skills, we pulled it off really nicely! As Decorating Day approached, friends and family kept asking how they could help with Charlie’s tree. There were more people who offered to help than I found assignments to give out! I felt very loved and supported.
During the week of Thanksgiving, my family members and some friends all helped finalize the decorations for the tree.
And before I knew it, Decorating Day had arrived!
My mom, Melinda, and I all made a day out of decorating day. While we probably could’ve finished the tree in three hours, we really took our time. We just enjoyed the experience. After all, this was our moment to honor sweet Charlie.
And at the end of the day, this was our final product:
I named Charlie’s tree, “A Hui Hou Kakou,” which is the Hawaiian translation of, “Until we meet again.”
This experience was very bitter sweet. On decorating day, I felt so many emotions. I felt joy that I could do this for Charlie. I felt love for him and those who helped make this experience possible. I felt connected to the bigger community all around me paying tribute to their loved ones with their own trees. I also felt a deep ache for Charlie.
Throughout the day I kept wondering and hoping that Charlie could see us. That he was there with us. I hoped he would be proud of us and know how much we love him. In brief moments of quiet, I felt a sense of comfort and peace. And there was a moment when baby Gabe started giggling and babbling with an invisible figure in the room. I’d like to think that invisible figure was Charlie.
Tonight my mom and I went to the opening night to wander around and partake of the spirit of the Festival. Opening night occurs after the auction has taken place, so when you walk around, you can see what trees are still for sale or not. We discovered as we walked back to Charlie’s tree, that no one bid on his tree and so it is still for sale. I feel so vulnerable waiting and hoping for someone to buy Charlie’s tree! If any of you know anyone who doesn’t want to decorate their own tree this year, I know a great tree located at C-08 in the Festival of Trees eagerly waiting to be brought home! (Shameless plug, I know).
I am grateful I got to do this for Charlie. December is going to be a rough month as we celebrate Charlie’s birthday and Christmas. I feel glad that I could start the Christmas season out doing something this meaningful for him.
I love you so much Mister Mister!!!