Monday, December 6, 2010

Lost and Found

Today I went looking for some little prizes I had left over from one of our block parties. I needed them to create a little gift for a Secret Santa family. I knew they were in the closet under our stairs. I had seen them when I cleaned it out just a few weeks ago.

I didn't find them. I hate losing things. Some things I lose are no big deal - like these little prizes. They are just an annoyance. Other things we lose are kind of a bigger deal but with enough money they can be replaced - like Jon's keys to our car. Then there are some losses that can never be replaced and they just eat at you over the years.

As I was searching for those prizes I looked in a storage container with some odds and ends in it. Inside I found what I would like to think of as Camille's birthday/Christmas present to me, to Jon, and to our little family. I saw a mini DV tape with the title "Camille's birth" on it. I have been missing it since we moved into this house almost 3 years ago.

After she died I searched high and low for it. I knew it existed because I had written about it in my journaling of her birth. But for all my grief stricken searching I couldn't find it. How many times since then have I seen a mini DV tape and wondered where THAT tape was?

I called the girls together and plugged the tape in to the machine to play it on the TV. It is an hour long of her first 8 months on this earth. It has her first and only Christmas. It has lots of time with Jon just taping her newborn noises and her learning to roll. It also has adorable footage of the older girls. It has Lauren's 2nd birthday and Sabrina's kindergarten graduation and first piano recital. It has Annie at just barely 4 years old welcoming her baby sister Camille into the world, being the first to hold her hand and stroke her head.

She was so beautiful and perfect. One of the first scenes after her birth was of me holding her and dressing her at 2 weeks old. It was just me and her and Jon taping. I told of how everywhere we went everyone wanted to hold her. Now I know people love newborns and want to hold them. But this was different. Everywhere she went with me people ... strangers ... asked me if they could hold her - my 2 week old.  And I let them. She loved people. She was so happy to be out and about with other people to look at and explore.

In the tape I said, "our beautiful little Camille. She is our family's ambassador to the world." How prophetic this statement turned out to be. And she still is. I am overcome ... with joy at finding this tape ... with sorrow missing her ... with gratitude for this most precious "gift" of a find. I am simply undone.


Danalin said...

I'm not sure that I've ever commented before, but I read your blog quite regularly and am constantly inspired by you and your family. This was so touching to read about and my heart is so full of gratitude for Heavenly Father sending this tape to you at this particular time. Such an incredible gift. And it was cool to read about the spirit she exuded from her first weeks on earth...she continues to affect the world for the better through you. Thanks.

Dal and Lottie said...

I hardly ever comment but I do read your blog on a weekly basis and am always excited when I see a new post!I often pray for you that the lord will give you strength when you are sad ... What a beautiful gift you have of rememberance of your daughter.

The Robinson's said...

What a beautiful find that was. Simply precious!

Take care.

Robin said...

Wow.....this post actually brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine how many mixed emotions you had as you watched and relived those precious moments. Coincidence you found the tape....I don't think so.
Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you dont know me but my
heart is broken for your loss sweet little Camille, I praying
for soul her.
I am an Iranian an my name is Ahmad
I have a granddaughter that you can
see her in
and leave comment for me in

take care

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that you found it, Stephanie. What a special SPECIAL gift.



Chelsa said...

what a gift to find that!

Olsens R Us said...

What a wonderful tender mercy. I love when Heavenly Father takes a frustrating situation- like looking for something trivial like party favors- and turns it into something beautiful. It is always a reminder to me that He sees things so differently than we do. I'm so glad that you had this experience this year and that you were able to relive those precious moments with Camille and your girls. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.

my stay-at-home-momma drama said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading this post. I'm so glad you found this perfect gift.

Anonymous said...

stephanie, your little girl is sending you messages of joy... im sure she was giggling while she saw the smiles and the ahh's as you watched the videos... what a blessing from our father above!! im happy you found your hidden treasure. merry christmas. :)

Rach said...

Oh my, Steph, how precious and wonderful. I'm all teary as I type this. I'm overjoyed you found these memories of your beautiful Camille.

Isn't it amazing how our angels look out for us? How wonderful she managed it for you to find that DV.

Hugs to you!

Sue Z said...

What a gift that was!! I'm so happy for you and your family to be able to relive a little bit of the life that was Camille.

Please consider having the tape transferred to a DVD .. it's much more resilient.