A little over three years ago, Scott and I lost our first child. We found out at 19 weeks that our son had several terminal birth defects. There was nothing the doctors could do to help him and after a lot of tests they were unable to determine a cause. The only good news we received from the tests is it wasn’t genetic so chances are very slim it’ll ever happen again. So basically we won the worst lottery imaginable…
We spent the next two months trying to enjoy every moment we had with our son. We went to weekly appointments to listen to his heart and see how his condition was progressing. With each appointment his heartbeat weakened until on December 5th we heard what we’d been dreading – silence. Our baby boy was gone. Kyden James Fife was born sleeping on the morning of December 8th and we laid him to rest on December 13th.
Just over a year later, Scott got me an unfinished trunk for Christmas where I could put all of the keepsakes we’d collected for Kyden. I’m big into crafting so I was super excited to design it just for Kyden. I started working on it right away; then life happened and it literally was put on a shelf. Two years later, I finally finished it!
We chose the lamb to represent Kyden for a couple of reasons – first we were given a lamb stuffed animal in the care box we received at the hospital when he was born. When I saw it, I immediately thought of my son and knew it was the perfect animal to represent his short little life here on earth. Second, because Kyden was born in December, our thoughts were also heavily on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Not only were we celebrating Christmas, but Jesus is known as the Shepherd and the Lamb. So our little Kyden lamb reminds us of our Savior and all He has done for our family – including giving us the strength to endure this trial.
For the trunk I designed a flying angel lamb to represent Kyden and used a wood burner to inscribe the design into the sides of the trunk. I’ve never done wood burning before so this was a fun learning experience for me! I actually created the image on the computer, printed it out, taped it to the side of the trunk and punched holes along the line art using a thumbtack so I could then trace it with the wood burner. It worked really well!
Once the design was finished, I stained the entire outside of the trunk, painted parts of it blue (Kyden’s color), sanded the paint and re-stained it. The letters were originally black, but I painted them brown to match my color scheme. I then mod podged scrap paper on top and glued them to the front of the trunk using wood glue. I finished off the trunk by adding a couple of layers of clear protective coat and let the trunk sit out in our storage closet for a few days to air out. All in all, we feel it is a good representation of our son and perfect for storing our precious memories of him!
We have it above the cabinets in the kitchen now. We feel like he’s watching over us and we get a reminder of his sweet spirit every time we look up at it. We miss him, but know we’ll be reunited as a family someday!
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