Ayla's Stocking: a post to warm your heart

If you're new to this space, you might not know about Ayla. I've written about her here, here, and briefly here. Ayla is my cousin Julie's daughter, who is almost exactly the same age as Asher. In January of this year, Ayla passed away from bacterial meningitis. This sorrow has affected me and our family in sacred and profound ways. (I wrote about that here.) Her mother, Julie, is a mountain of strength and faith. I can't even begin to tell you how much I admire her.

A couple of weeks ago, Julie announced a project called Ayla's Stocking. Ayla contracted the meningitis just a day or two after Christmas, and so Julie and her family spent the rest of the holidays in the hospital and in hospice. Julie's heart is especially tender for those parents and children who have to spend what should be such a wonderful time in such a not-homey place. She wants to ease the pain of those parents who might never have a normal Christmas with their babes.

{Ayla in her Christmas outfit and Julie}

Julie is collecting small gifts for children who are spending their Christmas in the hospital. Ideas include the following:

:: infant rattles, rings, teething toys
:: gift cards for families to places like Toys R Us, Wal Mart, etc.
:: pajamas of varying sizes
:: craft kits (with enclosed supplies) or small boxes of colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc.
:: musical toys (anything that plays sounds or music, push-button toys, etc.)
:: slippers for children and adults
:: one-size-fits-all stretchy gloves
:: winter hats (in Canada they're called toques!)
:: books (mostly infant and teen)

If you have other ideas, please feel free to donate those as well! I think this is such a beautiful way to remember Ayla, and if you have room to give, please send your gifts Julie's way. She will be donating all contributions to the hospital that treated Ayla.

I will be collecting items to send, and if you're in the Portland, Oregon, area, we can arrange a time for me to pick up your donations, and I will send them to Canada at the beginning of December. If you aren't around Portland and would still like to contribute to Ayla's Stocking, you can email me for Julie's address. (You can write me at charlottejane17{at}gmail{dot}com. You can find Julie's blog here.)

Ayla's life was short, but profound. I know that I will be forever influenced by her brief time here on earth. I am oh so grateful for the Plan of Happiness, which allows us to be with our families forever--Julie will be with her daughter again someday. Remembering the gift of our Savior--the gift of eternal families--is the best way to celebrate this upcoming season. Nothing is more wonderful.

1 comment:

morningside girl said...

What a lovely tribute to Ayla and her family. Meghan S.

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