Monday, August 29, 2011

Gabriel's Garden

Look what we finished just in time for Gabriel's birthday:
Okay, so that's a horrible picture and please ignore the awful ugly fence that we want to replace so badly and the giant yellow patches of was from a toy that was left out and the one on the left is the scene of the great garbage can incident. Did I mention that I intended to roll that garbage can over I'm even more stupid than you thought, huh?

Anyway, Gabriel's garden is done!! Well, for now. I would like Gabe's garden to always be a work in progress with us adding something each year to remember him. But for now, the biggest part is done. Thanks to many friends that helped along the way to get us inspired and motivated and especially those that actually sacrificed their time and sweat doing the hard work to help us, even when all I could do was watch from the swing with my bum foot. Ben and the kids also worked their toushees off and everyone's hard work created a wonderful space.Might I mention that as we worked on the garden we had seriously so many dragonfly visitors fly in to keep us company and to remind us that Gabriel is never far away. The kids would scream with excitement every time they saw one. I, of course, tried to take pictures of those fast little buggers....and got a few shots...but naturally I can't find them now.

We contemplated for a long time with what to do to make the garden just right. I actually dreamt about it one night and knew just how it should be. We wanted to include the two trees that we planted for Gabriel on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day last October, which meant that the garden ended up being really big....300 sq. ft. big! It's so nice to have such a big space though and I actually love the size...although I didn't when I was digging out all of that sod. We wanted a bench where we could sit and I had the perfect arbor bench picked out but when I went to buy it, it was gone! It all worked out for the best though because I remembered this awesome swing/hammock that I had seen that the kids had loved at the store and when we went to the store they actually had just one left waiting just for us...tender mercy. The kids can all fit on it and relax in Gabe's garden and they were sooooo excited that it was "Gabe's color", light green (his birthstone color). The kids have loved having it and have spent many hours enjoying it! It's placed right in the center of the garden.

Here's a shot of the left side of the garden with the Eastern Redbud we planted for Gabe.
Here's a shot of the right side of the garden with the Japanese Maple. I guess it's hard to see the trees in both of those shots because of the neighbor's trees behind them, but they're there! I can't wait until fall when the Japanese Maple turns the most gorgeous color of red. It will be awesome!The kids each made a stepping stone for Gabe's garden. They all wanted to put their handprint(s) on them and told me what they wanted written on theirs....such sweet messages to their baby brother that they love and miss. They did all the decorating all by themselves, with the exception of Alexis who got a little help. They were awesome! I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures before we put them outside. They didn't hold up too well....especially little Lex's which someone "accidentally" stepped on and smashed to teeny pieces. Oh well. We're just going to have to make least they were fun to make, huh?Skylar's...."Gabriel" with a G in a heart.Nick's...."I love you and wish you were here."
McKade's...."I love you Gabe!"Alexis's...."I love you baby brother." How sad does it look?My parents contributed to Gabe's garden by buying some Daisies and a very beautiful Hibiscus.My friend, Abby, who actually was the one that kicked my butt into gear by helping me with digging the sod, gave us this sweet stone for us to put in Gabe's garden...just perfect.My friends from my baby loss group, Common Bonds, gave me this dragonfly light that lights up at night and looks so cool.Finally, just minutes before Gabriel's birthday party balloon release, this precious garden stone came in the mail. I saw these poemstones on an Etsy shop and just loved them. I knew that one would be perfect for Gabriel's garden and worked with a very understanding and kind woman clear across the country to design this custom stone for Gabriel. It's not the headstone I wish we had for him, but it is something to mark that he was here and I absolutely love it.
The garden ended up being exactly what we wanted...a peaceful place where we can remember Gabriel. I'm so glad we got it done in time for his birthday so that we had somewhere to go on that day that we could call Gabe's place. It made the day so much better than other days we've had to remember without somewhere to go....which was just perfect for his birthday. We love you little Gabe and hope you love your garden too!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19: International Day of Hope

♥ Gabriel ♥

August 19th is a day to break down the walls of society that keep pregnancy, infant and child loss a hush hush subject. Our babies are people, much loved and wanted children. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandsons and granddaughters. The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name. It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul."Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no HOPE at all."
~Dale Carnegie ~

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Grandma's Funeral

Okay, so I need to blog about Gabriel's was a good day...but I'm still waiting on some pictures from my personal photographer (haha) and my grandma's funeral came first. Can I just mention how weird it was to not have that sweet woman at Gabriel's balloon release? It was the first event without her there when I'm so used to her always being there for the special days in my life. I miss her so much already.

My grandma's funeral was nice. When we went to the viewing the night before I told my kids that Grandma would look different but she didn't. She looked so beautiful and peaceful and looked as if she could just sit up and give us all a big hug. It was so nice that she looked so much like herself.

The funeral service was really good. My brother, Jerry, spoke about the gospel and did a wonderful job. My cousins talked about some memories...there's so many great memories of our grandma. All of the grandkids and great-grandkids got up and sang a few primary songs my grandma loved. As we sang Love One Another I just sobbed because that song is just all about my grandma and has always been the song I associate with her. Who am I kidding? I sobbed through the entire funeral. I love my grandma so much and although I know this will be just a short separation, I am just going to miss her so I'm a big bawl baby these days.

Immediately after the funeral they had the family luncheon. I guess my grandma wanted it that way so that we could all attend the "party" part while we were all still at the church because she was afraid some would just leave after the cemetery. That's my grandma. She just loved a party!

The graveside service was at the Lehi Cemetery. Of course I was still hobbling on crutches at the time. It was a beautiful day!
My cousins and brothers as pallbearers.
It was amazing to see almost all of my family there for my grandma's funeral. There were probably only a handful of my grandma & grandpa's extensive posterity that weren't there...mostly just a few in-laws and greats were missing. At the graveside I asked everyone to squeeze together for a picture. It wasn't the most organized thing, but hey, we did it.Then we attempted just a Jensen pic since it's not often that we're all together. This would've been almost complete if my boys, their cousin, Jonah, & my brother, Al hadn't taken off to the car. So much for getting us all together...but here's most of us:
Just so Al is included on this, here's a pic of my twin brothers Ed & Al...and my nephews who are looking all teenage-like these days (weird).
And here's us Jordans:My kids were so blessed to know their great-grandma. Here's my grandma's beautiful coffin...just perfect for the beautiful woman she was. We will miss you immensely, Grandma. Give our Gabriel lots of hugs and love. We love you both so very, very much!
P.S. Grandma, if you can put in a good word for us, we're all aching and praying for another little Jordan to be sent our way. We know you're good at arranging things....we'll always, always give you credit for bringing Ben & I together.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Gabriel!!

Happy 1st Birthday to our precious little Gabriel!! It's a bittersweet day as we celebrate his life without him here, but today we are celebrating that he was here. He did live and his short perfect life is all he needed. What an amazing example he is to our family.

"Don't think of him as gone away--

his journey's just begun
life holds so many facets
...this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.
And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much."

~Michelle Toone

We love you so much Gabriel and hope that your first birthday in heaven is wonderful!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Baby Gabe's First Birthday

“There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”

Last year this week our precious baby boy, Gabriel’s heart stopped beating due to a knot in his umbilical cord. He was born still on August 12, 2010 at 19 weeks gestation. Next week we celebrate his 1st birthday. Like all of our children’s 1st birthdays, we are planning to make it a good day to remember the little life that our Gabriel had that has blessed our family forever.

In memory of Gabe, we are inviting our friends and family to perform an act of kindness in his name. These acts of kindness could be as simple as smiling at a stranger, paying for someone’s meal, holding a door open, visiting someone that may be lonely, donating to a good cause, calling a friend or family member just to share your love, or even a grand gesture that wouldn’t normally be part of your daily life. If you would like to share with us what you did by taking a picture to send us or writing about it, we plan to keep a record of it and would love to know what you did. We hope than many people will be touched by simply remembering Gabriel’s life.

We will be having a balloon release and small party at our home on his birthday, Friday, August 12 at 7:00 pm. If anyone would like to join us, we’d love to see you. You are also welcome to bring a balloon to release with us. If you need our address, please message us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grandma's Obituary

Mary Helen Allen Henricksen

1914 ~ 2011

Mary Helen Allen was born in Lehi, Utah December 3, 1914 at the home of her grandparents. She is the first child of Margaret Smith and Louis Lowe Allen. She lived various places in Utah and Idaho during her childhood and spent many summers in Lehi with her beloved grandparents, John and Mary B. Smith. Mary passed away on July 31, 2011 at her home in Provo with her loved ones around her. She was a loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother and Great-great grandmother.

She was married to Nephi Joseph (Joe) Henricksen on October 11, 1935 in the Salt Lake Temple. They met while working for Cudahy Packing Company in North Salt Lake. They spent several years in Salt Lake City before moving to Provo in August, 1944. Joe worked and was a partner in Allen's Super Save Markets and subsidiaries in Provo, Orem, Springville, and American Fork, Utah.

Mary has been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has served in Primary and Relief Society on both Ward and Stake levels and Church magazine representative in the Salt Lake Eighth, Provo Rivergrove 1st, and Provo Edgemont 5th Wards. She was a Hostess at the Relief Society Center in Salt Lake City one day a week for ten years and twelve years as a Temple worker in the Provo Temple. She was still a Visiting Teacher at the time of her death.

Mary also served her community in many ways including PTA, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and various charitable collection drives. She worked with Indian placement and Foreign Student programs. She loved to do Temple work, Genealogy and Family History and has written several histories of her ancestors. She has compiled family history books for their extended families and a history with pictures of herself and Joe for their posterity. She was always seeking out opportunities to learn as she attended education week and community classes as well as classes at BYU.

Mary loved everyone she met and let them know with her smile. Mary has many friends. She was involved with "The Club", a group of lady friends who met regularly since 1946. She socialized with the "Thursday Angels" and their spouses with whom she had served at the Relief Society Building for many years after their service had ended. She loved the time spent with the "Canyon Capers" cluster sisters from her ward.

She loved traveling with Joe and their family visiting their children throughout the USA as well as trips to Mexico, Panama, Hawaii, Alaska, Greece, England, Scotland, Switzerland, LDS Church History sites and especially the Holy Land of Israel.

To Mary her family is the most important treasure she has. She looked forward to time and events spent with them and encouraged family reunions. She loves every single one of her descendants and desires that they have the best things in life including a love of Our Savior.

The family expresses gratitude for the kindness of Ward Members and friends, and also to the staff at UVRMC, Stonehenge Rehabilitation, and Inspiration Hospice who served and loved her during her final illness.

She is survived by four daughters: Mary Jo Brady; Diane (Bruce) Jensen; Margaret Judkins; Yvonne Henricksen and one son; J. Allen (Marcia) Henricksen; 28 grandchildren, 95 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild; sister, Yvonne Nelson and brother, John S. Allen.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years; parents; brothers: Louis, Olie and Richard Allen; 1 granddaughter and 2 great-grandsons.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 5, 2011 at the Edgemont South Stake Center, 350 East 2950 North (2950 North Provo Canyon Road), Provo. Friends may call at the church Thursday evening from 6 until 8 and Friday morning from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment at Lehi, Utah Cemetery. Condolences may be emailed to

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Still Empty Arms

"There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms." --Charlotte Bronte

August is here and my heart is breaking. Sometime this week last year Gabriel's little heart stopped beating. I miss him so much and wish these empty arms of mine could hold him again.