The Best Gift I Ever Got: The Most Touching Presents Ever Exchanged
When my daughter, Lauren, was 14 months old she got cranky and didn't want to eat. The doctor diagnosed an ear infection and gave us antibiotics. Two days later Laura died in her sleep. My husband, David, and I were devastated.
It turned out that Lauren had a rare metabolic disorder that prevents the liver from breaking down fat. We had had no idea -- she had always seemed healthy.
That first Christmas without her was hard, but our family and church provided us with strength. The next Christmas, in 2006, my mother-in-law gave me an etched-glass ornament with Lauren's name and dates of birth and death on it. It's beautiful, but the best thing is that it's tangible. I can proudly display it because I want people to ask about my daughter; I want to talk about her. That's what keeps her memory alive.
Since then, Lauren ornaments have become a tradition -- we now have six. They're always up on our mantel, not just at Christmas, for anyone who comes into our home to see.
-- Nicole C. Young, 32, Decatur, Georgia