"Once Upon a December"

Join me in "Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane".

Dancing Bears, painted wings,
Things I almost remember,
And a song someone sings
Once upon a December

Someone holds me safe and warm.
Horses prance through a silver storm.
Figures dancing gracefully,
Across my memory

Far away, long ago,
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart used to know,
Things it yearns to remember…
And a song someone sings
Once upon a December

--"Once Upon a December" - Anastasia 1997

My two little sisters, Cecily and Anna, and I used to have girls' nights with our momma, and we would almost always listen to music from the animated movie, “Anastasia”. The quoted song is “Once Upon a December”, Anna’s favorite number from Anastasia. It was used on the video that was played at her funeral, and I haven’t been able to hear it since without thinking about her.

You see, Anna was always a hopeless romantic (yes, even at the tender age of 6 years). She always sang her heart out when this song came on, and you could just see how much she was feeling the melody and relishing the story behind it as she sang along. Anna loved to sing so much—I know if she had lived longer that she would have been an incredible singer. I have yet to find a little girl who has such a deep perception of emotions.

For the months after Anna went to be with Jesus, we found it too difficult to watch “Anastasia” or listen to the music. Every time we tried, we would all break down in tears, knowing the kind of fun we had had in the past relishing the mystery enveloped in its magical development. I honestly was afraid to pay any attention to it at all for several years, but just recently I watched the film again, and I had an amazing time gathering in the living room with all of my cherished siblings and dissolving myself once again in the story that had for so long haunted me with melancholy memories of Anna. Yes, it did make me think of Anna, but praise God I can have those memories without being filled with sorrow and pain! His healing is truly miraculous.

To know that my little brothers can enjoy that little aspect of life that Anna loved too is a special feeling. They’re getting to experience little pieces of their sister’s life every day. I’m so happy that we were given the opportunity to make such wonderful memories with the sweet little girl who graced the earth for the 6 years that she did. What an incredible impact she made on so many lives with her example of a life lived with purpose and a Love worth sharing!


Sally-Ann said...

What a sweet memory, of times spent with Anna. Music has a way of helping us remember, it can also me of great comfort.

Tanya said...

What precious memories for you, memories of your sweet little sister. Thanks for sharing! :)

HappyascanB said...

How precious! You have a gift for writing, girl! Keep it up! This was a fantastic post, full of emotion and sweet memories!!!

September said...

Abigail -
Love your new blog page! It is great! I always enjoy reading and getting another glimpse into Anna's favorte things. Thank you for sharing your special memories. I always enjoy reading your posts. Hey - your Twitter comments are great - Did you beat your momma at Yahtzee? LOL..

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful memories, Abigail. Your sweet Anna IS beautiful inside and out. I cannot wait to meet her one day in heaven's glory. Your words touched my heart today. Praying God's continued comfort and grace for you and your beautiful family.

Thank you for sharing your heart, Abigail.

Kelly Gerken

Holly said...

I don't think I have heard that before so thanks for sharing. I've only seen a clip or 2 from the movie.

Linda said...

Abigail, I love the song,...and yet it does evoke sad memories for me too. Kind of Bittersweet memories actually. But maybe I will try listening to it again sometime now that it has been awhile and see if I can think of it differently.

What you said is true about sharing Anna with her little brothers in ways like that. We forget that they were so little when she went to heaven. I do want them to think about her, and know things about their sister.

You are a good writer Ab, and able to express yourself well. I enjoy reading your posts.

I had so much fun having time with you last weekend. I am so glad that you could come and stay with Grandma and Grandpa.

Love you!

Kristin said...


That was just such a touching post. I just picture Anna singing so beautifully as she dances with Jesus in Heaven. I have heard that the music is so amazing that our human ears cannot even imagine it! I have fallen in love with Anna from reading about her in all of your family's posts and her story has deeply touched my life so greatly. Thank you so much for sharing her life with us.

Love ya,

Patricia said...

I've never listened to this song before. Thank you for sharing it with us. What joy you will have to hug and kiss your sweet little Anna again. I love that picture of her.

Oksana said...

I bought that song a couple of years ago, and when I listen to it from now on, I know I'll be thinking of your sister. It's not only your brothers who are experiencing parts of her life -- thanks to your willingness to share her story, we all are. Thank you for sharing.

Blessings. :)

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