Santorum, meet Breitbart

h/t Patterico

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  1. Dear Mr. Stranahan,
    Please forgive my intrusion into your deep sorrow. I sent you a Twitter message about making handprints of Colette. When my daughter died at birth, we did not think about it. But later I wished I had had something more tangible of her life. We had twins 14 months after Lauren’s birth, but one son did not survive. It is indeed bittersweet to hold your joy and your sorrow simultaneously. Making a handprint of Colette’s hand (or making a footprint) is one way to keep her memory. It may help too when you talk to her twin brother about her later.

    Many parents make handprints for a Child’s first Christmas or Easter or birth. But it is even more precious for one who touched your lives so briefly. I have created these for a child who was stillborn. It made a tremendous impact for the family in their grieving. It gave them something to bring up the child’s name and memory. It gave them something to hold while they dealt with the sorrow of letting go.

    The child was born to a friend of a friend of mine (before Twitter), but I was at my friend’s house when she received the call of bad news. I told my friend of the idea and asked her if it would be too severe an intrusion. But the death of a child is everyone’s loss. I did not personally know the family, but asked permission to do it at the funeral home because I knew it would be meaningful to have something tangible in talking about the child to others and to help in the grieving process. A handprint says “I was truly here and truly yours.” Especially when others have had no opportunity to have a relationship with your child, it offers Mom the chance to talk about the pregnancy and the joy of carrying the child.

    You knew your child in a deeply spiritual way. I think of the handprint like the touch of God on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. I hope you can do this or get someone to do it for you.

    Recipe for salt-dough prints or ornaments

    4 C. Flour PAM Bake at 250 degrees for 4 hours.
    1 C. Salt Olive Oil
    1-1/2 C Hot water Parchment Paper
    1/4 c. Ivory Liquid Soap Straw or pencil

    Dissolve 1 c. salt in 1-1/2 c. hot water. Once dissolved, add 2 cups flour. Add 1/4 cu Ivory Liquid Soap, and then mix in the other 2 cups of flour. Knead into a soft, pliable dough ball. Flatten out enough to test for dryness. Make an impression of your finger or thumb. You want to see the lines in the print. If it cracks, it is too dry; add 1 tsp. to 1-1/2 tsp. water and try the fingerprint again. If it doesn’t make a clear impression, it is too runny; add a dusting of flour. Blend, adding more water or flour,if necessary, due to climate, weather, humidity, etc., until you get the right consistency.

    The dough will be rolled out into 1/4″ thickness on parchment paper. When doing handprints, sometimes they are hard to transfer to the baking sheet with a spatula; parchment paper allows you to keep the integrity of the handprint.

    For very small infants, to get a good handprint, I recommend placing rolled out dough on parchment paper on a small cutting board, which you can take to the baby. For a better imprint, rub in a little olive oil on their hand (or foot) so the dough will not stick to it. For very little ones, press their hand down flat so that each finger will be clearly defined; it helps to have a holder and a helper for very little ones.

    Once the impressions are made, cut around each handprint or footprint using a sharp knife, making a smooth edging with a little water, if necessary. If you would like it to be a hanging ornament, use a straw or pencil to make a hole 1/4″ from the top of the ornament; or cut fine craft wire 1-1/2 to 2 inches long and twist several times to form a loop, spreading the ends apart slightly insert into the unbaked ornament so that only the loop shows.

    Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place handprints or ornaments on a baking sheet. Bake until completely hard and dry, about 4 hours. Remove from baking sheet; cool. Paint with plastic-based poster or acrylic paint. Allow paint to thoroughly dry. Use permanent magic marker or paint pen to mark child’s name and date of handprint (or ornament) as well as occasion. Place handprints or ornaments on wax paper and seal by spraying with clear plastic (polyurethane) or brushing with clear shellac.

    I will try to post this message several places, so you receive it in time to have the opportunity if you so choose to take it.
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Deborah Avellano
    Mission, TX

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