My kids love going out to get the mail.. and now they love getting to open it. Today we got our memberships to Happy Hollow.. a semi local, preschool aged theme park.
I excitedly opened it… pulled out the cards and rolled my eyes at one missing..
till the truth knocked me back.
It wasn’t a membership card that is missing..
it’s my child.
Moments like that are sometimes the worst… the ones that surprise me seem to leave the biggest scars.
scars of her life..scars of my love for her.
I shoved the papers back in the envelope and there they sit. Normally I would be putting them directly into my wallet to be ready… But now they are a scar.. every time I look at them I will remember that moment..
that snuck up on me.. tapped me on the shoulder…
and knocked me to the ground.
We didn’t buy memberships while she was alive. It was 30 mins away and I didn’t put in the effort.. and it was too much money..I try not to feel too guilty about all of that.. I had no way of knowing. But I am thankful for the outpouring my family has received that allows us to buy passes this year for our still living children.
There is a local theme park here in town.. we did buy passes for this year for all of us while there still was a “all of us”. I don’t know if I will ever be able to take them there though. But I have to. Its not fair to my boys to miss our on this place 5 minutes away that is made for their age group…
There are few things I can honestly say she would want me to do…taking the kids to Gilroy Gardens is one of them. .. I just don’t know if I can get through it with out her. I see signs.. I think.. I hope.. But I don’t feel her. I want to feel her… I want to know her presence..
Thats a lie..I want all of her..
I’d settle for just feeling her.
I hear this a lot … “Jennifer wouldn’t want you to be so sad”.. Well I am. So if she really is looking down on my with the tears falling, does that mean I am failing her?
I don’t need to hear that… I want to hear, however I feel is ok.. Believe me I feel like a failure enough.. I feel it now. Writing and missing her.. something I don’t get to do during the day. So it builds to my night. Charlotte and I say goodnight to a poster board from Jennifer’s services filled with pictures of her…and us with her. Its pretty amazing how Charlotte will zero in on one picture of her big sister and I will talk to her about it. It begins.. my sorrow starts to uncap itself… knowing soon it will safe enough to escape.
I feel like I deny her during the day.. the ache gets put aside..stuffed away somewhere.. rumbling and shaking below the surface just waiting to come out.
Sometimes I want to just stay in bed.. and cry.. Flip the script of our “new normal”..to hold her pinkie bear and sob. And sleep. I can’t though.. we are blessed with 3 young kids.. They are obviously one of the only things that keeps me going.. but sometimes its really hard too to be trying to parent them through this all at their ages.. Ages where they are home all day.. and have lots of needs…but not a huge grasp of what has happened. When at times I just want to lay down and give up.. just for awhile.
That’s hard to admit.. I feel a lot of guilt writing it out. . .black and white. . I feel like my gratitude should be through the roof..
it is in a way.. . for the years we got with her.. for the 3 I still have with me. Raising a child in heaven is hard, but successfully raising living ones at the same time, that seems impossibly daunting most of the time.
We talked about that last night in parent support group.. about our relationship with God… or higher power .. and reactions we feel from what people say. We all understood it was said with the best of intentions. .. but the words can still have a impact and from many of the bereaved parents I have met.. not the kind that was intended.. Everything takes on new meaning when your child dies.. .
There was a lot of pain in that room from expectations. From being told to “have faith” .. “God can do anything”.. “trust in Him” .. . for me personally those translated to me praying wrong. . or not hard enough.. . or that it wasn’t ok to be mad at God.
I was. I am.
If prayer could have healed her.. then she wouldn’t be dead. I know how many people we had praying for her.. so how do I find my way through that??..
I don’t think God answers prayers.
I will never give Him credit for answering my prayers.. or say somebody’s prayers are answered.
See I can’t believe that. Because if He does answer prayers then why didn’t he answer mine? Ours? Why is she dead? Pretty simplistic prayer.. don’t let Jennifer die. I tried not to pray it.
But I did.. and she did.
So I flipped the script..
I don’t think He answers prayers but I think He listens. I think He hears and truly cares. But I do not think he answers prayers. I don’t think that because we ask Him.. beg Him even…I don’t think He will change things.
Do I pray? Yup.
I pray for Him to stand by me… to help me trust Him again.. I pray especially for Him to reach out to my husband.. and work extra hard to reach his heart.
It has actually helped my relationship. In a lot of ways what I ask God for is the same thing I want from my family and friends. I try really hard to be aware of what I am praying for and about.. I share this not for feedback.. because today its working for me.. .but to potentially help some body else thats struggling..
My personal knife to the gut.. comment is “she’s in a better place”. “she’s is whole and pain free”. I believe it (well mostly..a part of me still thinks her better place is here on the couch with her brothers and sister)..I have faith that she is out of pain and free… But I still want her here. I am selfish.. I just want her here for me… nothing about her happiness…just my own..
That feels awful.. haven’t figured out a way around that one yet.
Oh … and when it comes to what Jennifer would want.. that she wouldn’t want me sad..well I secretly smile now .. flipped the script again…
… .because I know if Jennifer was here
she would want a cookie in the tub… .