. . . something I should be so happy about and grateful for.. There are certainly parts of it I am. The people that have opened up their vacation home to us…I am grateful for generous people.. That I have 3 living and healthy (I hope…I think) children.. immensely grateful.. but also full of longing for the 1 that’s missing.. the one that will always be missing..
I write it.. but I still don’t believe it.
Downloading the hundreds of pictures from this trip I noticed all the ways we carried her with us. .. . like this one with baby Charlotte snuggled under Jennifer’s blanket.. and I think.. I cannot wait to show her.. Then I just take a deep breath..close my eyes and wait. Reality hits..
..hits so hard I nearly fall out of my seat.
The night before we left for the beach was the lunar eclipse. No surprise I was up late enough to see it and I thought about waking Jonathan up to come see it. Then thought to myself no.. next time there is a cool moon I will …
I crumbled under the weight of that simple normal thought.
Parenting surviving siblings is hard.. . hard in such different ways than I had tried to prepare myself for. It’s not ok to parent them like they are dying.. but its so hard not to. I realized since I hadn’t prepped him for it if I woke him he would have no idea what the big deal was.. . I hope it was the right choice.
I did take a picture to show him..
I love pictures.. I love the way they can bring back a moment and memory. Especially the ones I had totally forgotten. My friend sent me a picture of Jennifer holding a parrot in Monterey. I totally forgot abut that entire day.. How impressed strangers were that she was fearless to hold this seemingly giant animal.. How much she liked getting to look at the guy in the tank.. little moment.. little memories.. Lost in my mind.
But pictures .. they bring those moments back. They bring her back.
Charlotte wears these clothes now.. What different yet strikingly similar little girls we …wow… I first typed “are raising”. …
I realized on this trip how much I still want her in our pictures. I have to find a way to keep her in them .. I took a few of my 4 living loves with the sun in the background .. and for this trip that was it.
She was the sun.. the brightness and warmth and I hope hanging out over our heads..
I really like these pictures.. but on the other hand I hate them.. it’s a trip I never wanted to take.. This should have been just another school/work night. I shouldn’t be finding things to represent my 6yr old..
.. . simply.
she should still be here.
This is not supposed to be vacation time..We are only here because of her.. a gift given to us because of her.. its hard to accept in some ways.. because we never wanted her to be sick.. and I can’t even find the words to explain accurately how ..with such a intensity ..I don’t want her to be gone..
at least she was here once with us..
That trip…she loved it. She was so free and strong…beautiful.. The way she ran right into the ocean. In November. And never wanted to come back out.
It was such a good time. We promised her we would come back. .. Even promised her we would finish the Yogi Bear movie they were watching when we made them get in the car to come home. We were that sure.. THAT SURE that we would come back again.. that we had time and that I could make a promise to her.. to them… that I didn’t keep.
Made plans to do it twice.. Never got back here though.. the last time we were supposed to come…we took her home . . for the last time. .. to begin her painful decline and death.
As much as I remember her here .. and as hard as that is.. It would have been even harder if we were at a place like this.. a place she would have loved.. if we hadn’t taken her here. I miss her.. terribly.. but she was here with us once.. and that helps me.. a lot.
I wonder if that’s why Jonathan has been asking to come back here.. to the bunk bed beach house. I went for a run on the beach this morning.. I wrote her name in the sand…
When I got home they were watching Yogi Bear… Jonathan picked it out.. this time we let them finish before we headed out to play on the beach.
Thanks Jennifer and Jonathan for the do-over. I needed that.
The second night he woke up … and we laid in his bed and talked and snuggled. .. He didnt want me to leave so I stayed.. for a long time.. and as I was drifting off to sleep with him he grabbed me and said..
“I just want her back!”
I held him and tried to absorb his pain.. his heartache.. his loneliness.. all these emotions I know all too well now.. Maybe I did because a few minutes later he said it was time for me to go back to my room.
We played football and built sandcastles.. So different than out last trip.. I think especially for Tony who was the one with her in the ocean. .. Eventually he got Nicholas to go in a little.. but not the same as our fearless mermaid.
I ran both mornings.. and today as I ran I looked at my footprints and recalled the well known footprints prayer.. about how in the worst of times God carries us through our pain… I believe that… I do. But oh how I wish he would run a little..
dude is walking slow.
I just want to be at the end of my beach… of my time forced without her.
I remember watching her…playing in the power of the ocean.. hoping it could give her some of its strength ..
This time I looked at the water and thought about how I have read that souls in heaven are like drops in the ocean. My baby girl.. one of many..in a place I cannot even begin to imagine. I knew everything about her life… about every experience she had.. .
Now I cant even being to fathom what is happening for her .. I know its good and warm…and pain free. But I just want to know. I want to connect with my daughter.. She is only 6
I should still be taking care of her.. I should still know whats happening in her…
…even death .. I would even be “happy” to know whats happening in her death.. if it meant I could just know her again. It’s so unnerving to not be in touch …to not know whats going on with my daughter who should just be wrapping up her kindergarten year. I should know..
but I don’t. I think this is part of the reason I feel so unsettled every day.. because its not natural and my heart and mind are struggling with understanding something I am not meant to understand..
.. .death of my child.
Tony took baby Charlotte in for her first time in the ocean. A private moment between father and remaining daughter.
So much has changed. ..so much of the simple day to day I realized on this trip. The way we play and the things we chose to do as a family.
.. changed in ways I never thought we would. I knew when she died our eating habits would change.. I even thought about how our tv shows would change.. Our vacations are different and our moments are too.. in ways I didn’t even realize. .
. . we danced.
Dance parties used to be a daily occurrence in the Kranz house. We haven’t had one since her services.
I danced with them and I thought of her.. I remembered the simple pleasures of being her mother.. I sat and watched them.. with her picture in the background and imagined her with us.. dancing.. twirling.. happy.. Jennifer..
Dancing around now ..in our new life.. the way boys do.. strong movements that seem to always end in wrestling on the ground…
I miss you Jennifer. I wish more than anything to get a vacation with you again…
my 6 yr old.. who I am so far apart from.. .
even just a one day vacation
to know whats it like for you now..
….are you still wearing a headband in the ocean?