first/last

Firsts and lasts. I feel like thats my everyday.

First and lasts.

Radiation went amazingly well. Beforehand todays anesthesiologist pulled me out to say it was up to us if we wanted to cancel or not. That the way JLK is when asleep for radiation is the hardest case they have seen. Just her breathing issues that is….

But we went ahead with it since we were there it was worth a shot. And she did well…( I started to type she killed it…so much of the way I talk is changing)

We had some quiet time at home and then she wanted to have a tea party. Its one of her favorite past times. Today she wanted to get all IMG_3114dolled up….all of us. So she picked out clothes for the 3 of us. Since I knew she wanted to do a tea party I called a place about in SJ that I knew had gluten free offerings. See this is something she had been wanting to do for awhile…me too….But later I always thought to myself.

Since now is our later, we finished getting dressed and she wanted a friend to come. We had to think of somebody that lived in SJ and would be home…And when we called they could come! She was very happy to get to share this first with a girl friend.

IMG_3123We had a lot of fun. Just good girly time fun. She barely ate…And didnt like the tea. But it was a first. A happy time to spend together.

I like the firsts….

Then we headed to my niece and nephews school Christmas performance. My mom had taken her last year. This time she was taking Jonathan and Jennifer really wanted to go also. Sounds like fun so I was all for it.

Surprises me the things that hit me so hard.

I looked around at these parents and I wanted to grab them and scream.

“Do you know how lucky you are? Appreciate it.”

I know all too well its impossible to parent like that. To truly live in and enjoy every moment. But tonight I wanted to shake people..To make them see me and that our lives are crumbling.

I didn’t. I stood in the back with baby Charlotte and Jonathan and cried a little. Watching these kindergartners singing in angel costumes….My kindergarten will one day far too soon be a real one.

Why? Why? Why?

There is no answer to that…at least none that can silence my pain.

I won’t get to watch her as awkward 6th grader not quite sure how to act. Or be the parent smiling at my husband over our daughter…the cutest on stage.

And I realized this was a last….

Last time she would get to see her cousins in a Christmas recital.

Leaving I thought I heard people offering my brother sympathies. I DSC_0776wanted to stop this train. I write a lot about my kids and the impact this will have on them. But her cousins….she has always been adored…Baby Jennifer….Such a a important part of our greater family.

How are they going to handle all of this?…And how will I handle them?

That’s so hard to admit. That I am scared I will always be jealous and look longingly and heartbreakedly at them. Tonight looking around I saw girls in red dresses and heels younger than Jennifer…it didn’t hurt. I looked at their heads and wondered….but I didn’t have the pull in my chest.

The older girls though…I felt a ache… and had to stop myself from just watching them. If I do that already how will the rest of our lives be?

Will I always be jealous of recitals and finals? Even when our other 3 are going through it will I always ache for the one who isn’t? Will it make people turn away from me because its too much for too long….Because if its this loud in me now….

I hate the lasts. They deflate me. They break me. Yet I am so scared to miss them.

The last time I hear her say I love you. The last time she is able to tickle baby Charlotte…

When was the last time she really held my hand with her right hand.

I don’t know. I missed that last….

damnit
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10 Responses to “first/last”

  1. The thought of the lasts is absolutely heartbreaking. I don’t know what it is worth, if anything, but reading this blog is a daily reminder to appreciate and treasure every moment with my daughter. It keeps me that much more present and more thankful. No matter what happens, or what hardships we may have faced over the past few years, what we have is a gift. The bad can’t take away the good unless we let it and every day I think of your family and pray for you and remind myself of that fact. You are sending out a virtual shake and a virtual scream of “appreciate it!” and it is changing lives. As we look forward to our first Christmas with our girl, I think daily of your family facing what may be your last. It breaks my heart and it keeps me focused on the blessing of this first Christmas and keeps me from getting bogged down with the things that might turn something wonderful into something stressful. I wish more than anything you didn’t have a reason to write this blog. But in doing so you are having an impact that I, for one, will carry with me for a lifetime.

  2. Libby,
    I have tears streaming down my face as I write this. I have never met Jennifer and I have not seen you in years, but I feel like I know you now better than I ever did all those years ago in school. Being a mom will do that to a person. I cant take your pain away, I cant change the path your family is on, but I admire so much the mom you are and how you are willing to share your daughter with us. You dont have to share her, but by doing so you are reaching so many people. She is living in us, in you, in your kids, in our kids because of your message. Nothing hurts more than the lasts. But she will always be your first- your first daughter, your first born love is like no other. No last heartbreak can take that first love away.

  3. I have just started following your blog. My little boy, Sam, lost his battle with cancer in September of 2003. As I read your posts, I begin to experience, or reexperience, the feelings and emotions of the last year of his life. All I can say is, I am so sorry. I can also tell you that the feelings of jealousy and resentment that you’re fearful of having will, unfortunately, peak and ebb throughout the rest of your life. They have for me, anyway. I will pray for you. Also, NEVER give up hope. Only God knows His plan.

  4. I have just started following your blog. My little boy, Sam, lost his battle with cancer in September of 2003. As I read your posts, I begin to experience, or re experience, the feelings and emotions of the last year of his life. All I can say is, I am so sorry. I can also tell you that the feelings of jealousy and resentment that you’re fearful of having will, unfortunately, peak and ebb throughout the rest of your life. They have for me, anyway. I will pray for you. Also, NEVER give up hope. Only God knows His plan.

  5. You don’t know me. A friend of mine knows the little girl Emily and her father posted something about JLK and I was so emotionally invested I had to follow you.
    Earlier today I got upset at my girls (3 1/2 and 7) and you flashed into my mind. I couldn’t even begin to understand what you’re going through but reading your blog makes me appreciate those moments with my girls because even though I get flustered with them… I know I’m blessed to have them here to fluster me. You are amazing and inspiring and I just wanted you to know that my thoughts and my prayers go to you, your family and your beautiful little girl. Prayers from Hanford, CA

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