miss her

I miss her.

Last night we had a bereaved family over for dinner. They also lost their eldest daughter. It was incredible to be able to talk about soccer in one breathe and each of our daughters ashes in the next. Foods we like to eat and how they spend their daughters anniversary/birthday each year. None of us grimaced at comments… or felt sorry for each other. I think both families hurt for each other.. understand the sorrow.. but all having our own pains.. it somehow seemed to level out. They are 7 yrs further down the road then we are so they were able to give us their experiences over a few years time. That was helpful. There youngest is the same age as Jennifer.. her school “boy friend”. I worried about the age difference since all 4 are older by a few years than our kids.. But so selfishly hopeful for the relationship to grow for our kids sake.

DSC_0140I wish I took pictures of them..our everyday goodbye sissy at school ritual… hugs and kisses . The way she hugged them each day was different than it had been in the past. It was a real older sibling hug… a I’m looking out for you hug…and I need you a little too hug.. Jennifer was going to look out for the rest of them at school.. take care of them. They lost that too. Having some big kids on campus when they start elementary school would be great… other kids with a sister in heaven. Jennifer’s friend. I whispered to her about their daughter a few times before she died. We looked at her picture together on snow day.. While we listened to he cousins enjoying her snow outside…(exactly what she wanted…even had me move her to the side of the couch to hear better.. ) during that time I introduced her the best I could to a little girl I am hoping she is holding hands with in heaven.

That I am hoping are proud and happy that their families got together to share a meal. I talk to her too.. that little girl in heaven.

I talk to a couple other dead kids once in awhile.. that’s a sentence I never thought I would write..

At bed last night Jonathan asked about her… asked to see a picture of her. I think he wants to meet his sisters new friend too.

Today. So often little things hit me.. not angry but sad. Just feeling very little and small

and hurt.

.. .helpless..

DSC_0452We had an amazing play date this morning. Mud fun for the kids. How often they dug in our backyard. Sometimes they were allowed to and sometimes they got in trouble for it… what a waste those times of upset with them were… what harm did a little digging in the mud do anyways. I am glad I take a lot of pictures.. my guilt alters my memory and I had forgotten that I did actually let them play in the mud quite a few times.

It was a fine time for me as well. I wasn’t angry… or overly sad.. but I think maybe it was the start of that road that my day is ending on..

I longed for her. I looked at the kids jumping in the mud.. and my boys holding back.. I knew what was missing.

Sissy.

She would have jumped in. Gotten a mess in a princess dress. And her brothers would have followed.

I yearned for her.

Driving home Tony and I were laughing at Nicholas copying Jonathan.. I remembered telling Jennifer when Jonathan was copying and driving her crazy, not to worry… soon Bubbas (what we call Nicholas) would be doing it to Jonathan driving him nuts.  Talking with Tony about those memories .. .

I ached inside.. A forceful pull… a current just beginning ..

I never thought she wouldn’t get to be here to see it happening to Jonathan.

I turned to Tony

” I can’t believe she is dead. That she is never coming back”

We drove the rest of the way in silence.. lost in our own manageable grief.

Later in the day I dropped Tony off for a guys night with some of our family. Its good for him. He needs the social interaction. The kids and I headed to a friends house.

Again.. simple good times.

I just missed her. simple. pure..

I laughed with my friend about Charlotte taking just 2 tiny steps…until food comes out .. then she took a good 6-8 steps to get to the food… Jennifer would have laughed with us. She was just getting to the age to want to be with the grown up ladies once in awhile.. starting to understand what we laughed about ..

She’s not here though. . not the way I want her here at least.. I cant share a laugh like that with her. Or see her leading the kids up the stairs. Just a space… a missing piece. Nobody can see it but me I think..

today… it was quietly noticeable.

Now as I write.. sorting out my feelings from the day I am crying. Not sobbing. Not buckled over. Just tears.. constant flow.

… missing her.

We came home to dinner being dropped off. Its so helpful. Cooking.. shopping.. feels like a domestic chore I will never again be able to conquer. Thank you so much for all the help!!

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**mopping **
**mopping **

After we ate the boys cleared their places and vacuumed for me. We just got this thing and its way easier than the handheld one for them.. she would have loved to have done it… at least a few times! I love how they want to help me. I am trying really hard to find more ways to let them.. to empower them. Even if its not done right.. they feel good doing it. Again a thing I wish I had taken the time to do while she was still here..

My boys have been doing good things.. making us proud .. Jonathan wore a “best big bro” shirt the other day… he wasn’t acting like it and I told him it was a privilege to be a big brother and he needed to earn that shirt. It seemed to sink in for him. Today he looked out for Nicholas when he fell and was crying.. he has been trying to solve problems with his little brother the way Jennifer did… .how much he loves that I let him pick up Charlotte.

**not carrying her but I love this picture**
**not carrying her but I love this picture**

 

Every time a new person came around Jennifer asked to walk around carrying baby Charlotte.. Every time we were at school she asked to hold her sister so her friends and other moms could see her.. My Mom thought I was crazy to let a 5 yr old carry our newborn.. she was right.. but I am glad I let the crazy win out..She was so damn proud to do it. Now Jonathan has that same look on his face. I think she would be proud of him. To see how much he has grown up since she has been gone. Stepped up.

I hope it truly feels good to him. I hope is happy. Well as happy as a 4 yr old can be with a dead sister/best friend. 

Nicholas is starting to show signs of his struggle.. I will write on that another night.. Jonathan has been trying to level him out though. .. We aren’t perfect. By any stretch but we have been raising some really good kids. I hope we have the stamina to continue that through this grief.

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Tonight at bed Nicholas picked out christmas jammies.. Jonathan’s old ones…Their favorite ones they wore when they shared a room…Twinso jammies she called them. The boys asked to sleep together on the floor. They put her stuffed animals in between them, to share her. .. Jonathan’s idea. And covered up with one of her blankets..

When we got that call on Monday…the new prognosis...we came up with a literal bucket list. We were so careful not to just think about her… that was what we thought of for Jonathan. That he wanted all of us to sleep in the same room together. We were for sure going to make that happen.. No regrets right?!?

.. we didn’t.

It went so fast. . .She died 2.5 weeks later.

Quick in time. .. slow in death. .. horribly slow..

sorry son.

I kissed them goodnight .. came out here

and missed her.

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36 Responses to “miss her”

  1. I never have quite the right words, but I just want you to know how many of us are still here, reading every post, thinking of you and your family every day, and wishing there was something we could do. Hugs.

  2. I know it’s not the same and never enough but I pray JLK’s presence surrounds you and Tony and her brothers and sister so that you may always feel her love and personality just as you would if she were here. Xxx

  3. Good morning from snowy Minnesota. Hard to believe we are having a major snow storm when we are longing for spring. These are big, beautiful snowflakes that are falling fast and furious. Sometimes the wind picks them up and tosses them around like little tornadoes. When the wind slows, they softly land on the ground… where they rest peacefully.

    This process of grieving, painful, fast, furious, mind blowing, out of control sucks. I’m hoping today you land softly on the ground, for a bit of peace and rest just like the snowflakes that I am watching today.

  4. Libby, you HAVE been raising phenomenal kids. I’ve always said how in awe I am of you for it. You will continue to: maybe because (or in spite) of losing JLK.
    Hugs!

  5. How could you not miss her? I never met her, but from pictures and videos she is exactly how you describe her. Magic. My heart aches for you Libby- and the kranz crew. We are all still here.

  6. I love the picture of Jennifer holding Charlotte. I’m glad you let her do that and you felt good looking at the pictures of the kids playing in the mud. You and Tony are wonderful parents and are doing the best you can with your family right now. It is good for you to have those times away, like the guys night, which hopefully helps for a little bit. Sending you love and hugs.

    Vanessa

  7. i cant imagine how much you must ache for her and miss her. I am sending you prayers always Libby and of course big hugs and lots of love

  8. You and Tony are amazing parents. I pray for all 6 of you every single day. I think about all of you especially Jennifer every single day. My heart aches for you. I am here. I will always be here for you and your family. Theu your blog I have come to know Jennifer, you, Tony, Jonathan, Nicholas and Charlotte. I feel very privelaged to have gotten to know you thru your blog. Lucky to have gotten to know about your amazing Jennifer and her life, her struggle, your struggle. Thankyou. We love you Libby!

  9. The way Jonathan has been stepping into that big brother role not only speaks volumes about you as parents but also about the big Jennifer was. And still is. Her love and influence will affect her siblings positively always. Always here but always missed. <3

  10. You are truly amazing….she is so beautiful. This post literally knocks the wind out of me…prayers for your family

  11. Thinking of you today and always. Jennifer is talked about daily in our house as I’m sure in many others. We are all thinking of you every day. Thank you for sharing.

  12. My last conversation with my Dad was about JLK 6 weeks ago today so I know he is with her in heaven. He was an awesome Dad and he will look after her for you until you meet with her again. Grief sucks but it is comforting for me to think that he is looking out for her and telling her silly stories.
    Lee

  13. I cry for you, I pray for you. As a mother in the same “club” as you I so deeply feel your pain. But I hear in your words you “are moving thru the grief” and that is a good thing. If there is anything good right??? We are coming up on 6 years this August that we lost our son. 6 years, sounds unbelievable. We made it this far. The sadness never leaves, the hole in my heart as his mother never closes but I am still standing and have learned to live again. I didn’t think I would. GOD is good. We are now raising our 3 grandchildren. Almost feels like a chance to raise my son again. They help me bear the pain of him being gone. May GOD bring you peace today Libby and everyday. You are in my prayers.

  14. She was an amazing little girl because of the great family she has. You are and will continue to be such an awesome mom. I

    Your in my thoughts sending love your way.

  15. Still reading each and every single one of your blogs… I always will. Continued prayers for each one of you.

  16. Just wanted to tell you, I’ve been inspired by your pictures-on the blog, and the ones in her slideshow at her memorial. I usually take a lot of, you know…posed “cute” shots. But those aren’t real life pictures…and those are the ones that count I think. I have since started taking A LOT more every day shots-but those are the ones I really love now. You are an amazing example of motherhood-don’t doubt that and don’t let the guilt take that away from you.

    I love seeing all of the pictures of JLK just playing with her brothers and sister. She was such a good big sister. (still is) I think she’s cheering on Charlotte’s steps and the fun the boys had in the mud.

    hugs. You and your family are in my thoughts often.

  17. EVERYTIME I HEAR BRAVE I THINK OF YOU AND JENNIFER….MAKES ME SMILE WITH HAPPINESS WHEN I THINK ABOUT HER BEAUTIFUL VIDEO YOU HAVE OF HER AND THEN SAD ALL AT THE SAME TIME… YOU BOTH, YOU AND JENNIFER ARE THE BRAVEST PEOPLE I KNOW!!! LOVING YOU BOTH FROM AFAR!!

  18. I look for your posts everyday. Someday’s I write, some days I just read and then there are days I just pray. I just want you to know that your a wonderful example of a great mom. Your boys and your little princess are lucky to have you as a mom. Although your pain will always be there someday your life will be normal again with of course the absence of Jennifer. You and Tony are in my prayers and I pray that each day you get stronger and stronger to face the day!!! <3<3<3

  19. Wow, I was reading all along, but it didn’t occur to me that it was only 2.5 weeks after the phone call, and Jennifer was gone. Reading that just now stopped me in my tracks. I had to look off and stare for a minute.

    I think you are doing your best, Libby. Your intentions are solid and good. you are DRIVEN to love your kids as best you can..despite the grief…and you are a lovely, passionate, wonderful mom. You could never fail at this. I believe kids KNOW when they are fully loved and yours do..,I can see it in the pictures & hear it in your stories. I hear you say that you wish you did this, or wish you did that…..these things can’t be counted as mistakes….you just didn’t have the time.

    I just ramble, sorry. I would never claim to have anything to “teach” here. Just want to share my thoughts….from mom to mom. We all need eachother so much. Your brain must go on overdrive so often. I love when I sense some peace coming from your blog.

    I believe you will move mountains with Jennifer. Keep movin forward, Libby. Love to you and your family.

  20. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say, but I know that hearing those words is better than not writing them to you. There is no remedy for grief too deep for words, no quick fix- but you are stronger than you think and your whole family is so very loved. I’m still hear reading and thinking about you guys every day.

  21. Tears. 2 1/2 weeks. So short. I am up studying right now-I am teaching the lesson in bible class for our first through sixth graders tomorrow. It’s the story of Jesus and the children. The disciples were saying no Jesus doesn’t have time but Jesus…he saw what was happening and said no! Bring them to me! He put his arms around them and he blessed them. I know he is doing that right now for Jennifer. His arms around her. I see him doing that for you too. His arms around you and blessing you. You are his child too. I’m so sorry you ache. I’m just so sorry. Praying you feel his arms around you tonight.

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