goodbye

New day… new goodbye.

Its starting to feel like everyday there are new ways I am saying goodbye to her. .. over and over again.

Yesterday, friday,  I picked Jonathan up from school. Right before I left to get him we got a email to approve her headstone. I like… well I like it enough for something I hate with a passion.

And so expensive.. we were warned how much they would cost..but the nearly 8 grand bill shocked me. Totally worth it and I’m not trying to complain, I only share it so people have an idea about it.. maybe most people do, but I have been surprised at every turn how expensive death is. I haven’t tried to cut corners or find ways to do it cheaper though.. so I am sure it can all be done for much less.

There is something special on it that Jonathan has asked for.. while we were driving home we talked about it and the cemetery… we were about to drive past it so I asked if he would want to go look at the cemetery… to get an idea what all the things I am occasionally talking to him about. So we did. I even showed him the spot she will be buried. And we looked at all the different headstones they have.. some from people like sissy who just died and others that died years and years ago.

DSC_0566When we got home I showed him the sample pic of the headstone to see .. he approved. I let him know that we can change things on it if he wasn’t happy with it. .. he said he was content. We came inside and before we got to the house from the garage he was in full melt down mode. I just did my best to hold him.. comfort him.. and allow him his anger.

…guess I’m not the only one growing weary of the constant goodbyes.

We had marriage counseling right after than and were trying out a babysitter for the boys. I warned her he was running on all cylinders… just high octane time .. happy.. or angry.. or sad. While we were gone they colored. He did a picture for sissy.. having her help him write

“I miss sissy”

Later that night he told me he wanted to tie it to a balloon and send it to her in heaven. I promised we would the next day. Nicholas noticed the rain.. hard and puddle making. It was dinner time but the boys and I suited up to go puddle jumping.. we called it a backwards night… play then bath then dinner.. and bed.

Laughing and splashing. I took lots of pictures of my two boys who are slowly learning to be each others best friend..They had a good time.

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I faked it. I feel horrible about it. I should appreciate these beautiful beings I am entrusted with more than anybody.. I should love this time.. childhood is fleeting no matter what.. and I have tasted how bitterly short it can sometimes end up being… .

I look at these pictures. How perfect these boys are.. DSC_0568

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..still though I forced the smiles and the laughs.. all the while missing Jennifer.

her laugh.

her splashes.

her.

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Poor Jonathan. Now forced to the first in our family…to do the firsts she never got to do..  now paving the way for his younger siblings… through his joys and accomplishments

…stuck with a mom watching through tear stained lens.

It’s not fair to him. But it’s a truth I fear most right now

.. .that cancer has stolen part of his life too.

A friends daughter… a friend that honestly was on the outer circle during the good times in our lives.. but incredibly stepped up and in during the worst times…her daughter was hospitalized and released late last night. She texted to say I could come over. I did.. thats why I didn’t blog, I was there. Just hanging out on the other side of somebodies life trauma. Its interesting to so much want to help… find the right words for somebody else.. Just a good reminder for how I know people feel with us.

Being invited there though was a blessing for us . . We talked in counseling .. Tony needs solitude to connect and do his “grief work”. Being at out of our house gave him a sleeping household  to take care of himself.

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Tony went golfing this morning.  Another thing he needs. The social and physical outlets. The boys and I played and packed a picnic while Charlotte slept.. and slept. Teething and a decent little cold made for a rough night. Finally I woke her up and we went to go buy balloons. Jonathan wanted the same one as I wanted.. a pink heart.. Nicholas got a spiderman one and we picked the same for Daddy. Charlotte got a smiley face.. and one from the whole family. A star.

I wrote notes for all but Nicholas. He wanted to draw on his. Jonathan insisted I draw hearts all over the rest of them. They were both really into it. Couldn’t wait to “talk” to their sister..

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I wonder does it bother them like it does me that she cannot talk back?  That we will never hear her little voice answer back.?.. .her still childlike voice .. with just a hint of big girl sarcasm poking through.

My little girl. sweet, silly boy crazy girl of mine. <- hear her

 

I am starting to think she might be sending us little signs.. or somebody is doing it on her behalf. The balloons went up and  veered sharply right.. towards a heart cloud that had been slowly forming above us. Once they got there the heart immediately started to dissipate. Not blowing away..or moving but disappearing. Jonathan said it was a broken heart.

IMG_4293It was incredible.

I cried as we counted down and let our heart covered messages go. I want more than a balloon note for my 6 yr old. It seemed to soothe my boys though. I am grateful for the little pieces of innocence they have retained… So much of the naive security and innocence 2 and 4 yr olds are supposed to have was ripped away from them..

Not all though..  a ballon release to heaven seemed to soothe and refresh them both. I could write on a million balloons for her. I could write and never stop.

We had packed a gluten free picnic. It was nice to share a meal at the park with my 3 living kids. (I wonder if I will stop feeling a need to write that..”living”) I don’t know if I will say it or just think it in person.. but here as I write I cannot imagine omitting those 6 letters.

powerful. bittersweet letters.

living.

.. .living.

We shared a meal we could have… should have. . .

shared with her. It felt right and simple and nice. Then we took off on a adventure walk. To explore what we could… just a little off the beaten path…. followed by races on the grass cheered on by a honest little sister and a false mother.

…please please please let them not know.

My love is so true and real.

I wish my  joy still was too.

goodbye baby girl.

Its time for me to go to bed… another day without you..

one less left to live..

 

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42 Responses to “goodbye”

  1. type, erase. Type, erase……never know what to say, but you are always on my mind and always will be.

  2. My words are so horribly and hopelessly inadequate to express how much I feel for you. How much I want to make it better. But all I can offer you is my virtual presence, my love and my prayers. Nowhere near enough but I am here reading, supporting and aching for you from afar.

  3. Crying for you all this morning and saying prayers. She is there. Just not the way you want her to be, and for that I am horribly sorry.

  4. Sobbing. Love that precious little girl and that sweet voice? Oh my goodness!! What a wonderful thing with the balloons and the heart cloud and picnic and playing. You are such a precious mother and I know you are drowning in grief but you are still doing an amazing job!!! Sending hugs and prayers. Sincerely. xoxo

  5. Libby my heart breaks so much for u. Ur words and feelings srr so powerful. I could feel ur hurt in my soul thru the way u blog about ur family. Please know u have many people praying for u I am one of them. U are not alone. And jennifer lives on in u in tony and ur beautiful babies. Love to u Libby.

  6. we did the balloons when my 2nd son was young. we would silently, expectantly watch, as they blew out of sight. I’ll never forge the first time… the exact moment the balloons were out of sight my son said in a surprisingly happy whisper. ” look mommy! he caught them!” It became tradition. waiting for that moment. <3 Your family is loved by so many, and being held as best we can in our prayers, thoughts, much much <3

  7. You will love the photos you took today – some day. You will be glad you took them. Thinking of you.

  8. …always thinking of you… Your kids.. You’re an inspiration, Jennifer touched and keep touching so many people, specially mine. God bless you always…

  9. Let the little children lead us …Libby… Your kids are adorable. How wonderful they all are. Honestly I think you are doing a wonderful balancing act between grieving and parenting and wife-ing. (I guess that is not a word. Autocorrect was spazzing out ) hugs to you and yours.

  10. She talks to them. They feel her. I never got the chance to meet her. I feel like I know her through pictures. I dreamt about her. I knew she was gone in my dream. But she was there. I brought blow pops. Three of them. I almost forgot them when I got out of the car because I was sad but excited to see you guys. I felt her. She ran to me and embraced me as if I have known her forever. She saw the blow pops in my hand. I told her to ask you if she could have one. We were at a park. You were sitting feeding the baby. The other three were playing on a playground directly behind us. There were so many kids there. You called out at one point. Jennifer yelled back reassuring you they were ok. I woke up. I was confused. Not sure how to feel. I felt her. I really felt her. But I never got to meet her. I kept repeating that to myself. I read your blog daily. Every morning. Wishing I was closer. Wanting to find the time not to come and visit but to merely hug you. No words. Just hug you. My dream happened a few days after she moved on. I wanted to share but every time it started I deleted it. Until I read this blog today. They see her, they feel her. I know she comes to them in their dreams. Lots of love to you my friend, lots of love.

  11. Ugh heart wrenching and beautiful!…. I love that you see the signs she sends you… Heart shaped clouds…. What a beautiful message from her!

  12. Your love for them is pure and true. Im so sorry Libby. I wish with all my heart that she was here with you. Sending all my love and prayers to all 6 of you. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  13. The heart-shaped cloud reminded me so much of the “glitter heart” that was formed when Jennifer threw the glitter up in the air during the Glitter Shoot…I truly believe she was there with you all as you released the balloons smiling and loving it all!!

  14. Crying so much… This is so wrong .. Jennifer is so missed I wish with all my heart I could fix your pain … Everyone’s pain… I love your family so much! Prayers, love and hugs xxx

  15. I love her innocence, wanting a sleepover with Keegan, but mommy won’t let her stay at his house. ☺️ What a wonderful piece of her you captured! Thank you for sharing. These are the moments you will reflect upon and that will someday fill you with happiness, rather than sorrow and emptiness. I know, as a member of that “club”, that the pain subsides, the dark, suffocating cloud, gives way and you will enjoy those Jennifer moments again. In her far too short 6 years on this earth, it is apparent she has given you some pretty terrific “moments” to remember. She was one very special little lady, YOUR special little lady, who is now in the hearts and minds and making a difference in thousands of peoples lives.

    Thank you for your courage. Thank you for being that person who made the difference in Jennifer’s life.

    Much love and prayers always.

  16. May I humbly submit that I don’t think your (living) kids see a fake smile on your face or hear a fake laugh: they see a smile that is trying its best, and a laugh that is doing all it can to support them. You are courageous, you are a woman who has taken the very bitterest life could offer and you are still walking around the world with hugs and smiles and thoughtful words for your family. You have a steely core of strength that is making all this happen, and a heart that has altered but is still resolutely beating hard for your kids, your husband, your extended family, and for yourself, too.

  17. I love the moments Jennfer is sharing with you. You are doing your best, Libby. Sending you strength and hugs.

  18. Type, erase, type, erase…. The previous poster could not have explained better what many of us go through every night, trying to find the right words. Of course, there are no “right” words, but oh how we all wish there were. I love the balloons and the message it sends to your boys – that they can still talk to her…. That is a incredibly important message for them to receive….

  19. Day by day… You’re such a fighter, so much strength. They will grow and one day be able to understand that Mama was there/present and she did so well in such a difficult time, she did all these things for us to understand/process…the love was real. Love is behind the smiles and laughs, it’s real Libby.

  20. Your love is true. Your joy might feel false, but your emotions are real so in the end that’s all that matters. Your three living children know you love them with all the heart you have left right now. Sending you lots of love.

  21. Today a pink heart balloon with hearts and writing was found on our playground ….what are the chances? I immediately thought of you guys. I wish I knew if it was one of the ones you released. You are all and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. The heart cloud gave me chills and a smile. Too coincidental. How awesome for your children. Thinking about you and your family and sending peace.

  23. I’d like to re-iterate what another has said. There is nothing fake about you, Libby.

    ALL of us mothers ignore our kids. We don’t laugh at every joke, we don’t watch every step and mis-step. We just don’t. We are all juggling all the things we have to do to get to tomorrow. Yet somehow they turn out. Yours will too.

    Unfortunately, you have been slapped in the face with the reality of a short amount of time. I wish you had more moments. The fact is that you are acutely aware of the difference between being present and not.

    I will also humbly say that your lens has changed but your love is there. I feel it and don’t even know you so I am guessing your family does also.

  24. When I saw the cloud, it looked lije a girl dancing, with her head off to the side. My step-son loves sending balloon notes to his brother~ he’s been doing it for 9 years straight. Prayers for strength & patience with yourself. You are amazing.

  25. You are beautiful Libby. Your family is amazing. Broken, and some of the break will never fully heal. But your living kids will lead full lives so very very loved.

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