do over

Everything is hard… everything reminds me of her.

I just really want to have an experience where its not hard..

do i really?

will I just be overwhelmed with guilt that day?


IMG_2977-optWe went to Ikea last week. Our kids are outgrowing the table we have..When she was in treatment we went there one time. We looked at a table and I said I would talk to Daddy about getting it…

I remembered being there with her and my sister. How she let Jennifer pick out her christmas gift early.. a purple tv tray. .. She loved it. We used it a lot..starting that afternoon. Our first proper tea party at our little apartment in Palo Alto. .. then I used it to show her movies on my computer… then to organize her medications.. now to write..13302818973_f4a3653c71_b


We bought the table last week. It’s so hard for me to have something new in the house.. something her hands didn’t touch. I’m glad that at least she helped me pick it out originally.. won’t always be like that though.. .one day… .

I just realized one day everything she touched will be gone. I am going to live so many wretched days without her that all the things will have worn out.. ..

Sometimes this blog helps me.. it gives me a space to sort out my thoughts and feelings.. It allows me time to grieve her and remember her.  Every once in awhile though I have moments of clarity like that..they make make me want to slam my computer shut and walk away.

Yesterday we took the 3 littler kids to the zoo. It was a long drive..somehow I ended up day dreaming about how tall our good friends daughter will be.. My mind then wandered to start thinking of her and Jennifer as teenagers together.. what they will look like walking down the street.

I smile.

I remember.

I want to scream. I can’t. I am locked in a car with my living babies.

At the zoo that feeling came back. In a convoluted way I found myself understanding these animals in confinement. Its what my grief is like. Trapped in a whole new place.. It all looks the same as my natural habitat.

But its not. Its too small. There is no way out.

People peering in at me have no idea how broken I truly am.

Walking around we got so many compliments on our kids.. how beautiful they are.. What a perfect little family we look like… no idea how shattered we all are.

DSC_0630Afterwards my parents took the boys for a sleepover and I went to crossfit. Tony went to get started on a memorial tattoo…they got a lot of it done. It’s already beautiful.

i hate it

A tattoo for a daughter that isn’t supposed to be dead.

Last night instead of blogging I worked on my speech for the event I am lucky enough to get to share our story at in a week. And I cried. I walked around the almost empty house…just me and baby Charlotte.. and I talked to her. The wound feels so exposed when I talk to her like that.. but I love the pain. That pain.. that to the core of me grief, is my relationship with her.

It wasn’t part of my life plan… it’s not the relationship I yearned for..  but its where we are .. I forget how much more I feel connected to her

…like her mommy again when I talk aloud to her. ..

So last night was girls night in the Kranz household. It started at dinner and didn’t stop til Tony came home.

The night we got the new prognosis.. that we learned that the weeks of radiation didn’t really buy us more time.. we made a bucket list. I had done this over the summer with the kids.. I made a huge chart of the things we wanted to do over the summer before Jennifer started kindergarten. I had no idea that would literally be her bucket list.. we got almost everything crossed off.. minus a SJ baseball game.

That night we made a new one.. this time knowing it was our last chance. We didn’t get to cross anything off that list.. She lived… survived.. struggled.. for 2.5 more weeks.. but not well enough to do anything on the list.

We put one thing on the list for Jonathan.. something he had been asking for..  we thought we had time to do it .. even with a grim prognosis of 9 months we put things off.

“camp in the dance room all together”

We wanted to do something to make good and lasting memories for the boys too. This was something we added with them in mind. Thankfully we didn’t tell them because we couldn’t make it happen.

We tried tonight though. Tony set up the tent we just bought. . He was so happy when he saw it.

DSC_0697 DSC_0698

Didn’t make it though. He wanted to go back to his room to sleep.  When I laid in bed with him at almost 10 pm.. 3 hours past his bedtime.. he struggled to settle down. He just kept talking. And he shared his first totally out of left field memory of Jennifer.. It was one moment from the glitter photo shoot.

.. .he wanted me in the tent too tonight. I said no.

can I get a do over? That should have been a yes.

And again the blog has brought me full circle… to a place I’m not sure I want to be.

He missed Jennifer.. on some level he I think he knew she was supposed to be there with them. That it wasn’t supposed to be a boys only time. We tried buddy boy we really did.. next time we will have pictures of her in the tent.. next time I will get in with you… DSC_0705

“camp in the dance room all together”

That’s what he had requested when we came home from Stanford.. we said “not now but soon. ”

His sister is dead now.. we will never get the chance .. . there is no soon.

can I get a do over?

that should have been a yes.

Lilly and Jennifer Tea Party-25


20 Responses to “do over”

  1. There’s nothing I can say or do to fix it for you. Instead all I can do is tell you that I am here listening and loving you all the way from Australia.

  2. I wish I could say something profound to help you. I just can’t because I know nothing I say will ever bring Jennifer back. And for this, I am so sorry. Still here reading, sending you love.


  3. Libby, there will never be a time when there’s nothing she has touched. She continues to touch so many…like the ripple in a pond. She dropped into this world, your heart, and set a ripple that will continue beyond you. Her purpose is much bigger than we will ever begin to understand.
    is…not was…is

  4. She is and always will be in my heart forvever. All of our hearts and minds. We love you all ♡ All 6 of you.

  5. My first thought when reading this is that there will never be a time when what she has touched is gone, but she physically she has touched everyone in your family. Emotionally, she has touched all those who have gotten to know her through your blog. Libby, she has touched so many and we are better for having known her. I know this isn’t the path you would have chosen for yourself and these words can’t help but I do hope they can bring you the smallest bit of comfort.

  6. My heart breaks for you every day that I read this. I keep telling myself not to go to your blog because I get so sad and anxious but I feel so connected to your words. I don’t even know you but in a sense I feel like if we knew each other we would be friends. You are a very strong woman and I have learned a lot from you. I pray that each day will get a bit easier for you and your family. Thinking of you and your precious family.

  7. Libby I wish I had a magic wound so that I could grant you a do over. . Jennifer is 4 ever in my thoughts and in my heart.

  8. Liz, I don’t know if you follow Chasing Rainbows, Kate lost her son a year ago suddenly. He was 5 1/2. Her insight to this grief is awesome. Some of her thoughts may help you. My son was stillborn 36 years ago, and I still think about him every day. I had 3 miscarriages, but I also have 3 living daughters. It is very hard and very unfair, and certainly makes you think hard about God and why? I still struggle with that. I hope you find peace in your husband and your living children. No matter what, time marches on,always thinking of you

  9. Please don’t beat yourself up about the “no” on the tent. You had/have so many more “yeses.”Lots of love to you all.

  10. Libby, I am touched, also! Less tangible than a table, but nonetheless touched.

    Also, No’s make room for other Yes’. Don’t beat yourself up. You have good kids because you say no to things!

  11. Still here. Still praying. Wishing I had words of comfort. Your words are so real. I feel them. I don’t just read them. I think of “one more no to a yes” every day. I do it. Hoping my prayers will wrap their arms around you.

  12. Thinking of you and amazed at all the goodness you are bringing your family: the zoo, new table, camping “trip”, and for Jennifer, the gift of your voice talking to you aloud as you always did. xxoo.

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