birthdays

I had a post in my head ..about 5ks and butterflies… but that will have to come another time.. this is all that is on my mind since this morning.

I got on FB and saw my friends post about it being her daughters birthday.. in heaven. I used to feel for other people. I used DSC_0863to be emphatic. .. I feel like I have lost that quality..

but today it comes .. that emotion flooding back.

The gut wrenching sorrow I feel for our friends.. the struggle to find the words to convey how much I hurt for them. So I did what I want others to do for me. I reached out, risked saying the wrong thing.

And most importantly I put the date in my phone. So I never forget. So every year til the day I die.. whether the friendship remains or not.. I will write to them.

Jonathan was at preschool.. nicholas and charlotte played for a hour together.. It gave me the time I needed for the physical release. Sobbing on my kitchen floor. Talking to these 2 little girls. ..its so backwards when I think about what I am doing sometimes.. asking these babies of ours for advice. guidance. strength. The things we were supposed to be giving to them ..

Jennifer never knew their daughter.. but I showed her pictures while on hospice. I told her this little girl is her friend. One of her best buddy’s from schools big sister..

I hope they are together.. I hope they are together holding their mommies as we both cry today.

I will never ever forget this little girl.

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**Jennifer at Charlottes age at the beach**

Her mom texted to say they were going to the beach for pizza and ice cream.. she invited us to join. So we did. I got out of my clothes for cross fit and into clothes for the beach and pizza. We got there early. I let the kids play on the beach. I thought about how much Jennifer would have loved this.. would have loved to the spontaneity in it. She never got to experience that mommy…

I loved watching our boys together. So different than they were just 3 months ago. Sometimes they fight so much .. I DSC_0045wonder what I am doing so wrong this time around.. But today they took care of each other.. playing together.. encouraging each other. . . Especially Jonathan who is not as fearless cheering on Nicholas as he lept off the wall we were sitting on. I imagined her there.. how she would have fit into all of it . . I thought of her jumping with Nicholas.. and asking to take Charlotte into the sand. I imagined how she would be able to convince Jonathan to give it a try also. My 3 oldest just fit together really well.. .

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I liked that I could imagine it.. I like how the only Jennifer I will ever know still fits into our family. I know one day my forever eldest will be the youngest in age.. How will my mind sort that out? Will I still be able to imagine her in the moments with all of them? I want to.. I am scared to lose that..

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When they arrived the kids split off .. boys with boys. And our two sisterless girls played together… many years separate them … yet they share a bond so unique.

…  little sisters to a lost big sister.

They both lost so much.. a sister. Such a powerful relationship.

Nicholas wore a Jennifer shirt to the beach but took it off. (shocker!) We took pictures and he held his shirt so Jennifer could be in the picture too. I want more of her.. I want all of her.

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I miss my daughter. I just want her back. I just want to be with her again. I day dream about it.. about dying. About helping somebody on the side of the road and getting hit by a car. Just to hold her again for a moment. .. I read an article about melanoma a day or two ago.. and I thought about how my chances of getting that are better than average. That’s a good thing in my mind so rotted with grief.

And I feel guilty for it. Tony joined us in Capitola after work. .. so we drove home seperately .. there were times on the drive I felt tired.. and worried for Tony driving the dark roads tired.. and I had a flash of jealousy for him alone in the car.. while I had to be so careful driving our 3 babies. ..

Everyday is such a mixed bag of one day further from the last time I touched her.. and one day closer to being with her again.

I run, I dance, I fly. All of it a way to avoid the crushing sorrow. But it catches up.. it always catches up. And when it does I buckle under the weight of it. I am not sure how to find a balance to it all.

The 5k hosted by Arms Wide Open that allowed us to not only participate but also take a share of the proceeds was yesterday. I ran from my ache. I did a good job at it too. ..

The day was good. I had a good run. I got to meet so many good people.  I ran from the hurt all day. Being sure to just keep busy.. avoiding the pain. . It always catches me though.. first thought in the morning and final one at night.. There is no balance for me in those times and when it fully gets to me its is crippling. This morning in the kitchen .. reading about Jennifer’s heaven friends parents having to endure a birthday without her I lost my ability to stand.

Days like today become so exhausting .. emotionally and physically. The emotional part catches up to me frequently.. and I know the physical will too.. some point . Even after drying my face Nicholas knew.. “you sad mommy.” not a question a statement of fact.. from my 2yr old.

We ended our Capitola night with cookies.. from the same placeTony and I went to last time.. they had a new sign..

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Oh how I long for the days something like this would mean nothing to me…

I long for

her..

overwhelming .

longing.

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38 Responses to “birthdays”

  1. I am sorry Libby…whole heartedly sorry…everything that I am as a mother, sorry. I could only promise you one thing. I will never forget Jennifer’s birthday. October 28th. I will be the one to take that risk every year and reach out to you….because I would never ever want to live a day without my daughter. I wouldn’t ….

  2. I am so sorry, Libby. I wish, like other days I had something else, something different to say.

    Still reading, wishing for your pain to be lessened.

    Sending love.

  3. Thinking of you, Libby. Maybe finding a balance will take time, maybe it is not meant to come … You and Jennifer are helping so many people — reminding them to slow down, to speed up, to be more spontaneous, to appreciate each moment — whatever they may need to realize gratitude for their blessings. I’m so sorry this is your reality. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  4. All my love and prayers to you all. I will never forget Jennifer. She was and always will be an amazing beautiful little girl. She will be forever in my heart so will you Tony, Jonathan, Nicholas amd baby Charlotte. You did amazing at the 5k. I saw you so many times and wanted to say hello, but I didnt. You are just amazing. I will always remember Jennifer. We love all of you ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  5. I wish so much she was still here. I don’t think there is a certain way to grieve- I think you are going through the motions of it. There won’t be a lot of times at first where you will have spots of happy- but eventually the sad spots shrink. You won’t ever forget her- neither will I and I’ve never met her.

  6. Libby, Like you,: Jennifer is already on my mind and she will always be, she’s put a forever foot print in my heart. I’m here for the long haul with you. Jennifer will never be for gotten. Big hugs and Angel kisses. .

  7. Lots of prayers for you…the picture of the 2 girls knocked the wind out of me. Sisters without their sibling- absolutely devastating.

  8. my heart is so heavy for you Libby. I can’t imagine the pain of your longing, I have no words to comfort you. I pray that Jennifer is around you and am sure that she was at the beach with you and her siblings today. so many hugs to you Libby…

  9. I look for your posts everyday. If I don’t see it I go to your blog and make sure that I didn’t miss it. My heart hurts for you. Your true emotions and the raw reality of how much you are hurting. We can tell you all we want its going to get better but how would we know if we are not experiencing what you are. All I can do is pray that one day the Lord will touch you and ease your pain just a little. I have been following other kids with the same cancer as Jennifer and another one died last night. She was going to be 3 in two days. Her name is Brylee Olson. I can hear the pain in her mothers post like I do with you and Melanie and any other mother that is going through all this. Its so wrong that these small innocent children have to be so sick so young but they say we all have a purpose and once we have achieved it God takes us home. I don’t know how I would feel about that but surely you wonder why such a short life. Jennifer is always going to be with you in your heart and in your life and alot of other peoples life. Although I never met her I feel I will never forget her. The more pictures I see of her and the more I read about her I will always remember that precious angel. She was beautiful and what an amazing mom you are. Your love for your family is so deep and it shows. My heart hurts for all of you that are going through this tragedy but all I can do it pray that God will give all of you the comfort and strength to make it through each and every day!! Sending prayers and hugs to you Libby and to your precious family.

  10. A big hug for you, sweet Libby. I hope you get your spark back…I think maybe, in the future, you will feel more yourself again. I can imagine Jennifer as a big girl, a teenager, a young woman…you don’t always have to see her at 6, she will grow with her siblings…how could you deprive yourself of imagining her growing with you? I couldn’t. Will the pain be less? I think it just becomes more manageable…but hopefully the memories will feel sweeter and carry you through to your last days. My heart aches for you…I have a 6 year old daughter, if I lost her…I would most definitely want to give up on life. Ugh…it sucks hard, I just don’t know how to make it better…you deserve Jennifer HERE.

  11. When I comment on your blog I am doing so with the acknowledgement that I might say the wrong thing or something lame. But I do it to let you know I am still here. I won’t forget! Although I never met Jennifer, she has touched me deeply and has moved me to act.
    I risk over-posting on FB about the scary facts behind Pediatric Cancer and the lack of funding, but how can I not? I risk over-asking for donations, but how can I not? I risk hosting a fundraising event for fear of no one buying into it, but how can I not? All for your Jennifer 🙂
    Sending hugs as always!! xoxo

  12. Thank you for continuing to share your journey. Thank you for your honesty. I continue to pray for you and your family.

  13. I always have to read your blog…. I will every day, every time, as long as you blog I will read. I think about Jennifer often now, in my own daughter and songs and I never even knew her. Love to your family

  14. I read your blog every day. Every day I want to post but I never know what to say. you family is on my heart and mind every day. I pray for you guys daily.

  15. I read your words everyday. And I want to say the right ones back-everyday. But really that is impossible because there are no right words. I know when I read your words and especially when I see your beautiful pictures, I feel. Through your words and pictures I have been touched deeply by Jennifer, she IS spectacular. I like many, think of her everyday, and your family. I pray for her to be able to let you feel her beside you and to see the signs that she is near you always. <3

  16. I was very honored to meet you, Libby. By your hand shake I could tell how incredible your strength is. We were very happy to be a part of the 5k as a family and honor Jennifer’s memory. You and your family will remain in our thoughts always!

  17. My heart is aching so much for your family. I find myself reaching out and touching the pictures of Jennifer on the computer screen. And as I sob for a little girl I hardly knew, I feel even worse imagining just how your pain must be multiplied by a million. I’m so sorry for your loss, for your pain, for this unfair hand in life. Big hugs Libby.

  18. I can’t imagine the pain your endure every day, for I don’t yet have children of my own. Your posts are so beautifully sad and somehow comforting at the same time. You give such an honest voice to the grief of losing a precious child. I hope your ability to confess your true thoughts and feelings brings you some kind of healing eventually. The pain of losing a loved one never dissipates and is only more evident in moments of true happiness when you want nothing more than to share joy with that person. I pray that you find your own way to share that joy with your beautiful little guardian angel.

  19. I too lost a child. I send him balloons every year. 11 balloons for the 11 days he was home.

    Little did I knew that morning
    God was going to call your name
    In life we loved dearly,
    In death we do the same

    It broke our heart to lose you
    You did not go alone
    For part of me went with you
    The day God called you home.

    Our family chain is broken
    And nothing seems the same
    But as God calls us one by one
    The chain will link again

    My thoughts are with. One day you will be able to celebrate her life. Until then, cry as much as you need to

  20. lots of tears falling down my face today. I’m so so sorry. Always reading, always thinking of you. Was taking a walk down your street the other day (my parents live at the other end) and thought of Jennifer the whole time. I never know what to say in these comments, but always want to say something, just to let you know someone’s thinking of you. hugs.

  21. Libby, I think of you and Jennifer every single day. I know it doesn’t compare to the pain you’re enduring right now but my heart aches for you. Certain songs remind me of her, even though I only met her once; her not even being a year old yet. I’m continuing to read, be here, pray, grieve, and send love to you. XO

  22. I am so sorry for each day you must endure feeling such pain. I pray always for you, your family and sweet Jennifer! May a moment if peace spill your way…

  23. I read your blog every time. I want to write to you but never find the right words to say. I think of Jennifer every single day. I pray daily for you, your husband, and your lovely kids. I will always remember your beautiful daughter….always

    I thought of you when I read this..

    If flowers grow in Heaven,
    Lord please pick a bunch for me,
    Place them in my daughter’s arms
    and tell her they’re from me.
    Tell her I love her and miss her,
    and when she turns to smile,
    place a kiss upon her cheek
    and hold her for awhile.
    Because remembering her is easy,
    I do it every day,
    but there’s an ache within my heart
    that will never go away.

  24. I start to write…. I erase. I write something new .. And erase it again. I do not have the gift of writing like you Libby. All I can say is I pray for your strength.. One minute after each minute to hold on. Keep finding ways to see her in the little things.. She is with you. Stop,slow down,calm your mind and take deep breaths when you are at that moment of deep grief. You have lots to accomplish in your life. We are here with you and for you .

    1. You aren’t alone in that “write, erase…write,” pattern, Katie. 🙂 So, so much to say, it just never ends up translating the same over the computer. <3

  25. Aw, Libby. I’m so sorry you hurt so badly. There are no words, really. Your gift to her is to live your best life. Try to connect with her in your quiet moments. I think you might feel her presence and guidance. Thinking of you, always.

    Corrie

  26. I have no words of wisdom. Just want you to know that I am still reading, still care, still sad, still praying.

  27. Thinking of you and Jennifer. Sending healing prayers your away. I know nothing can ease your loss. I love seeing pictures of beautiful Jennifer. I’m saying more “yes” to my kids inspired by you.

  28. My heart breaks for you! I think of Jennifer every day even though I never personally knew her or you. I know there is nothing that can be said to help your pain but I just wanted to share with you that your daughters beautiful face flashes in this strangers head every day!!! I feel honored that you share her with us on this blog.

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