She is missing

I knew I had to write tonight.. I used to long for my nights to sit up alone and write.. now its not quite like that. Because I just want to run away from the ache.. and I am getting pretty good at it…

What I write is not what you see.. honestly its one of the parts of all of this that drives me to keep this internal dialog.. aka blogging public. To let people that are around others in the throws of grief.. to let them know even though we look ok.. smile, crack jokes. . we are broken inside.

What I write is the narrative in my head.. my undercurrent.. And its there.. always.. just below the surface. Those that knew me “before” know I used to wear make up. They know I never do now.. Unless its my really good waterproof stuff. I can cry and see you one minute later and you would never know it.. I want people to know it not really for my sake (because its embarrassing and exposing) but more to know for others..that things are not always as they appear.

**The last day I bothered with make-up. The day we learned some cancers are "terminal upon diagnosis"
***The last day I bothered with make-up. The day we learned some cancers are “terminal upon diagnosis”***

I get constant emails and messages from other bereaved parents that I write what they think but cannot put to words. I know I am not alone in this mangle of emotion I spew through my screen. I want people to know .. that even though we look ok.. we really truly aren’t.

We function out of necessity… I wonder sometimes what I look like to others that read my innermost thoughts.. Since I appear good.. strong.. whole in person, but you read and know I am battered and broken and flailing. I am many facets of myself smooshed into one.. mostly for the sake of my kids.

A few hours ago I could have opened up my computer and written pages.. but putting kids to bed and then spending time with Tony stunted my release.. and now I am scared of it.. Even just writing this though I feel that familiar sting come to my eyes.. and notice my breathing is pausing as I stop to hold my breath. Running for days like I have been.. (oh wow just realizing its only been 2) keeping busy always moving.. Just makes this re-connecting that much more dramatic ..  I am struggling with how to juggle all parts of me.

I choose this life. I want to be with my kids all the time. But then I get no break .. to break down. Today Jonathan caught me when tears where starting to find me. Sometimes its ok .. today he hugged me.. strong and tight. But sometimes its not.. sometimes he needs me just to be his Mama.. fun, bossy. .. here and present.

I missed her the past 2 days. More than even the living warm her… just the memories of her. Writing about her and looking through her pictures like I do when I write. I keep notes in my phone about things that come up for me that I want to explore in my writing.. a lot of the notes come from me looking at pictures after I blog to find the ones I want to include that night.. one day I will actually go back and read those notes and write.. but for now.. my days fill up enough of my mind to write..

We leave for DC in 2 days. Thursday. Me, Tony and the baby. The boys will be staying home. I was excited for the trip. A little time for Tony and I and a chance to meet with other pediatric cancer advocates and talk with our states representatives .. It snuck up on me. I realized I had no professional looking clothes.. PE teacher turned stay at home mom means my wardrobe and even sense of style is severely lacking. So I have spent a lot of the last 2 days and nights shopping. 2 shoe stores today trying to find something that fits my freakishly wide feet and covers my beat to hell heels that I wont get a pedicure for.. still a little pink left on one toe from my last matching pedicure with her.. I couldn’t stand the thought of it coming off so I painted over it with clear. Then getting to Jonathan’s swim lessons (we signed him up for another week) my only flip flop broke. . I laughed then at the irony.. now I see it even more. Its just like how I feel now.. Shopping for the fancy shoes ignoring the ones that need my attention immediately until they force me to pay attention. I kept so busy.. avoiding feeling my pain.. admitting to myself that she is gone.. till I just snap apart, forcing me to take notice.wdw201401838590276_6923334454

Jennifer LOVED going shoe shopping. It was the only place I couldn’t take her. She couldn’t control herself in a shoe store. She just had to look and try them on.. and if she needed a pair… look out. She had to try on every single pair… and slipper. Jonathan today kept bringing ones to me he thought she would like… a pair of slipper boots in particular spoke to me. I almost bought them.. Even though she wanted so many different kinds.. no matter how many we bought she would pick a favorite pair and wear them all the time. I have very few hand me down shoes that are meaningful for Charlotte since Jennifer wore the ones she loved till they had holes. .. or until she was cremated. We struggled to figure out what should be her final outfit. But the shoes were a no princess boots. Oh I miss those boots..

I don’t want to go to DC. I don’t want to board a plane without her. Since she was born I have never been on a plane without her. She loved flying. . Last time was our Make A Wish trip.. I wish I had known how soon after that she would be gone. I wish I sat next to her and just held her little hand in mine the whole time.. just appreciating its warmth.. instead of being so sad/mad that we had a reason to be on this kind of trip.IMG_3444 oh if I could just go back.. pull her onto my lap.. breathe in her scent. .. listen to her talk to me.. DSC_0727 I wish I could have learned these lessons that have become engrained into me.. and been able to actually use them without losing her. I am so forever changed.. but in opposing ways that don’t allow the good to pull ahead. It’s so hard to absorb the moment with so much of me gone with her.. I want to be the mom to them, that  I wish I was to her.. To appreciate the moments .. to feel the power in Nicholas’ little hand, the way Jonathan’s arms feel around my neck and how Charlotte will just melt into me. .. IMG_4715

We went for a family PJ walk tonight. Something all of my kids.. living IMG_4711and dead… loved to do. They were so cute… really enjoyed being together. I looked down at one point and noticed Nicholas and baby Charlotte holding hands….

..oh… I was just going to write about how I missed her.. how I wished she was there with us .. that it felt like I was walking around missing part of my vision.. since I piece I know was supposed to be there was missing..

but writing about my youngest holding hands reminded of how Jennifer would often reach across the table, to hold her so very wanted baby sisters hand, when we were staying.. just us girls… in palo alto. I think I took a picture of it. .

**This wasn't the one I was thinking of**
**This wasn’t the one I was thinking of, notice her fancy dress for radiation!!**

Its the most random things that hit and sink me. Fathers day.. I had so many tear soaked days leading up to it… I think I was pretty dried up. Tony and I both cried a few times in the morning, but honestly we were doing ok.. Til my I heard the news my nephews new girlfriend was there.. I started to make a joke.. about how ridiculous I could make myself.. make the poor kid introduce his girlfriend to his godmother..

and then it rolled right into me. full force. .

..she is missing.. she is not part of this.

DSC_0257Jennifer was his god daughter. He would have showed her off.. she would have played shy.. like she didn’t want to say hi to him… but would have kept watching him through her eyelashes.. first breaking through with a coy grin and then a full on laugh. .

But she wasn’t there.

She was not only missing this fathers day… she will be missing every fathers day we ever have. So many new people will come into our lives… into our family and they will never know her.

It feels like she is being erased. She was too little to survive cancer and I am so scared her memory is too little to survive time.

I needed my escape and headed out the front door.. only to be greeted by the males in my family playing whiffle ball in the street. Tony saw me.. sunglasses on.. but he knew. He hugged me. That’s all it takes.. and I was balling in his arms. He moved me out of sight to just let me get it out and then we walked together.. hand in hand.. together in misery and in comfort.

I don’t want to go on this trip.. I don’t want to be a pediatric cancer advocate. I want to be a mom to 4 living children.wdw201401638007302_6923334322 I want to pack for all my kids instead of leaving my boys and my big girl behind. I went to get out Charlottes head bands for the trip .. I still keep them in the bag of hair stuff we combined for the girls while JLK was in treatment.

Tonight I dug into it.. looking at the ones she so meticoulsly picked out for every outfit. I wonder if Charlotte will like head bands? I think she would have.. I wonder who she will be with only 2 big brothers looking out for her… no big sister to help her.

I want to be reading about other people living the horror of child loss.. I want to think I could never survive it.. I want to think I would never get out of bed…

Instead I will write til I am done.. then pour over pictures and finally fall into bed.. wondering how I will survive this and then wake up with her as my first thought.. Right after that last  moment of unconscious to my first thought of the day..

of every day..

she is missing.


27 Responses to “She is missing”

  1. I wish you weren’t going to D.C. I wish you didn’t know the horrors of pediatric cancer. I wish Jennifer was here.

  2. Spechless …. I Want to erase you and your family pain….This is so unfair!!!!
    Lots of xxxx
    Love from far away
    Ps I hope JLK will give you big signs in DC

  3. Speechless I want to erase your pain
    This is so unfair
    lots of xxxxx
    Love from far away
    Ps I hope JLK will give you big signs in DC

  4. Oh god. How I wish for your wishes to come true. I wish she was here and healthy. I wish I could make it happen. But I can promise you that Jlk will never be erased from my heart or mind.

  5. I keep typing and erasing my thoughts. Nothing I type sounds right. I am sorry, for it all.

    You can do this, Libby, you are strong, even if you don’t feel like it.

    Continuing to send love and positive thoughts daily.

  6. Libby I can only pray that things will get easier, but Jennifer will never be forgotten or left behind. She was loved my many people who knew her and people who didn’t know her, she’s in all our daily thoughts and prayers. You have built a big family of people who are here for you and to help you in all the ways we can. As long as you keep Jennifer’s memory going she will always be in our hearts and in our lives forever.. please have a safe trip and maybe try taking something of Jennifers with you it really does help and remember she’s always with you in your heart. Big hugs and Angel kisses..

  7. So sorry Libby. So very sorry. I really wish you were not going to D.C too but please remember you are going to done amazing work for Pediatric Cancer. I know it! Best of luck to you in DC. Go Team Unravel! Like always I will be praying for your family. So much love for JLK so much love for JLK’s family.

  8. The legacy you are creating will ensure her memory never gets erased. Through your words and Unravel her memory will survive long after you and I are gone.

    She touched so many people, you continue to touch so many people there is no way this world could forget such a bright light.

    Once you have glitter on your hands, its there forever.

  9. There are just no words I could possible say to erase or ease your pain. I will pray for strength and comfort for you Libby and pray to God to continue embracing you and comforting you. This is a hard journey you are on but in time it may get a little easier. Sending you many HUGS to you and Tony and praying to God that he shows himself to you while on this sad journey and carries you through it.

  10. Nothing but love for you as you navigate through this living nightmare. I Pray for peace and comfort, always.

  11. i quietly follow your blog, having fallen in love with Jennifer and your family. I pray for all of you, yet understand grief is so personal, and different for everyone. I wish I could offer magical words, but I know there are none, that makes me sad. Even so thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with us, and I am still spreading the glitter!

  12. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way. Sending love to all 6 of you. Jennifer will never be forgotten. Libby, you do an amazing job spreading the glitter and sharing your amazing daughter with all of us. XO

  13. Jennifer will not be forgotten or erased from memory. She is here with all of us now…a whisper of the wind of a buterfly’s wing.

  14. My heart aches badly for you Libby. Please could u email me an address i can send a little gift i have for you. Hugs sent your way xx jenny xx

  15. Libby there is no way that jennifer will ever be erased from time. U r an amazing mother suffering a huge loss. Please continue to blog share and release your feeelings. Jennifer would want u to be happy on this earth with the living siblings she has. They will give you the strength to continue on. Jennifer lives in them . There is a piece of her in them just like she is in you and tony. Of coarse it should be that she never left this earth or was sick . I can’t imagine the pain ur heart feels but please know u have so many of us listening to u on this earth . And I pray for u and ur family everuday. Every time I see glitter I think of jennifer . And I see glitter a lot I’m a teacher . Love to u libby.

  16. I…we will Never forget Jennifer. She is to important to forget. She was and always be an amazing glitter girl. I do not want to forget her. She will never be erased from my heart. She is permanently there. Always and forever. I often ask myself why this happened to her. Why. I wish with all my heart and soul that she was here. That I could make this all go away and bring her back to you. Even though I never had the privilege of meeting your beautiful Jennifer I miss her everyday. I think about her constantly. You allwill be imprinted in my heart forever. Im so sorry you have to go thru this. But I promise you that she will never be forgotten and always remembered. We love you all. All 6 of you ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  17. Libby keep fighting. I would be so angry it’s not right its not fair. I think i would be paralyzed in your shoes defeated. You are truly amazing. I hope you know how amazing you are. Don’t let this anger and pain take more away from you i know easier said then done. I know being the incredible mom you are that you will only feel like you missed so much..later. “C” continues to take away from you and your family every day. Give it a good fight all day. Take boxing or karate- really. Its a battle and its unbearably tough. But at night let it out -renew. Dont let cancer continue to win. Put your gloves on. I wish I could carry some of your pain to help you with this burden. It’s not fair you carry it all. Fight for Jennifer. She has a purpose. Praying for you and your family. Praying for comfort strength and understanding.

  18. I went by red robin today and I thought of you and Jennifer. She will not be erased from our lives. Ever. Ever. Ever. I think of you all so often. Just a thought…I have this picture button of my son from football. Maybe you could get one made of Jennifer. You could wear it or put it on your purse or the stroller…when you take pictures one of the kids could hold it. Maybe that’s a goofy idea. I thought about erasing it. But.. I guess I’m not going to…I’ve worn mine on my hat before. Still praying. Still reading. Always remembering.

  19. Your writings came quickly to my mind yesterday at the park. A mum from our neighbourhood with her 4 living children and missing her sweet Molly who passed away last June. As she played with the children and visited with a friend I felt through your writing that what was visable was a outershell. My heart ached for her loss as it does for yours. best of luck in DC.

  20. JLK erased? Never! I never knew Jennifer but she has taken a very strong hold of a corner of my heart that belongs to her and only her. Perhaps it hits me hard because of her age , only a few days apart from my own little girl. Or maybe its the way she laughed . The pictures get me at every post, the one at Universal in PJs checking on her brother, the one of her with the butterfly. I can go on forever. Please know , although too brief, her life matters to me. Do not forget her life was beautiful, happy, because you chose her. What a beautiful love story.!Looking forward to your DC adventure, we are here to support you.

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