half a year

6 months. Half a year. So long since I have touched her.. yet still so long until I feel her again.

“They” say that most kids don’t come through for their parents for a minimum of 6 months… I have been waiting for and dreading this day. Because now I am truly waiting for my dream with her.. yet still terrified of the nightmare..

Somehow 6 months feel so much longer than 5 months.

This 11th was quite different from the last ones I have experienced. Tonight I went to go assemble the fluttering kits. They are beautiful.. I am proud of what we have accomplished. But mostly I am moved. I hope fluttering becomes bigger and so much more than Jennifer. But the truth is.. this year its all about her, and tonight I let myself enjoy that. The vast majority of people ordering kits did so because of her. All the people sacrificing time and money to get the kits together… did so because of her.

Jennifer

I took just a moment to sit back and look.. at box after box being filled with love for my daughter.

box

thank you.

I am so lucky she was mine. I am so lucky I got to be the one she called Mama.. I am so lucky that I got to hold her first .. and hold her last.

I breathed her last breath.. I felt her last touch.. I was her last kiss.

Oh Jennifer Lynn.. .

I keep pausing in my writing and looking up.. I see her ashes in their heart shaped container. I see the watermelon candle that I can light to smell what she smells. 

I saw your signs you left tonight.. I tried so hard to accept and trust they are real..  that its not just me wishing so hard… and looking so hard for them.

Tomorrow my 3 living will awaken to a box. Filled with dragonflies and hope and love. We will talk about what we are going to do in September to honor their sister. I will be strong. I will push through. ..

but tonight I ache. Tonight I remember. .. too much.

Her bangs were so long. I got them cut just a few days before her birthday.. before she turned six and we learned that some cancers are terminal upon diagnosis. I never cut them again .. by the time they were long enough she was already actively dying. I remember agin with her 6 months ago. Looking into her eyes..

her eyes..

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I am so thankful for those 36 or so hours I had with her in her bed. Nose to nose. Eyes locked. But I also feel selfish that I wanted that time so badly. She must have been so scared. Completely trapped inside her body. I can’t really describe it.. Like she was locked inside her own seizure frozen walls .. I almost felt like I could see her.. the real- true- everlasting her pacing around inside her body.

I held her hands and had my knees touching her knees… we put a pillow between her legs to take off some of the pressure. .She was so tiny by then. Bones sticking out everywhere. I honestly couldn’t believe she lived so long with no food and virtually nothing to drink.

I tried to keep her comfortable. But I have no idea how she was feeling. I tried to tell her it was ok to go.. but I had no idea what I was saying. There is no training for telling the one you waited for for so many years.. the one that finally made you a mommy. .. no way to know how to tell them its ok to die.

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At least 7 days before she died

 

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Her bangs were so long I had to keep them brushed all the way off to the side. I got to keep stroking her hair because of that. She used to love that. I don’t know how it felt then though.. oh I hope it didn’t bring her pain.. I just don’t know.. and its these thoughts that I will never have a answer to that I find tormenting me.

We let people come say their goodbyes to her. I hope she was ok with that. I hope I made the right choice. Because I didn’t make it for her.. I made it for them..

oh jennifer i am so sorry. you have always been the most important person in my life.. all 4 of you share that number one spot..

i am sorry honey. sorry i didn’t do a better job helping you go…

sorry i couldn’t keep you out of pain…

i remember looking in your eyes.. i remember the times you were calm and we were so incredibly connected.. and i remember the times something was wrong.. but i couldn’t tell if it was pain or fear.

and

i am so sorry for wishing that time back. just to be with you again.. to feel you again.. to know you feel me too..

oh jennifer.. baby … oh jennifer

6 months

fuck

DSC_0989…until there is a cure..

32 Responses to “half a year”

  1. ah, Libby. Six months. such a long time and such a short time. I am truly so glad you had your years with Jennifer, and so sad there weren’t more years. Unfair. Unfathomable. Unreal. I wish we could Undo it. Hang in there now that it’s the 12th again. It seems to me you were really the best mama period. Thank you for sharing yourself and your journey and again wish you didn’t have this reason to be sharing. Hoping for dreams for you …

  2. Libby,
    Everyday I wait for your blog. Can I tell you though you saying six months is unbelievable to me. It seems like only a couple weeks ago I read the post to tell us she was gone. I remember praying God use his finger and flick the tumor away, thinking he would because your daughter was to beautiful to die. Your feelings were too real to lose her, there is always a happy ending right? Love reading your words Libby, Jennifer will never be forgotten because you write, we read, and truthfully I don’t think many of us realized it had been six months. So in six years maybe it will feel like six months to the rest of us and a lifetime to you? She has been gone the equivalent of 1/12 of her life, yet she still lives on so strongly in the minds of strangers. Love to your family on another 12th.
    Crystal

  3. Libby,
    6 months ago I don’t think you truly thought you’d be able to survive til now, knowing somehow you would for your other 3. You are doing tremendous things and so many people now will remember Jennifer, if only through pictures and her sparkling eyes that made everyone feel the really knew her. You are an amazing mommy. Thinking of you still, every day.

  4. Libby, you did the right things. You said the right things. You did them out of love with all your heart and she knows that. I will be thinking of all 6 of you today just like everyday. Sending hugs.

  5. Six months gone…..I never knew her, but my heart hurts for you. Six months since my heart, and the hearts of so many other strangers, changed forever. I saw someone post this about Robin Williams yesterday, and it immediately made me think of your family, “A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in Heaven. Then we’ll all be together forever.”- What Dreams May Come. I still hold onto this idea that for Jennifer, the rest of your time apart will be just a blink, a heartbeat, a moment. It feels long and torturous to you, but it will be extremely brief to her.

    I am sure that those last few days were full of love. I am sure Jennifer knew it, felt it, and absorbed it. I am sure she understood everything you were trying to convey to her, even if there was pain or fear.

    Sending prayers, love, and hugs today, more than most days…..love for all 6.

  6. It doesn’t seem like it has been 6 months. I am so so sorry Libby. I hope and pray that you feel her. That she comes to you in your dreams. Today, I will honor your beautiful Jennifer. Today, especially today she is remembered. We love you so much. We love Jennifer so very much. I wish with all my heart that she was here with you. All the love and prayers I can give to all 6 of you today amd every single day. LOVE4JLK♡ FOREVER 6.

  7. Libby no one knows the right way of letting go of a loved one, you did what you felt was right and that was enough for Jennifer, you were her mommy and she knows mommies do what’s best. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing Jennifer she is now a big part of my life and everyone else’s, I cant thank you enough. I can’t wait for my fluttering kit, Jennifer this is all for you….

  8. Libby,

    I look for & read your posts everyday. I hope that brings just a small measure of peace.

    Can’t wait to get my box.

    With love,
    Diana

  9. Still here, still reading, still crying for you. All I can ever think is how unfair this all is.

    We are excited for the flutter kits-I wonder if Jennifer is bouncing with excitement for them too?

  10. Libby, I know you will always have a lot of unanswered questions about if you did the right thing….but you were JLK’s mama and only a mama knows what is right for her child. I know you did the right thing…what was best for her. I really wish you had more time with JLK. It’s so unfair. I thank you for sharing JLK with me. I will contiune to share your story….her story. I thank you for impacting my life as much as you have. For giving me the pasion for pediatric cancer. For allowing me to be a part of this fight. Just know that your Jennifer has touched so many people. I pray for the Kranz family daily. I think of you daily. xoxoxoxo So much love for JLK……Jennifer Jennifer Jennifer.

  11. We will be here for you until there is a cure, and beyond. Until you don’t need us anymore. Why caring so deeply for a family many of us has not met? Because of your Jennifer. Your love for her we see through a computer screen and we are in awe of such powerful love story. I’m so sure you did everything in your power to make her as comfortable as possible . You took care of others when most of us would have been locked up in a mental institution being driven there by the worst possible grief. You did your very best Libby. You know kids have a higher level of intuition, I’m sure your Jennifer felt ALL the love.

  12. Oh Libby, my heart aches for your loss. Jennifer felt and knows your love. A mother’s love is something so amazing and special, she was wrapped up tight inside your love and arms. No pain, no fear, just pure love- believe. xoxooxoxoxooxoxox

  13. Simply sending love & hugs.

    I do want to tell you how touching your Unraveled email announcement was, you’ve built a tribute to Jennifer. In the darkest depths of your own grief, you navigated a way to do what most of us could never begin. I wish the world were reversed, that you hadn’t been driven to do this because you still had a healthy Jennifer, but I also believe she is so proud of what you’ve accomplished, she’s probably shouting from every cloud. I hope the sound carries through to your dreams tonight.

  14. Still here Libby.
    Still reading every single post.
    Thank you,as always, for sharing such a profoundly moving and tragically sad time.

    Love from a wintery New Zealand

    Kerry 🙂

  15. If only we were all lucky enough to have such a loving mother to stay with us as we die…she chose well…yes Libby, YOU were her choice.

  16. Your gut feelings are unerring, and I know you did everything as it needed to be done. You were and are a champion and are making the world better. It is an amazing sight to see the pallet of flutter boxes!

  17. My best friend lost her son two years ago in a tragic accident. Today he would have been 16. This was on her bereaved mom’s Facebook page…….

    An Ugly Pair of Shoes
    I am wearing a pair of shoes.
    They are ugly shoes.
    Uncomfortable shoes.
    I hate my shoes.
    Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
    Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them.
    I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy.
    I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
    They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
    To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
    But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
    I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
    There are many pairs in the world.
    Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
    Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
    Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think of how much they hurt.
    No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
    Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger women.
    These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
    They have made me who I am. I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
    ~Author unknown

    I admire your strength and I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Jennifer.

  18. Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer . . . . I speak your name 6 times tonight. Because you have been gone from those who love you for 6 months. Because you are Forever 6. Because I will never forget you or stop telling others about the very special, one-of-a-kind, sparkly-eyed answer to a desperate couple’s prayer. Jennifer……. We remember.

  19. Libby

    I don’t know you, but your writings about Jennifer brought tears to my eyes. I have no children but really felt your pain every word you wrote ….. beautiful writing. I am so sorry you lost your beautiful Jennifer … she had magnificent eyes ….. I will pray for you and wish you love. Aloha, Sandy

  20. Libby – thought about you guys all day. Praying for your family and sending SO much love & comfort to you all. All 6!!
    XO

  21. I read a book and the main character goes to this land. While there she spends 2 days, but upon leaving discovers it’s been many years. I pray this is exactly how it is.
    You are such an amazing momma. You should never doubt that. You, your family, and one very sweet, special glitter girl are unraveling the face of this disease.
    Thank you for allowing us on this journey with you.

  22. Oh Libby my heart hurts so badly for you. For you and for Tony. For Jonathan, Nicholas, Charlotte, and the rest of Jennifer’s family. It is so unfair. Your glittery girl was and is incredible. And those eyes! Breathtaking. She is up there loving you as much as ever and blaming you for nothing. Praying for peace for you with love xx

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