old life

Constant ache. Sometimes punctured with a pain so sharp I literally clutch my stomach.

Today has been a day where even the constant ache is so strong I sometimes doubt the strength of my legs to keep me upright.. so those moments of sharp… when they come.. well they feel like I am being cut apart.

But it’s nothing major. Its my attempt to be a normal mom again.. Cooking and cleaning with my babies underfoot. Somehow normalcy makes her absence so pronounced. We did play-doh and had a outside picnic. We had an ant attack and all vacuumed and squished ants with wet towels. Nicholas helped me prepare dinner and we have laundry waiting to be folded. Just a simple day.

Like our old life.. except it’s all so different.

 

so thankful I have so many pictures.. because I find this and I remember some of the good things I did
so thankful I have so many pictures.. because I find this and I remember some of the good things I did

I used to say when asked about having 4 kids (or still pregnant with our 4th) how I do it. And my answer was always her.

My Jennifer.

I have her to help me.

bigg3

Days like today I seriously doubt my ability to raise them without her. She was my helper and their leader. I don’t know if I can truly teach them how to be the kind of people I want them to grow up to be. .. but I think she could have. She was genuinely a kind person. . in ways I didn’t even know about until she was gone.  I found the email on the ground today.. that the mom from her school sent me. About her son that cried most of the day and was teased by some other kids in class.. about how Jennifer said hi to him and made his day. And the next found him alone on the playground and invited him to come play with her.

oh baby..

i don’t know if i can do this without you

i never thanked you enough. i never really told you how proud i was of you… not the way i should have.

just a moment to hold you. look you in the eyes.

i love you. i am so proud of you.

Today is a day where all I see is my regrets. My failures. I didn’t lay in bed with her enough.. not nearly enough. I didn’t tell her in detail what it is about her that I loved.. so much.. so damn much. Now I just stare into her frozen eyes in the pictures that consume me.. willing her to just blink.

 I didn’t remember that she was part of my most important audience. Too often she got the worst of me.

i’m sorry buggers

Charlotte and I played in her room today. With her baby dolls and her barbies. I love my youngest so much.. but I want the daughter I could have had. I want the girl she would have been with 2 big brothers and a big sister. I wonder who my boys would be if she was still here.. how much softer they would both be?  How much happier my children would be with her here?

sis

So left alone for just a minute and I find myself flailing.. punching at the foot of the bed.

angry. hurting. rage filled. tears.

So many losses I grieve everyday. When she died everything changed. Everyone is different.

and I just want my old life back.

playdoh

..until there is a cure..

20 Responses to “old life”

  1. I know it is easy for us strangers from afar to say, but I see the pictures and read the stories and I know she lived a good life where she felt loved. We parents are very hard on ourselves, but we can only do the best we can do in each moment. You weren’t always the perfect mom, but you were the perfect mom for Jennifer, and are the perfect mom for your other three, too. Yes, you would all be different if Jennifer were still alive, but now you are making sure to make it count with them. Your children, all 4, are lucky to have you as a mom.

    And as for needing her to help you, still ask. She is with you. She is still there, helping….just in a much different way.

    Sending lots of love and prayers today. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  2. You are an inspiration for moms across the world and just know that we’re all here for you, following your journey, saying her name (JENNIFER!), and spreading awareness. We will follow you to the moon and back, Libby. You and your beautiful family of 6 are always on our minds and in our thoughts and prayers. Love to you all.

  3. Oh, Libby. So often your words leave me with goosebumps and tears. To be able to describe your pain, and your love in such detail. I know that me telling you that you WERE (and still are) an incredible mother and that she knows how much you still love her, as do your other children, doesn’t help much. My wish for you, other than seeing your precious Jennifer again, is that you one day will realize you did everything in your power, that you did everything humanly possible to give her the best, loving, fabulous life that little girl ever had. If I was just to learn of your story through pictures, I would still say, other than a cure, she lived such a beautiful life. You gave that to her, Libby. I constantly ache for your pain. So sorry for the missing piece of your heart and life. Sending so much love, daily from MA.

  4. Oh, Libby. I don’t *know* you. We have never met. We have never been in the same room together, but I have followed your blog and the FB page since the very beginning, and you have opened a window into your life, and given us all a glimpse of what it’s like. In that glimpse I have seen a Mother who so strongly adores her children — all 4 of them, and loves their Daddy, too. We all get cranky. We’ve all raised our voices. It’s when you strive not to do those things, or do them less, that you know you’re a good Mother. It’s when your children invade your every thought, and every ounce of your being, that you know that you’re a good Mother. I continue to pray for your family every night. I pray that you can feel some peace. That you can know that your little girl had touched the world. That she lived more of a life, than so many adults I know! Made more of an impact! You and your family are truly amazing <3

  5. I want your old life back for you too.
    We are always too hard on ourselves as moms. None of is perfect – not even close to perfect, but somehow God makes our good enough perfect for them. I’m sure if an angel in heaven asks Jennifer how her mom did here on Earth, she shouts, “My mommy was PERFECT for me!”, and then she rambles on for days with the details of how you made her life beautiful.

  6. So many tears.
    I want your old life back for you, too.
    Stay strong, Libby you’re changing all of us for the better.
    We’re all digging deep and trying to change because of her.
    Spreading glitter and bringing about awareness because her.

    Jennifer. <3

    #love4jlkalways

    XO

  7. I am not in your position, but I am at a time where I question my entire parenting life. My oldest 2 are adults and my youngest is 14. I used to think I did ok, but these days I think I totally blew it. But my son is in his 3rd year of college, and my oldest is working full time and going to finish her degree soon. My point is, we are our own worst critics, but we have to trust that we have done our best. Hindsight is 20/20, but the here and now is where we live. Yours both sucks and holds such promise for the 3 beautiful babies that will thrive under your care and in Jennifers honor.

  8. yeah, i bet. it’s the day-to-day living that’ll get you. As much as you feel you should have been there more with her, she needed time to develop her independence, and you allowed that to happen in such a graceful way. Just as you will for Nicholas, Jonathan and Charlotte… hang in there. hugs!!

  9. You and your husband gave Jennifer everything she needed. You gave her love, honesty, and the joy every little girl needs. Your way of living shined through her. I know it’s easy for us to say and I (also a mother of 2) feel that we should always do more. Her smile and twinkle in her eyes says it all, she was truly a happy little girl. I pray that you find peace in knowing you were and are wonderful. Those kids each have a piece of you, your husband and each other. You will all be ok. Even if it requires you to kick, cry or write a little more. When it’s over know you are the best you could possibly be. And from one mother to another you have taught me so much. Until there’s a cure.

  10. Even if you had done all you could physically and emotionally do, fixed all of your regrets- you would still feel the same way. Because you have a Mother’s heart. Praying that God draws near. <3

  11. I want your old life back. Dont get me wrong, you have opened my heart and my eyes but I really would have preferred to meet you and your 4 children on vacay in Cali one year. A random day where I admired these babies of yours and our kids became friends for the day. Instead my heart locks and grief for you and your children clutch my throat closed. I ache with the knowledge that this wont end. It might get less painful, and right now that thought hurts, but it wont end. My heart breaks for that. Keeping the glitter spread. Praying for you and your family always. And we’ll meet that sweet kind girl one day in heaven.

  12. Jennifer is apart of Jonathan, Nicholas and Charlotte forever and always. she is with you always. You ar ean amazing amazing mom. we love you all. always and forever. LOVE4JLK<3

  13. I think of you all daily and pray for peace and comfort. My heart aches every time I read a post but I am in absolute awe of you Libby- you are truly making a difference through Unravel and honoring your sweet angel. LOVE4JLK always

  14. Libby, I’m so sorry. You express your pain so well. So hard to be living in the hell of her loss. Sending you peace and love, and to Jennifer too. You were an awesome mom for her to lose too.

  15. Jennifer was who she was because of you. Never forget that. Children learn what they live. And you can be sure she knows all the things you think you didn’t say or do often enough, and she understands. I just wish she would come to you in your dreams and show you herself that she knows.

  16. I read the last three posts in reverse order, so now I’m sinking into angry grief with you–the you of three days ago. I just reel, can’t get over the loss you’ve endured. It just doesn’t seem possible some days. How did this happen?? Like if I focus enough, I could shake it off like a bad dream. I’m sorry Libby and all I can do is move those dragonflies yard to yard, yard to yard, yard to yard. For you, for your sons and new daughter, for Tony and for JENNIFER.

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