I am still me.. but never ever really the same.
I went to a MOPS group this morning. I was at a table with some ladies I knew.. and some I didn’t. ok cool. It started with a ice breaker.. we just took turns sharing a little bit about ourselves. nailed it. Then the video came on. The topic was what is your worst mom nightmare. oh crap.
As our table shared I got to speak initially with another mom about my before cancer mom life experience. I got to share the same way I used to about my experiences.. my success and failures. I loved it. It was so nice to just be a mom of 4 kids again… for a moment. Until it was my turn to share my worst mom nightmare..
So I shared. My worst fear did in fact come true. I have always been scared to lose a child. To have one die before me. So since that fear is now gone.. or actually a reality my worst fear is now simply to have it happen again. I told the story about how I explained to Tony that our only job was to keep her alive.. not keep her from falling and hurting.. but just keep her here and alive. I never thought it was really possible I wouldn’t.
The video we watched mentioned both of those things.. but really zoned in on kidnapping.. and stranger danger type of stuff. And I wanted to scream. No stop it. Do not waste your time fearing those things.. Spend time fearing what 46 families are told a day. Your child has cancer. But I didn’t. I just sat and watched..
I sat there and wondered what this meeting would be like if we hadn’t had to face our worst fear.. I couldn’t even imagine it. Its almost been a year now.. How is that possible? It feels like yesterday.. the pain is still so fresh and palpable. .. But it also feels like forever ago. Like I can’t even begin to remember what it felt like to be whole. Complete. To think my worst fears are just that .. fears.. not my actual life.
And I realize now writing I lied. My worst fear wasn’t one of my children dying it was simply being apart from them. 2 years ago right about now I started to freak out. Big time. About Jennifer going to full day kinder 6 months from then. I cried about it. I fretted about it. I researched homeschooling. Because the thought of being apart from one of my babies for 6 whole hours made my stomach lurch. I couldn’t stand the thought of not knowing what was happening in her life. To have her so far away so long.. so often. I was scared of how much I would miss her.
I think its such a big part of what I struggle with now. I want to know what its like for her. I think about it and sometimes talk about it. Recently with a friend who took her daughter to a mission for her school project shared with me that she felt this pull towards a particular headstone. One of a little boy. Gone before my grandmother was born. And she just felt a need to take a picture to share it with me. It said something to the effect that this headstone was his mothers last way to show and express her love. fact
So we talked about why she was pulled to turn around and go look at it again. We laughed quite a bit as I said what if its her heaven “boyfriend”. Jennifer had “a boy” everywhere she went. Maybe its this boy … who should be over a 100 yrs her senior. But isn’t. We laughed at the thought of her shouting to introduce this boy to us. We talked about what he would be wearing. What they are all wearing up there.. And I have no idea. None.
And that tears me up. Rips me apart.
To just simply not know anything about my 6 yr old anymore. I have no idea if we can even see each other in heaven. Or if we just know its them. I have no idea if she will age. Or if she misses me.
I remember crying all day that first day of kindergarten. All. Day. Long. I remember picking her up. Just me and baby Charlotte to take her out on a surprise cold yogurt trip. I remember when she saw me she started crying. And I felt such a swell of intense emotion. Worry about what had happened to her. Guilt that I hadn’t been able to protect her from whatever horrible thing had happened. Rage towards whatever hurt my baby. And gratitude for being able to pick her up in my arms knowing I would never EVER make her go back to this horrible place. School..
I calmed her and asked what was wrong. She told me she had lost her lunch bag. this is a problem I can fix!! I assured her it was ok. That we would find a solution and I asked if she had looked and she said she had. So I took her hand and said lets try together. And we did. We found it right there on the hook outside of one of the doors. And then it was done. She had learned and wanted to talk about tomorrow at school. seriously?? dang it!
In that moment I was able to guide her. To help her. Give her advice. Teach her. That’s how it is supposed to be. But now.. she is all of that for me.
i miss you.
i am supposed to be guiding you
but I’m not
you are guiding me little girl
please don’t stop
help me on a path to eventually get to you
…until there is a cure..
11 Comments on guide
I love how Jennifer looks so happy to be holding Charlotte in that school lunch picture. Hugs to you.
Always thinking of you, thank you for continuing to share! xo
I am reading. There aren’t any better words. I am listening. I am absorbing and I am hoping that I am a better mother, person, friend, sister, daughter for really hearing what you write.
Know that in all you do you are keeping her alive. I know that sounds corny and I know it may be hollow because it isn’t the kind of alive you want or deserve or that she deserves, but you are keeping her alive through your writing and through unravel.
Wrenched forever, gut-wrenched, by your situation and your words.
Gosh, Jennifer has a beautiful smile!
I know what you mean about that fear of not always being with your children and not knowing whats going with them when you are away. So the more permanent situation of not knowing what is going on with Jennifer much just be terrible. Its natural for a mother to worry and care and try to fix things for their children. So I imagine not being able to fix anything or ask her how her day was is quite difficult (such a shallow word that doesnt cover it, I know). I hope you still get little signs from her, showing you she is there. Showing you she is happy and feels your love. And most of all showing you that she is proud of you and will never leave you completely.
I am completely broken hearted for you. I think about Jennifer every day. We love you Jennifer and we love you Kranz family whole heartedly ♡♡♡♡♡♢
Libby, I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for standing up against cancer and doing something about it. Thank you for sharing your hardships, your grief…people are listening, and it is making a difference. I feel guilty thanking you, because you shouldn’t have to do this…you should just be a regular mother of four children, not living this pain everyday. But still…I thank you. I’ve known people who have lost dear loved ones to cancer, people that never dared to make a difference in finding the cure. You are not just throwing yourself out there for the cause of pediatric cancer, you are YELLING it, and it is being heard loud and clear. I hope that many other parents find your blog, read your words…donate to the cure and try to make a difference with you. I had the occasional worry about losing my child to cancer, or to anything else, honestly. I’ve always feared losing a child. However, it never struck me across the face and slapped sense into my brain until I found your blog. Now, I CARE. I think about Jennifer and all the other children who had to deal with such pain…and all the parents and siblings that had to say goodbye decades too soon to their loved one. I think about it all the time. I don’t have a lot of money, but what I have to donate, goes straight to pediatric cancer. I will spread the glitter until the day I die, or a cure is found…whichever comes first. Thank you for spreading so much glitter over the world. I know that Jennifer is so proud of you.
The wanting and needing of always being there for your children in natural. That’s what makes us a Mom. You did exactly what a great mother does. You worried for her, you held her hand and looked for her bag & then you talked about the next day. I know she is up there with all the little boys, knowing you are still thinking and living through her. Thank you for all of your stories. 4JLK
still reading! Still lost for words. Wish we could do something to make your pain more manageable. We will fight this together!
Jennifer Jennifer Jennifer