Integrity.. its what you do when nobody is looking. Often I have forgotten that even when it feels like nobody is looking my most important and treasured audience usually is.
For them because of her.. I will do it every 12th. This month I was lucky enough to have kids still young enough that they are my “them”. So I took them to a place I knew they would love. I took Jennifer there when she a little younger than Charlotte is now. A multi roomed preschooler fantasy land.
They loved it. We talked about her. What she would have liked.. how she taught them to be good siblings and me to be a better mommy. I remembered her distinctly in 2 of the rooms .. and no recollection of being in the others with her. I liked that. A little bit of new mixed with old memories.
My boys played so well together.. and did an incredible job of taking care of each other and their baby sister. It made me feel so proud.. and so lucky. One of my dearest friends sent me a text on the 12th. To tell me a story about Jennifer that she had just heard that day… it is .. who she was. .. it is who we all lost.
We had a end of radiation bowling party put on for Jennifer hosted by the man we lovingly call her santa. They even had gift bags for each of the kids. Apparently they all had little wands in them.. except for one of JLKs friends bag didn’t have it. So Jennifer gave hers to her friend.
None of the adults knew. Jennifer did it because thats who she was. She had more integrity in her 6 years then most people.. me included have in their entire lives. I felt wave after wave after reading those words.. of missing my incredible little girl.. deep sadness wishing I had know how amazing she was while she was here.. and then anger. Anger that she is gone. Mad over what this whole world has lost by allowing her to die. Because she didn’t have to. ..
And then a mix of all of it. For my little family and the immense amount of grief we live with each and every day.
Last I wrote I talked about the numb.. the drive to the play place was over an hour long and I quietly wept the whole drive. . about all sorts of things. A lot for some reason about her Godfather. What an incredible young man he is.. how much I hate that Jennifer won’t get to dance with him at his wedding (he isn’t even engaged.. I apparently just have a need to pre-grieve) And how I think she would have grown to be like him in so many ways.
I just missed her actively. And in front of my most important audience. But then we got there. And I had the space to really enjoy them.. being their mom and each of their own little personalities. Jonathan. So creative and the great protector. Always checking on his little brother and sister. Nicholas. So nervous to try new things but so brave to push himself to try. And Charlotte. Independent and hilarious.
We did a few cheers to sissy.. at lunch and before we left eating our popsicles. Because Jennifer loved a good frozen treat! We talked about how it has been 11 months since she moved to heaven. And that its a good time to remember her and try to be better because of her. This is my way to show them those words in action. To spend a whole day just putting a real concerted effort to be a good mom. What that means is different every 12th.. And I hope it always will be.
you are who i want to be
you are my hero and my idol
not because you fought cancer ..
you are simply the best person i have ever known.
…until there is a cure..