a rainbow

I know she is proud of me tonight. I just do. I almost never think what would Jennifer want me to do… Its just not something that seems to resonate with me. But it did today. Today I felt worried I would be letting her down.. worried that she wanted me to do something I wasn’t sure I was capable of.

Going to one of her best friends 6th birthday parties. ..

I have a fairly large Facebook network now (I know total lame brag right) and I see a lot of birthdays come into my feed. Often just from a friends liking a picture or commenting on it. I see them and I want to scream. Imagine. Imagine if today you find out your child will die. No hope. No cure. If you find out that this birthday you are supposed to be celebrating will likely be their last?

I want to scream it .. often.. and rip apart my computer screen.

I am not proud of that. Not by a long stretch.

her 6th birthday.. struggling to see the video with her double vision. I remember thinking when I took this how much she will hate it when she grew up. Because it would remind her of the start of a really difficult journey.
her 6th birthday.. struggling to see her gift  with double vision. I remember when I took this thinking how much she will hate it when she grew up. Because it would remind her of the start of a really difficult journey.

Today wasn’t that though. It was just a palpable ache. For my little girl. Who should have just turned 7 but will forever be 6. And it was unrelenting. No mercy. As Tony was leaving for work he asked about the party and I just looked at him and cried. .. that I didn’t know what to do. He said he would take the kids. .. I didn’t have to go.

I went to the gym. My mind shut off for the workout. But then stretching after my mind barely started to wander towards the party.. and my eyes began to burn. I didn’t even make it to the car before they started to fall. I can’t even put words to it. Just all day whenever I thought of the party I hurt. Deep down. A ache coming from unknown places inside.

Luckily the kids were still at my parents. So I had time and space to do this without their eyes watching me. Without the guilt of adding more onto their already full hearts. Because that was a piece of it too today.. it always is. What about their hurt?

What was I supposed to do? I didn’t want to miss the party and upset our friends that have been so in our corner.. That quite literally took care of us in our darkest hours. Make them look at my kids and know I was home crying alone. But I also didn’t want to go and cry. No matter what I felt screwed. No matter what I felt like I was ruining  a special day for them. And I didn’t like myself at all today. So completely unable to see past my own hurts. I do not want to be this person.

…but I couldn’t stop myself.

Tony came home for a few minutes in the middle of the day. ..

did you tell him too jennifer?

did you send me your daddy?dragonfly5

And we talked and I just cried. That non stop onslaught of tears that aren’t even worth trying to wipe away. My face still as the tears just poured out.

why why why? why is this so hard? and will it be any better next year or the year after. her friends hitting milestones she never will.

I felt pretty out of control. Because I didn’t understand why. Why I was feeling this sadness so deeply and so strongly. And I couldn’t seem to stop it. But I did. Stop the tears long enough to go lay on the couch with my boys and watch a movie. Close my eyes and escape with a little sleep. Because they needed me today too.

When we got home earlier this afternoon we grabbed the mail. As I was opening it they re-opened a gift one of my friends had brought for us last night. I was flipping through the mail.. not paying attention to him pulling open the paper. Until he said my name. Mom. And then just motioned for me to come to him. At first I just kept saying what is it baby what is it baby..until I realized it didn’t matter what it was just that it was. And that he called to me to comfort him.

I couldn't save either of them from the pain then.. and I can't save him now either.
I couldn’t save either of them from the pain then.. and I can’t save him from it now either.

But then he told me… .

its just this mom. Its a dragonfly for Jennifer.

yea buddy ..

And see here. Its got all these jewels on it. Jennifer loved jewels mom.

yes you are right. Exactly right. Good observation Jon Boy. What do you think we should do with it?

Then he just leaned into me… and held the dragonfly in his hand. He asked me to take a picture of him with it. A few actually. It was a beautiful and tender moment. And a surprising one too. I had no idea that it would impact him like that.

Its sleeping on my shoulder. So its like we are sleeping together.
Its sleeping on my shoulder. So its like we are sleeping together.

Tony came home a little while after my time with my boys on the snuggle couch to take them to the party. But I knew she wanted me to go. I really almost never feel that way. That Im letting her down by any of my choices. When people say she wouldn’t want to see you sad like this.. somehow I know she is ok with it. She gets it and understands.  But this was different. This she wanted from me.

So I went. Jonathan went right in and started running with friends. That was a relief. He is ok. But then a little while later Tony caught my eye. Carrying Jonathan with his face buried in his Daddy’s shoulder. I knew it was a hurt feelings thing.. I just didn’t know what. Tony told me later. It all of sudden hit him. Jennifer wasn’t here. She loved this place. Sometimes I worry that people think I put this on him. Or bring it out of him. Times like today though.. they remind me I don’t. Its there. I just happen to be close enough to catch it most of the time.

My friend and I did cry when we saw each other. And I had to fight the urge in that moment from hating myself for it. Because even then. I knew she wanted me there. Towards the end I finally knew why.

The birthday girl saw me and her face light up. She hugged me. And then smiled a pure smile one more time. And I knew why..

oh. ok sissy. thank you.

Later snuggling in bed Jonathan told me about the party for him.. that he didn’t realize the whole car ride there. But then he did. That he just remembered Jennifer loved playing in that one area. And he told me he didn’t cry.. well not really .. but he looked at Daddy. And Daddy looked at him and then they went to talk together. I told him about how the mommy cried with me. And I made him tell me why. And I made him think about why the birthday girl asked for everybody to have a dance at the end to the song Brave. Because they miss Jennifer too. I told him how another one of Jennifer’s friends came up to me and asked for a necklace with Jennifer’s picture just like mine. We named all the people at that party that I saw remembering Jennifer. And he smiled at me. That same pure genuine smile.

oh. ok sissy. thank you.

And then he told me a story about a rainbow named Jennifer.


…until there is a cure…

11 Responses to “a rainbow”

  1. Libby, So heart breaking. Thank you for continuing to share your deepest feelings and thoughts of love and loss of little Jennifer. She is our Angel in Heaven. God Bless.

  2. Jennifer is proud of you! I think you were reminded that people have not forgotten Jennifer and she knew you would need that.

  3. I thought of Jennifer today as well, just like on any of the day, even from such a distance and especially because of me also having birthday today. A lot of people say her name and remember her forever. And her closest friends and family misses her all the time! But I am sure she was there with you on that party, just as she is around you and your family every day. God bless you all!

  4. Oh Libby! I must tell you the story of your Jennifer and the rainbow! How interesting that I read this on my daughter’s 9th birthday. She too gave me the gift of motherhood through adoption! There are so many pictures of Jennifer that remind me of Jennifer! I was driving to work at Andrew Hill High School and a song came on the radio that reminded me of you and Jennifer, many do. It was the song….I don’t remember the name off hand, but ” I chose you.” I began to cry. I almost changed the channel, but didn’t. It was then that I saw the most beautiful rainbow! It was a full rainbow. It was right off of Monterey where the charter school is, and was directly over the Baily turn off bridge. I then began to sob! I said, “Jennifer” and told her I would tell you. I have not yet and I don’t know why. I tried to write it, but it overwhelmed me – I am sorry – how selfish of me. But, I think I was supposed to wait until this post. This happened on Thursday, December 17th. Wow. I just checked the calendar and realized it was a month to the date. I think and pray of you, your Jennifer and your entire family always! I say her name every day! I have made it part of my life and the life of my children to join the fight! You are truly amazing Libby! Thank you Jennifer!

  5. Your Jennifer is such an Angel Libby and I pray each night for angel visits. Whenever the sky is pink I look up and smile knowing she is shining down on your entire family. Many prayers for your family and LOVE4JLK always.

  6. I’m still with you Libby, even though we’ve never met. I still read every day, but something about this blog made me cry…cry hard for you. See, my daughter turned 7 in August, just 2 months prior to JLK’s birthday when she would have turned 7. I could not even imagine going to any of my daughter’s favorite places without her. You have a strength inside you that you are not even aware of, but your Jennifer knows and that’s why she helps you to keep living your life to the fullest. God Bless you and your family…all 6 of you!

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