what is a lifetime?

A year ago today. It was a day that lives so strongly in the hearts of those I love. Of being a positive day with Jennifer. There are two more coming up for other people.. days that will forever be the last “right” day for them.

She went to preschool with one of her best friends. She had gotten them matching shirts while we were in DisneyWorld and they wanted to wear them. I remember having to talk with the other mom over and over again so the girls could be perfectly matched.

They did a great job with it and Jennifer was so happy. It was hard for me to let her go just for those few hours. But I thought she needed that time away.. to be independent again.. to be normal. I wish she had. I wish so much I had to struggle through so many more days of missing her for those few hours she was in preschool.. instead of being condemned just 3 weeks later to a lifetime of missing her.. all day and all night.

Then we had her appointment with her oncologist. I remember how she thought I should be sending her to kindergarten again.. and how she wanted me to be sure I was taking care of me too.. How wrong I thought she was on both accounts…Jennifer looked so good though.. She always wanted the best for all of us.

And how right I was on so many. I read this entry now and I see all the foreshadowing of what was to come.

But I really had so many other reasons not to know what was coming. Because she was doing well.. she had some improvements.. because the original tumor had shrunk.. the one I whispered to her each time she went to sleep… shrink tumor shrink..It did. But sneaky little bastard that cancer is it had already moved on.. Taking up residence everywhere else.

I remember driving and wanting to take her to see her high school cousin wrestle. I remember calling Tony to ask of we could stay out just a bit longer. He said yes.lifetime1

I wonder if he regrets that now? I do.

If I could go back I would have just brought her home. To give her a little more good time with her siblings and her Daddy. I lost her February 12th.. but in a lot of ways they lost her Oct 28th when we learned of her prognosis.. and when treatment that took us away from them started.

…we thought we had more time.. we thought we were doing the right thing..

the next morning we laid in bed together.. we videotaped her singing happy birthday to her Daddy and her brothers and sister.
the next morning we laid in bed together.. we videotaped her singing happy birthday to her Daddy and her brothers and sister.

She did have a great time though. I remember her laughing so hard as my sister ran her wheelchair through the parking lot.. I remember how loud she laughed. I can see it… I can picture it.. But I can’t hear it.

I just wish i could remember what that felt like. I can’t even begin to remember that level of happiness. Even though we were scared.. even though we knew we would one day lose her.. the joy I was capable of feeling then is so much deeper than now.

…I hate that. I have some phenomenal reasons to feel immense joy. My sorrow though. Its big. Its powerful and I feel weak beneath it.

I have said the nights are hers.. but the day I am theirs.. but now its all muddied. I cry often again. Sometimes I can steal away a moment of solitude and sometimes not. Sometimes they have to bear witness to my pain escaping. I just miss her. I just feel so damned vulnerable and like the slightest shift will make me crumble.

There is no fixing this. And right now I am terrified there never ever will be.

Is a lifetime long enough to even begin to heal a heart this broken?

Right now a lifetime feels so impossibly long..

but also so cruelly short.

lifetime4…until there is a cure..

14 Responses to “what is a lifetime?”

  1. Libby, My hearts breaks for you. I have no words to heal your broken heart, sorrow, or pain. Jennifer is the most precious little girl in the world! God Bless.

  2. You are all in my heart and in my prayers. I think about Jennifer everyday. She has a piece of my heart. You all do. All the love and prayers to you all today and always. ♡

  3. This makes my heart hurt and makes me so darn angry! I will use all this emotion into Spreading the Glitter and saying Jennifer’s name!!

  4. Libby my heart breaks for you and your beautiful family I pray the lord gives you the strength you need Jennifer will forever be in my heart God bless you always.

  5. Libby, I was drawn to you and your family when I read an article in People. Since then I have read every entry of your blog start to finish, I wear an Unravel/#love4JLK bracelet every day- I mean I never take it off, I read your blog daily, I feel that even though I have never met you or your family, never had the chance to meet Jennifer, that you are people I am connected to like I am my close friends. Weird huh? A good friend lost her child, age 22, in a car accident October 5th of last year. I see her most every day. I went through a period of not knowing what to say. Not knowing what to do, not being able to understand the pain and loss she is going through and will continue to go through. I see it though. I see it most every day. I think of her going through those many “firsts” that you have mentioned. Your blog not only helps in making us more aware and informed about pediatric cancer, it helps those of us who know someone who has experienced the incredible loss of a child and I would think it would help those who HAVE experienced the loss. You are a fantastically strong, incredible woman, Libby. You can see it in your blog, what you are doing to help find a cure, coping with the loss of your precious girl, trying to take care of yourself and your family. You are so full of love and compassion….and full of fight and good anger and wanting to kick this horrible diseases butt. Please know there are so many of us out here thinking about you and wishing there were more we could do for you. Keep fighting. You are gaining new warriors in this fight daily. I look forward to shaking your hand one day and giving you a hug and thanking you in person.

  6. God Libby. I can’t believe it was only three weeks from a day at preschool until she died. I am in awe of you ability to keep it together at all. It’s so hard and I feel for you. I try to share the inequity of the funding in our country for this disease and how nuts it is for our babies to bear the results.
    You are going to make a difference ! I know you didn’t want to but now it is happening. Hugs to you and your sweet family.

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