I am so grateful for pictures. I feel like without them I am losing her. Like she becomes a figment of my imagination. A almost mythical creature that I make up who she is. But then I get lost in pictures and I remember. ..
Her. Jennifer. My daughter. I have worried since the day she died I wouldn’t ever remember her healthy. I still struggle with that .. a lot. But now I worry I will forget her. The real her. That she will become just a memory to me.. A twisted incorrect version of who she really was.
That’s horrible. Its something I never want to admit to myself let alone out loud. But its the truth. It is a fear of mine that makes me feel like a terrible mom to her..
Which is strange because in so many ways her memory right now consumes me.. Even more than my living children. Because I feel so raw. The numb gone.. the acceptance of it all a far way off..
Every heart beat right now she is there. Behind every smile, every joke there is a void, a absence of depth. Because her death stole that. Because even though to outsiders I am moving further along in this journey.. I know .. Other bereaved parents know .. that at just 16 months out I am still so new to all of this. .. In the span of the rest of my life, likely another 30+ years I am in this griefs infancy.
My Jennifer. Full of spunk and verve. Attitude and dramatics. Love and loyalty for her friends and cousins but a special level reserved for us. Her mommy and daddy brothers and sister. I hope this baby growing inside of me knows that from her too. That was such a gift to experience.. that kind of love and adoration.
She loved pink. And princesses. She loved dirt and being naked. Jennifer was a natural in the water, from bath time to swimming and jumping in puddle anything with water made her happy.
She loved everything about babies and pregnancy. We loved to touch and snuggle my belly when I was pregnant. Whenever I found a non graphic video of birth or one of those TLC shows we would watch it together and talk about it. How incredible woman’s bodies are.. It never scared her. It excited her. I made her promise to let me be in the room when she had her babies.
For the first 2 years of her life she hated eating. But once we figured out the celiacs diagnosis she genuinely liked it. She was willing to try new things. But she liked all the classics the best. Tacos, pizza and cereal…. and desserts. My girlie had one heck of a sweet tooth.
Jennifer was trusting and innocent. Believing so strongly in Santa and her ability to turn the outside playground into a ship.. or a castle with just her mind. She was tough and stubborn. Pulling out a barely loose tooth.. mostly just to prove me wrong. Once I told her if she wanted to walk she had to hold my hand.. or I would carry her. But she found the third option…. she crawled. The looks I got letting my almost 2 year old crawl alongside of me on the dirty ground.. sporting a big huge grin.
She slammed doors and rolled her eyes. She forgave me quickly for often over reacrting to her outbursts.
At dinnertime Jennifer would lead prayers and tell all kinds of secrets. She liked to talk about her day.. but somehow left out all the details.
In the end. She saw dr after dr. All asking her the same questions.. Do you go by Jen or Jenny or Jennifer? Scared and confused. But still trusting. Loving. Innocent. She never fought them or held anything against them. She would beg them to stop when things hurt. But she listened .. and struggled against her own instinct to knock hands away when what they, when what we, were doing hurt her.
Because she was a good little girl who really wanted to just get better.
my little girl.
jennifer lynn kranz
…until there is a cure..