do over

Up and down and backwards.. tumbling over and over again.

That was my today.

I have felt every emotion possible today. But I am ending it.. in a quiet house with  a few hitting me all at once.. all overwhelming in their own right ..

Sadness. Dread. Pride. Gratitude.

.. an odd mixture.

thank you jennifer.

i know. i know you have a part in the latter two. the ones that matter the most. somehow i just know i have you to thank.

The dread and sadness .. I don’t think I need to explain those.. And tonight I don’t want to. Tonight those emotions are all mine. Moments to be shared with the daughter I can no longer touch.. but will one day follow into the light..

Most of the day I felt on the edge .. just hanging on by a very thin thread. Verging on an outburst of tears or rage. Opposite ends of a heavy and violent pendulum.

Tony out of town.. and 4 kids to care for..  I knew they shouldn’t taste either end. And they didn’t. As bedtime approached I felt a rage brewing and growing inside of me. I ended up putting them all to bed about 30 minutes ahead of time.. Just to escape ..

Do you have any idea how hard that is to admit?

All my girls.. The yearning in this picture.. I feel like it should be enough to make me "hug my babies tighter tonight" .. My confession is when its your reality. Its not always.
All my girls.. The yearning in this picture.. I feel like it should be enough to make me “hug my babies tighter tonight” .. My confession is when its your reality. Its not always enough.

 

Today. Tonight. The two anniversary of a contender for the worst night of my life.    When we knew it would be soon. Very very soon. Though she lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of 36 hours longer we weren’t sure she would make it through the night..

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How could I be so ready for them to be away from me? And not just long to hold them a minute longer? .. But I didn’t want to. I just wanted the quiet. I wanted to be alone to miss her. And grieve her. Loudly. Openly.

So I shoved, with every ounce of my strength, I shoved and pushed it down. That’s my pride. They have no idea. None. Of the torment swirling below the surface tonight.. How close they were to a epic storm. ..

I was a good enough mom… We played games. And we baked. And we read books. ..

But it was exhausting. I think that’s why I have this need to hibernate during these hard times. Because giving them the best I have is more draining than any workout I have ever done. And I have nothing left for anybody else.

solitude. It saves me.

I felt so much guilt though. .. I had more planned for tonight. To shower them in appreciation for simply breathing..

The gift that their little lungs give me every day simply by filling with air.. I wanted to show them.. maybe even show God how grateful I am .. 

I saw this picture and knew it was meant for this post.... this was her expression for me tonight. ... This look was fitting..
I saw this picture and knew it was meant for this post…. this was her expression for me tonight. … This look was fitting. So much depth to her stare.

 

The boys have been switching off sleeping in my bed while Daddy is gone. Last night Jonathan wandered out.. He had been waiting for me to come back to bed. He wanted to fall asleep together.

.. i didn’t.

I needed to write. I needed to fold laundry. .. I needed my solitude. So I said no. And later regretted it.

deeply.

So I said tonight would be different. We would all snuggle in bed. Watch a cooking show in my bed.

.. i didn’t.

I put them to bed 30 minutes early.. and even lasting that late into the day proved to be a challenge for me. I came to the living room and screamed into a pillow right after. .. I needed just a moments release. And I felt such immense guilt. Because I should be loving them so much more vividly. I shouldn’t be just going through the motions. ..

.. I remember feeling this way before .. right after she died. No into yes was born of this same guilt. .. and gifted to me the same way too.

Maybe that’s why I am sharing this tonight. Maybe another mama like me will read and know they aren’t alone.. Maybe they will write and let me know I am not alone either..

And for one day my boys to read my words and know. I wasn’t perfect. But damn if I didn’t try. .. And tonight I am proud. Not of how I felt… But how I acted.

They stayed up. Talking and playing for quite awhile. On my last check in Nicholas was sleeping and Jonathan wasn’t. I had him come to me. And I got my do over.

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We snuggled into my bed and watched a cooking show together. He laid in my arms. So similar to the way she did 2 years ago.. 36 hours I barely left her side. .

Unlike Jennifer, I felt his warmth and health radiating .. and just like his sister I felt his love. I felt his trust.

I got a do over. A make up from last nights missed opportunity. And for that I am so grateful. I’ll never be perfect but I will always look for the do overs..  I will never be perfect but damned if I won’t try my best.

anything.

i would give anything.

my jennifer lynn

to get a do over

with you.

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..until there is a cure..

11 Responses to “do over”

  1. Libby, I start to write and, then, my words are so shallow compared to the sorrow, loss, anger, hurt, love, disbelief, regrets, loneliness, and any other feelings you caring in your heart, body, and soul leading up to and after Jennifer’s passing. Not for a minute can I imagine all the emotions you are experiencing in losing your precious Jennifer. Life is so unfair and this horrible pediatric cancer is something we cannot comprehend. I am so sorry that you, Tony, and your children have to live everyday with the loss of Jennifer. You are a strong lady and I admire you so very much. I believe you, Bree, and all of the mothers that are heartbroken from losing their child will find a cure. Thank you for your courage and endurance to the finish line. God Bless. … until there is a cure …

  2. Oh the power of your words…….please don’t feel guilty, mommy needs her time too. There was also great success that they didn’t feel the anger and rage…..that your 4 children were taken care of before you allowed yourself to grieve! That’s important too. I think about Jennifer all the time, always praying for strength and peace for you, Tony and your 4 littles!!

    Love4JLK!!!

    Janeel
    (Maryland)

  3. “A DO OVER”. That is a good thing. Your pain is huge, but I will learn from it, to do “do overs” more often:

    “The sun kept on with its slipping away, and I thought how many small good things in the world might be resting on the shoulders of something terrible.” ~ Carol Rifka Blunt, Tell The Wolves I’m Home.

    I got this from a mom´s blog who lost her child to Meningitis…and I thought how beautiful and truth it was, though I also do think how difficult it is to see something good in such a great tradegy.

    Thank you for today´s lesson. thank you for teaching others how to be better mothers, and better persons, and see what is really important. Because none of us know anything about tomorrow

  4. Thank you Libby, thank you for reminding me it’s okay to not be a perfect mother and thank you for reminding me to embrace and appreciate with all my heart the opportunity for the “do overs” .
    Sending ❤ always from one mother to another.

  5. Libby, there are no words that I, a stranger, could say that could provide one iota of lessening of your pain.

    You are remarkable. You were the mother that Jennifer needed. I wish you had had each other longer.

    I will never, ever forget your beautiful girl. I will honor her memory with support of research efforts.

    How I wish I could – any of us could – do more.

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