She should be 9…
I am a mother to 4 beautiful, blonde haired, blue eyed living children. They attract attention. .. and are the catalyst for conversations. I often get asked if they are all mine.. or hear comments that my hands are full. If it ends there I will leave it.. but often the conversation continues and I mention we have 5.. or I just get asked their ages. .
The shock.. they look like they just got slapped. I think maybe part of me has liked that. .. Because that momentary stun that they can’t physically hide is my day to day.. my constant. ..
i don’t think it will ever change.. i don’t think i will ever be used to you being gone..
Forever 6. She passed away 2 months ago. .. He is 4, and he is 2 and she is 11 months.. Jaws dropped. No more words were exchanged..They couldn’t make eye contact.
Jennifer would be 7 .. she passed away from cancer a year ago. . Stumbling over words and I can’t imagine.
My oldest. .. she should be 8 but she is forever 6. We lost her 2 years ago. . Heads move back. .. like verbal whiplash it seems like people can’t control the physical reaction..
..yes 5. My first .. she should be 9. We lost her, almost 3 years ago. A pause. Slight. And a I’m sorry. But not the same momentary gag reflex.. Not as hard to digest.. .
well not for them at least. Because it seems like 3 years seems to be the start. The start of when its not quite as jarring for people to hear I lost one of my children..
Which is ironic. Because each passage of time checked off .. it gets harder for me. The words didn’t use to gum me up.. Saying it didn’t make my stomach hurt the same way it is now.
This almost 3 year marker. It seems to me it might be a turning point. . Easier for others to stomach.. and harder for me..
3 years.. gone for nearly half the time I had you.
.. harder for us. Tony has found it to be much harder this year also. Enough so he was moved to share it on his own Facebook wall.. which is unlike him. And Jonathan drew a picture at school of him crying .. and how Jennifer helped him when he was sad.. All of us fighting that pit in our stomachs from swallowing us .
3 years. I realized today.. as I sat in the car and collected myself after this mornings conversation.. That when she died .. 3 years seemed like forever away. I was pretty confident I wouldn’t make it.. that there was no way I would survive 3 years without her..
but I have.. well almost.
And the morning gripping my steering wheel waiting for the knots in my stomach to loosen.. I realized that in 3 more years.. we will be staring down the barrel of her being gone longer than we had her.
right now it feels like forever away. right now it feels like I won’t be able to survive that long. won’t be able to survive that nauseating milestone. ..
but I’ve thought that before haven’t I?
I sat there absolutely terrified. My baby died. And its already become old news. .. Even to those just hearing it for the first time. People have moved on… but me. I feel like I am sinking.. into the depths of February.
And I came home to a package on my front door.. with a card that simply said she is with me and remembered. . .and a few hours later.. A frozen meal. Because this is my dark time.. and Jennifer matters. Because she is remembered. And so are we.
I am still scared. So beyond scared that I cannot even begin to explain the depths of my fear. That she will be forgotten.. that I will be forgotten..
But now also gratitude. Immense. Intense. Gratitude.
These 2 simple acts of kindness. Of love filled empathy. .. they allowed.. or perhaps they forced me to open my eyes.. and my heart to see. . .
The people that choose this. That choose to cry with me.. remember her with me. And the ones that fight with me to create change… The ones that bear witness to my pain.. almost 3 years later.
These are the ones that she reaches out to .. the ones that reach back .. and allow her to touch their hearts.. and maybe even whisper in their ears..
and then I am reminded..
you love me
you will never let them forget you
i need them to remember .
thank you. and thank them.
…until there is a cure..