Lately I haven’t been giving my posts a title until they are finished. Writing a title beforehand presumes you know what you are going to say, and I don’t. As I sit here with this blank slate of a computer screen before me, I have no clue where this post will go and which of the many things in my heart will find their expressions on the page.
When we first started this journey I used to tell people who asked after us, that it is a very up and down road. Part of my motivation for saying that was to assure them, if they caught me on a good day, that I was not always in such a good place. I seem to have most of my ‘down’ moments alone and I am sure that there are many people in my acquaintance who marvel at how ‘strong’ and normal I seem to be. Not so.
It does seem to me though, that there are up and down cycles, that often last for days. This is relatively speaking, life still always has that sad void but sometimes you notice it less. I asked hubby if he feels these cycles too and he does. I was on an ‘up’ cycle for the weekend and most of yesterday, ever since our precious visit to the cemetary last week. Last night, just when I was starting to wonder whether there was something wrong with me because I felt relatively normal, I started spiralling down. My day today has been a missing-Jenna-acutely-almost-every-minute-of-the-day one. I think maybe God allows these cycles so that there is a respite inbetween the days of deep sadness. Surely life would be very bleak if we were to be in the depths all the time.
I watched short video clips of her last night from when our camcorder was still working. I had taken these 60 second clips at the time and downloaded them directly to my computer to email to the family at SA. Jenna was obviously much younger in these video clips but I was still struck by her ‘joie de vivre’ and sparkly personality in them. She was so happy and full of life. I am longing to see the actual video footage that we had taken at the time. Some sweet friends offered me the use of their camcorders so that we could play back the cassetes and convert them to dvd, but they weren’t compatible, so I am scanning ebay for a replacement camcorder.
I went outside this morning to let the dog out, and since she scales the fence at every opportunity to go and leave parcels on the neighbors’ lawn, 🙂 I stayed in the backyard while she did her business. I lay down on the trampoline, looking up at the tree canopy above me, like Jenna and I had done so many times before. We would lie out there on lovely spring or fall days and watch the birds flit from branch to branch or see how the aeroplanes make ‘stripes’ in the sky. I missed having her little snuggly toddler body in the crook of my arm. I was lying there, sobbing, when my middle son came out to tell me something. But he had left the door open, and Tom, Jenna’s big fat coddled-by-Sumi cat, snuck out. I had to apologise to the boy for overreacting afterwards. Tom will likely be back tonight, when he gets hungry.
Since Tom got out, I let Smuffy and Kiki in. They were kittens not too long ago and Jenna used to often cuddle them while she watched Noggin. Smuffy didn’t know it, but he ministered to my heart today, in all his cute and cuddly cat-ness. While the boy and I were doing math on the sofa he crawled on to my lap and fell asleep there. I gave the boy some work to do at the table and slouched down until Smuffy was tucked in the crook of my arm, with his furry head under my chin. We both took a little nap like that. It was bitter sweet.
Of course nothing can compare to having Jenna cuddle me like that again. I had a fleeting moment of anger at God today because she went away so soon, taking all those lovely cuddles and hugs and kisses with her. I have not been angry before, and this anger was but a quick thought. I am determined not to fight my feelings though. I suppose I have to walk this journey and every possible emotion will have to find it’s way to the surface so that it can dissipate and leave just the peace and glory of God behind.
Deep in my heart I know this is all for the glory of God. I know he is going to make something beautiful come out of it. Jenna’s little life will have touched many, by the time my life here on earth is through. I thanked her for that the other day.
I am grateful for the lives that Jenna has already touched but in all honesty my hearts desire is for something quite selfish. I want Jenna’s life, and death, to change me. Grief cuts deep, but I have in my mind’s eye the picture of it carving out a pocket in my heart. The deeper it cuts, the more space there is for God to ultimately fill. This is my prayer.
I have always longed to have the ability to carry the presence of God into any situation. To be like Peter or Paul who said: “Silver and gold I do not have, but such as I have, I give to you…” I want to have something to give to those who are needy, weary or thirsty. Yes, I do dream big. I do want a whole lot from God. I want everything he’s got for me.