I might as well write this and get it out. I figure I do not need to publish it if I don’t want to, but at least I will get it off my chest.
I am missing Jenna something fierce today. The long awaited video camera came in the mail yesterday and we spent some time watching a Christmas video I made of the kids for the family back at home, the Christmas before last. Jenna was 2 and a half then. She is obviously younger than we remember her, but still the same sparkly little girl. I loved hearing her laugh on the video, it was the same hearty, expressive laugh we last heard just a few short months ago. Most precious of all was seeing her interact with her brothers…they danced together, played together, pretended to go to sleep in the same bed, drew pictures together, cuddled the cat together, got on one another’s nerves…
I also managed to capture Jenna’s delight on hearing her daddy return from work. It is the first thing on the video. I thought I was going to tape her taking a bath but she heard him, climbed out the bath, and ran in all her naked glory to say hello to him. At first she couldn’t find him – he was hiding from her – and her delight and laughter when his head popped around the kitchen door was precious to see.
Thank God for video cameras! My only regret is that we never replaced our broken one and took more recent video footage.
Then today I helped out at a yard sale. We were raising funds for a friend who is fighting breast cancer. Those of you who know me know that I love a bargain, and that one of my greatest joys was to hunt for cute girly clothes for Jenna at yard sales or thrift stores. She was always dressed beautifully, and affordably so. Anyhow – all these lovely girly clothes and no Jenna to buy for. It just about kills me. I told hubby today that I have been tempted to wash Jenna’s clean clothes just so I can take pleasure in their prettiness when I fold laundry again, like I used to.
Our neighbor had given the boys a foosball table last week and I had to move Jenna’s Little Tykes kitchenette out of the tv/play room to make space for it. No problem, I thought, I will donate the kitchenette to the yard sale. I can’t keep everything forever. I took its photo, as well as pictures of every other Jenna thing I donated. Just for the sake of satisfying my obsessive-compulsive need to remember EVERYTHING I can about Jenna.
But I wasn’t prepared for the meltdown that happened when somebody actually bought the kitchenette. It caught me totally by surprise. In retrospect it makes sense – it is yet another thing that drove home the stark reality that Jenna is not coming back.
I was digging in the rubbermaid container of Jenna’s barbie stuff to find part of a set for a customer, when I came upon a ballerina barbie dress and a ‘Hello kitty’ stamp and ink pad. Both were items that I had bought for her Christmas stocking last December, and they weren’t supposed to be in the container. I didn’t care for the other barbie stuff since Jenna had received the container shortly before we left for our trip to South Africa and hadn’t played with it much. But to find the stocking stuff that I had picked out with so much love and care just a few months ago was a bit much. I rescued the items and brought them back home with me.
I cried all the way home and I have been weepy all afternoon. The fact that it is Mother’s Day tomorrow doesn’t help. Sigh.
Postscript: I am going to post this. It is not spiritual or uplifting or anything like that but it is where I am at. I do think a lot of my present funk has to do with the approach of Mother’s Day. I had a brief thought just to stay at home tomorrow and not go to church but I am going to bite the bullet and go. So what if I cry crocodile tears and everyone sees it. Crying like that makes me feel so darn vulnerable. But that’s OK. I know I have many precious friends who love me and understand. I know that Jesus understands. I know it will be better to face the day head on rather than crawl under my duvet and pretend it doesn’t exist.
To all my friends out there who are facing tomorrow with a child or two missing…may Jesus hold you extra close.