At the swimming pool.

WOW! I wanted to thank you all for the sweet comments and all the support you gave me in response to my last post. I appreciate it sooooo much! You are all stars.

I want to make it clear though that I am not upset with anybody.  I know that the people who inspired my post have only my best interests at heart. I wouldn’t want them to click on my blog and get the wrong impression. I realise that it is tough to understand this road if you haven’t walked it yourself. I didn’t ‘get it’ either until it happened to me.  I just do not want to feel like I have to tiptoe around my own grief, and I don’t want others to feel that way around me either.

Good news! Jenna’s birthday party is finally starting to come together in my brain. I took the boys to my pastor’s community pool yesterday. They had been asking to go but I had been putting it off because the last time we were there it was with Jenna, to celebrate her third birthday.  One of the few videos we have of Jenna was taken on that day, and in my mind’s eye I can still see her splashing in the pool with her daddy and her best friend Joseph.

Anyhow, I ambled about at the poolside, reminiscing and picturing that last birthday with Jenna, when it occurred to me that we can have her next birthday at that pool too! I have not been quite comfortable to have her birthday party at our house, simply because my house needs so much work and I cannot possibly manage to do everything I would like to do. A sweet friend offered her house but I felt it might impose too much – but a poolside party at the same pool where we celebrated her birthday last year sounds just perfect!  We have lovely memories of Jenna there, and it is a lovely venue, with lots of shade, a kiddie pool area, and lots of clear sky so we can see the balloons go up. (I am still deciding between balloons and butterflies, or both).

So, as far as I am concerned, we are set! I am excited that I at least have the venue settled in my mind. Now I can start thinking about other things…

 I didn’t swim yesterday because it was cool in the shade and I was nattering to a friend instead. I have been putting off going for a swim in my bathing suit though. That bathing suit hasn’t been in water since the day I swam in the pool that took Jenna’s life. I know that life goes on and that if I were hot enough yesterday I would have steeled myself and jumped in. But my bathing suit still has traces of  Jenna’s pool in it and to go swimming in it again would have been another ‘first’. Sigh. All these firsts…

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like when there are no more firsts, and when every possible unexpected Jenna-discovery has been exhausted. When everything is old hat and there is nothing new in the chapter of Jenna’s life except meeting her in heaven. I wonder if it would be a sad moment or whether it would be just another oh-well-such-is-life-moment.

Update: I went out today and bought myself a new bathing suit. 🙂 I realised when I put my old one on yesterday that it was all stretched out and not keeping its shape like it used to. I am getting older and I need a bathing suit that holds it all together! LOL I am going to put the old one away with Jenna’s things for now.  I will decide later whether I want ot keep it or toss it. For now it is the only bathing suit Jenna ever saw me wear so it will join the pile of things in Jenna’s closet that I will have to sort through one day when I am ready.

We will be out of town this weekend. Our pastor has been asked to start a church in Northern Alabama and we are going with him and another couple to ‘scout out the land’, so to speak. It will be our first ‘missions’ (y’all know that missions can be local and doesn’t have to be international, right?) trip with him so it should be interesting… It will be nice to see some mountains again too…or even some hills. Florida is so flat…

On a last note: I am so overwhelmed by the lovely response I got from you all regarding Jenna’s birthday cards. They are starting to trickle in and I am using all my will-power not to open them until the day. I think it will be special to keep them until the 27th, so that is what I have purposed to do, even if it goes totally against my character! 🙂

THANK YOU ALL!!!

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12 responses to “At the swimming pool.

  1. Sumi,
    I would love to send a card. Could you send me your address?
    You most likely have no idea as of yet but I’m positive that your grief is going to give hope to thousands of people. How satan would love good Christian people to hold anger towards God for the loss of a child. You have taken the power of the devil to destroy away from him and you’ve given God all the glory and you’ve not stopped praising Him. Yes, there is give in grieve. And you’ve put a gift in your grieving for others who share your experience. In all things, to God be all the glory.
    I love you,
    Barbara

  2. So glad you bought a new bathing suit and are putting the other one away. I was going to suggest doing just those things – my love and prayers are with you- thanks for sharing your sorrow and grief – hope your blog helps you to cope.

  3. I’m continuing to keep you and your family in prayer! I tried to wait to send her birthday card, but the Lord said to send it (which was good, because I couldn’t wait). I bet that it is driving you nuts not to open it! It would drive me crazy! :)))

    Have a blessed and peaceful weekend!

    Love you!

    Cynthia Y.

  4. I just wanted to give you an idea, that you may or may not like, but it’s something I’m doing with my Ellie’s clothing (and would work well to include your swimming suit). I was planning on giving away almost all of Ellie’s clothing, but when I went through it I found that each item held such memories… I didn’t want to keep two gigantic rubber maid tubs in the attic to collect dust. So I decided to make a quilt. I’ve never made one, but I’ve started this one. It may take me forever to finish, but I love putting together the little snippets of cloth – even small pieces bring back memories of each outfit or pair of pajamas. It may not be something that you would like, but I thought I would share the idea with you in case it would be an idea that would give you comfort… I hope Jenna’s party goes well – it sounds like a wonderful way to honor and remember your sweet girl!

  5. I just love your blog so much! I love your openness and honesty. I can so relate to all you have written and while I could never completely feel your exact pain, it makes me feel so much more normal to know I am not the only one feeling such conflicting feelings. Thank you for being so open. We just celebrated Isaac’s birthday yesterday. It was tough and I was a little disappointed with my family’s lack of interest. It just hurts. Not that I expect the world to stop or that I am being consumed by grief, I just want people to acknowledge him, to remember him and the impact he has had on this world. I am terrified that others will forget him. Ok, so now I am rambling and this is YOUR blog! I just wanted to say I love you and am praying for you!

    Love,
    Kristy

  6. The pool is *PERFECT*! What a wonderful idea! :o)

    I will tell you that balloons are far less expensive than butterflies, but, there’s something about butterflies that is truly amazing when you release them. We did balloons for Han’s birthday and saved the butterflies for her heaven day. :o)

    HUGS!

  7. I have a feeling that even as times of refreshing come more infrequently with new discoveries of old memories of Jenna, like with the bathingsuit and pool party, it will be quite sometime before you’ve uncovered every rock. Easier said than done, but tomorrow’s trials to overcome are soaked in grace we haven’t yet met today.

  8. I don’t think I’ve covered all the ‘firsts’ yet from losing my children and it has been 12 very long years. I still walk down memory lane when something reminds me of times with them or those first times without them.

    I’m so glad you bought a new suit!!! I love the birthday plans they sound so wonderful.

  9. I don’t have your address – so I hope a Happy Birthday Jenna will be good. Have you thought of trying to print your blogs on Jenna and the responses and put them in a book for her which could be read on her special days?

    I like the idea of the quilt. When my father-in-law died, I made Christmas ornaments for the family, i used the buttons and made Christmas ornaments one year, I used the material and made wreaths, we used the headboard of the bed my husband was born in and made wooden ornaments, stained them and bought the initial R to put around them along with gold braid trim. They probably turned out the best. It is nice during Christmas to see so much of Papa Roy around our home. I also made an ornament of each of my grandchildren’s baby shoes. My first grandchild just went to the prom and gave me her high heel shoe for the tree. That might just be a little too heavy. But I’ll try.

    I am sure every one who reads your blog has come to love you and your Jenna. Thank you for blessing our lives.

  10. I would like to send Jenna a birthday card even though we are coming in a bit late. I have been reading of your plans, which sound wonderful, but have not had a chance to write sooner. When you e-mail me with your address, could you also let me know if you think that it would be ok if I included a card from my little girl, or do you think that might be harder for you. You teach and minister to so many here and I hope to try to return the favor a bit. Thanks again for sharing your journey.

  11. The party will be beautiful!

  12. Wonderful idea!! I love it.

    I am going to e-mail you in a minute. Something got me thinking.

    love and hugs!

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