Monthly Archives: September 2008

The missing

It has been a glorious day. We had the kind of weather that stirs something in me and makes me want to grab the kiddos and go to the nearby historical nature preserve, to soak in the outdoors. My kids would probably groan and roll their eyes at me, long nature walks are just not very exciting to them. Sigh. How did I end up with such city slicker kiddos?

They do enjoy going to a national monument near our house, because the trees are so climbable. In the past, when the weather turned beautiful like this we would often grab a picnic lunch (read: McDonalds 🙂 ) and go and enjoy the trees and the tranquil view of the river there. The boys would only eat a little bit of their lunch, itching to kick off their shoes and tackle the trees. Not to be outdone, Jenna would try the trees too but they were too high for her. She would beg me to lift her up on a tree, and then sit there perched like a little miss madam. Until she got bored with her spot and wanted to try another.

We haven’t been back there since January. Or if we have, I don’t remember. Much of last spring is a fog to me now.

I was pulling out of Walmart this morning thinking about last night’s post. It brought back memories of a precious conversation with pastor Rob, who had lost his daughter tragically a few years ago. It was our first face to face conversation with someone who truly understood where we were at and it made such an impression on hubby and I. Rob’s eyes sparkled as he spoke about the precious deposit that he now has in heaven, and how Rebekah’s presence in heaven makes him want to go there all the more.  He spoke about knowing Jesus in a deeper, more intimate way through his pain, and his face shone. “It’s just the missing”, he said, shaking his head. “The missing hits me every now and then.”

He said ” the missing” as though it should be written with capital letters. The Missing. As if it is some familiar beast, worthy of a name.

I have been experiencing days of great normality recently. Every day contains a few moments where somethings sparks a memory of Jenna. It always unearths a deep sigh of longing or brings a smile to my face. But they are normal days, with normal challenges and normal emotions.

Then, unexpectedly and unbidden, The Missing steals into my life and makes me sit at my computer for hours and weep. I don’t resent it. Actually, part of me welcomes it, because it reminds me of my sweet little muffin, and my love for her. The missing brings acute memories and makes me feel close to Jenna. It’s bittersweet.

I have found that if I allow myself to miss Jenna for a while, to cry over the loss, I am so much better equipped to stand up again, sword in hand, and be normal again for a while.

Perhaps the missing will visit less often as life goes on, though I am certain it will pop up even many years from now. But you’ll notice I am not writing it with capital letters anymore. I’m doing it on purpose. There is one whose name is worthy of capital letters, and that is Jesus.

The missing may have it’s night, but joy will come in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

It’s late

It is 1:15 to be exact. I should have been in bed long ago, but I have been gripped by an acute case of “the missing” since early evening. I am compulsively sitting here reading other blogs and walking down memory lane. I think I can blame the cooler weather we had today. Fall is coming, and the very air around me brings back my most recent memories of Jenna, the long wonderful days of autumn, and the fresh mild winter days we shared shortly before she left us.

I grabbed a sweater for bible school today. It happens to be one that Jenna and I picked out together on our last shopping trip. Last time I wore it, she was on my hip (like she usually was), and it has not been washed since. Intentionally. I compulsively tried to see if any of Jenna’s hair were still on it. (Silly, because I have a whole lock of her hair that we had snipped off at the hospital.) Then I grabbed the pink stripey socks I bought in memory of Jenna (they just looked like her) last spring. I wore them in honor of her, just because I miss her more acutely today.  

My thoughts are already turning to Christmas. How are we going to celebrate Jenna over Christmas? If I can afford it I’d like to lavish Jenna’s presents on a needy little girl somewhere. But I want to do something for Jenna herself – what?

I have been catching up on some of my bloggy friends, and my google reader has less than 5 blogs for me to read as opposed to the 3 digit number it had earlier this evening. No, I didn’t read a hunderd-something blogs! I had to skim them, but I read enough to realise that I am not walking this road of grief alone. It is so comforting to read the words of other moms who have walked the same road. Sometimes they say things I can’t find the words for. (Thanks Sheye and Rach)

I seem to struggle with words at the moment. The feelings run deep but it seems that putting them into words would only sound like a repeat of previous feelings. You can describe a Walmart-moment so many times, after a while it gets old hat.

I have not checked my blog stats at all lately, and I am surprised to see that there is still a substantial amount of visitors here, even though I have been so verbally challenged lately. I soooo appreciate the comments and all of you checking in on me – thank you!!! I’d love to respond to those of you who would like my email address. I haven’t sat down at my computer for non-work related purposes in a while. I’ll get there…

This was taken exactly a year ago. My oldest boy doted on his little sister and this was a fairly common sight in our house:

Aren’t they cutie pies? (Don’t tell my son I called him that.)

Oh – I found a little treasure this week. I had traced Jenna’s hand on the back of a grocery list. It was one of the last lists I made before our trip to SA. If I recall correctly, I was thinking about buying her a pair of gloves for the flight via Washington and wanted her hand size on the paper. I was going to throw the list out earlier this week when I turned it around and spotted that sweet, unexpected little reminder of Jenna traced onto the back. 🙂

Gotta run…

…But first I want to say hello to all my internet buddies. 🙂 Yep, I am still here! I am missing the cameraderie I find in blogging…I am simply not keeping up with all my bloggy friends and it makes me feel a bit isolated! Hopefully I will be able to take the time to blurb here again soon.

My life in 60 seconds:

I am happy to be at the school. It makes for a good challenge and I feel like I am doing something worthwhile with my time. The boys are doing great, here and there we are experiencing a few struggles to fit into the ‘work routine’ again. Hubby is working long hours, as usual.

Bible school is back after a shortish break – and oh boy, it is AWESOME!!! It does take a chunk of my time but I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I spoke to a lady at our church this week and she told me how busy I am with school and church and homeschool stuff. My blonde brain kind of switched on at that point and I thought to myself…busy? It never occured to me but yes, I suppose it’s true.

Life seems almost normal at times and then it creeps up on me quite unexpectedly that I am still walking through grief. It catches me unawares at the most crazy times. Those are the times when I realise that this is still a long haul thing, and it is far from over.

I am surrounded by people who are celebrating new life around them, in the form of early pregnancies, newly adopted babies, or newborn babies. I feel a pang of longing around them. I know the time is not now, but I hope that some day perhaps God will grant us another baby to love.

OK, I can never be short and sweet – once I start typing I don’t want to stop. But it is 1 am. and tomorrow is a school day. I need my beauty sleep. Love ya lots, bloggy buddies, see ya sometime soon.

Moments…

Today had its moments:

When we arrived at school this morning my youngest pointed out a jet plane in the sky, which launched me into a rendition of “I’m leaving on a jet plane”. (I do that all the time, any random phrase can make me start singing.) Except, after the second line of the chorus, I had to stop myself short. Y’all know what happened last time Jenna and I left on a jet plane. (If you don’t, just scroll down about five posts until you see one that has a picture of the muffin pulling her suitcase behind her.)

I had to walk some cutesy pie pre-schoolers over to their class this morning. I love talking to pre-schoolers and I just miss interacting with my own little one. I couldn’t help thinking that Jenna would have been among this bunch if she were still here.

We had to forfeit our second period (my bible class) for an informational meeting with the students. The meeting ran short and a fairly significant time of the second period was left over. A sweet little seventh grader ran over to me, hugged me, and told me she was so glad that the meeting was short because now she wouldn’t miss being in my bible class.

The girls were disappointed because I hadn’t made any written comments in their bible journals. I had been swayed by another teacher who had told her class that their journals were between them and God and she would only be checking to see if the kids kept up with it. No, my class said, they want me to READ theirs AND comment on it.

The journalism class was about ten minutes longer than the other classes today because of a lunch schedule issue, but it still wasn’t long enough. 🙂

I watched Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican convention tonight. (I wish I had known it was tonight, I would have given my journalism students an assignment to write a report on it.) Did you all see her sweet youngest daughter waving at the crowds? Something about her mannerisms made me miss my muffiny. She is as cute as I imagine Jenna would (have) be(en) at her age.