I was sitting down here trying to wrote a lament. You know a post that is replete with phrases like: it-is-not-fair-that… or why-should-it-have-to-be-like-this… I decided it sounded too negative and that it might create the wrong impression. I am really fine, but some circumstances lately are just driving home Jenna’s absence and I am missing her.
We went to an office Christmas party tonight where I had to answer the inevitable question about how many children I have, from perfect strangers. It is a dilemma. Sometimes it is just easier to answer: “Three boys”. It doesn’t rock the boat, and it keeps the conversation light and simple. There is an inner twinge when I answer the question in that fashion though, because it doesn’t honor Jenna and her place in our family.
Then there are the times I tell people straight out about my 3 boys and my little girl who is with Jesus in heaven. The person who received that answer yesterday immediately clouded over. I could almost see her mentally kicking herself for forgetting about Jenna and feeling uncomfortably unsure about how to proceed with the rest of the conversation, until I made light of it and changed the subject.
Tonight’s questions set me on a downward spiral, which was only made worse by a family tree project that my oldest son is working on for school.
I started crying when he needed my help to fill in our family history. It was heart wrenching to see him type up his siblings’ names and add little Jenna Anne’s name to the list, only to have to type out in black and white, for the whole world to see, a death date next to that sweet sweet name.
And so I lament. For now. Tomorrow I will laugh again, but right now my heart aches.
It aches for my oldest boy, who doted on his sister so, who now has to fill in her death date on a scrap of paper for school.
It aches for my youngest, who shows how he misses his sister sometimes by using her voice and her intonation to say things.
It aches for my middle son, who thinks that people are starting to forget his sister because no-one talks to him about her anymore.
It aches for Jenna’s daddy, who doesn’t get his exuberant welcomes from his little girly anymore as he comes home from work.
It aches because this mommy-heart doesn’t know how to appreciate the Christmas lights this season. It has always been my most favorite part of Christmas but Jenna and I oohed and aahed over them so enthusiastically last year that every lit-up house reminds me that she is gone.
Why are there so many lights this year? Don’t they know that Christmas should just stay away? How are we going to enjoy Christmas without the blessing of living it vicariously through a toddler’s eyes this year?
I told a lady at the Christmas party tonight that Jenna would want us to celebrate and we will. I’m so ambivalent about it though.
I wish we could fly to a cabin in the mountains or go somewhere totally different for Christmas. I don’t really want to face a normal Christmas with an absent Jenna.
Lament over. A few more tears, and then I will smile again. I promise.