Pages in a book…

The middle boy was reminiscing this afternoon about a trip that he took with my dad whilst we were visiting South Africa last year. They had gone to a nearby game reserve. The boy told me today, in the same enthusiastic terms that he used on that day almost a year ago, how intimidating a lion’s stare can be when it is a yard away from your car. How he never thought a lion was THAT big. How cute and cuddly lion cubs are.

I listened with half an ear. I was trying to remember things. I had opted to stay home that day, because…why? I can’t remember why anymore. I think we went shopping instead? What did we go shopping for? I was trying to remember because those were Jenna days. Our last few days with her. Or were they? Did this happen after Jenna left us and before her daddy and two other brothers joined us in South Africa?

I don’t think so. If my brain serves correctly, they went to the game reserve on a Thursday morning.  Jenna, my mom and I did go shopping. I think.

As the anniversary of that trip and all that transpired approaches, I find myself wanting to coax my all-too-forgetful brain into recalling every detail, every word, every sight of my little miss muffin’s last days with us.  It frustrates me that I can recall a cute conversation with Jenna when this picture was taken three short days before she left us..but I can’t remember a word of what was said!  

I remember where she was standing when she pinched her little cheeks like that. I know where everyone else in the house was at that time. I remember that she told me the sweetest thing. I remember that I just wanted to eat her up and keep her that small and cute forever, but since I couldn’t, I would do the next best thing and take her picture. BUT WHAT DID SHE SAY? It eludes me, and I hate that.

If she were still with us it wouldn’t be an issue because there’d be more sweet toddler moments to come. But that was it. My last precious days with her and memory fails me.

Of course, there are some things I will NEVER forget. I woke up next to Jenna’s sweet sleeping face and stared at her in wonderment enough mornings, to be able to trace the perfect line of her eyebrows and the symmetry of that little rose-bud mouth in my mind’s eye any time. I will never forget what a sweet little Jenna kiss on my cheek felt like. I will never forget her sweet voice as she told her brothers that they were her ‘best brothers’, or her bossy voice as she tried to organize them. Who can forget seeing Jenna rush up to her best friend Joseph for an exuberant greeting at every church service? How can I forget that sweet, nurturing tilt of her head as she snuggled a soft toy under her chin?

I will never ever forget her

Still, it is not without frustration, that I remember that there are moments, snippets of conversation, that my brain has seemingly lost forever.

I was thinking about this when my eye caught part of Psalm 139 on my fridge door:

Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; and in thy book they were all written,
Even the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was none of them.

It has always comforted us to know that God had numbered Jenna’s days before she was born and that she had lived her intended life-span here on earth. It was a short life, but a full one, and she still lives!

Today though, it occurred to me that if all Jenna’s days were written in a book that perhaps those cute moments are not lost to me forever. Maybe God would give me a chance to read that book one day, so I could catch up on all the lost-to-memory conversations. I have a feeling that being with Jesus in heaven will be so amazing and God’s restoration will be so complete that I won’t even care about it then, but still it is a nice thought.

It is not always such a nice thought to think that some of my days are written in a book too. Oi vey! Could you erase that one about a week or two ago when I was being so utterly selfish that my long-suffering hubby had to call me on it? Please God?


8 responses to “Pages in a book…

  1. I can’t even remember how I found your blog… but I have been reading with you for a while now. I read your thoughts about Jenna, and my heart hurts for your pain. But today’s entry was especially sweet to read. What a wonderful thought… picturing you at the feet of Jesus, reading through Jenna’s book of life- getting to experience all of the little things that made this life so special. Then, you will close that book and be able to turn and look Jesus AND Jenna in the face and hug!!!!! For as long as you like:)
    With love and prayers from a random mother,

  2. Wednesday night, I was at Cracker Barrell with the Bridges clan. I saw a pink shirt and said to rachel that I should get you one. Then we turned around and were oohing and aahing over the little girls’ pink dresses. I told her that every time I see little girl clothes, Jenna is my first thought. She agreed that the little pink dresses bring Jenna to her mind often also. We then had a conversation about what it must be like for you to be even more reminded as a parent. You’re on our hearts, precious friend. I know a memory of Jenna is never unwelcomed by you, but my prayer is that the pain is fading when those memories do visit you.

  3. i am faithfully praying that those conversations will suddenly come to you – late at night or while you’re driving the boys around town! i think those conversations are preciously stored somewhere in your brain. they ARE a part of you whether you remember them right now or not. you DO have them – i pray they will come to you as little (or not so little) blessings at special times on special days! much love, jan (the pics of jenna still take my breath away)

  4. Never ever worry about the “downer” comments, Sumi. I understand and am more than willing to be a shoulder for you. My heart continually aches for you and your family. If you need to go to the cemetery today, then you should go.

    I’m sending up prayers for you and sending you great big cyber HUGS. Hang in there, Friend.

  5. Hi Sumi,
    I remember I had written you several months ago and then misplaced your website. Just today I was reading some comments on Kelly’s blog (kelly’s korner) and there you were. I think of you often and all you’ve been through. I know you miss Jenna so!
    I’m doing the Scripture memorization that Beth Moore mentioned on her blog recently…24 verses this year…and I chose to memorize Psalm 139. I love that chapter and it has exactly 24 verses. (we’re doing a new verse on the 1st and 15th)
    Just wanted to say a quick hello & tell you how special you are to me. I love your thoughts about Ps. 139 and how God keeps record of everything. Won’t it be a wonderful day when we’re all together in heaven?!!!

  6. Sumi, my thoughts are with you and your family.

  7. That was a lovely post about a lovely little girl. I reckon her little conversation with you will visit you one night in your dreams, and you will remember it then with clarity. It will be a gift. A “new” memory of Jenna.

    Love to you


  8. I know that anniversary mark is lingering in your heart, our 2nd year anniversary is the 23rd with Joel,and it is also Hosanna’s 7th BD. I am thankful its on that day, I know there are those like you and sweet Jenna that we mommy’s want to do something special on their heaven day. Think of you often…..

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