Sometimes I’m gathering up all my energy to cook a meal. Or sometimes I’m walking through a crowded IKEA store. Sometimes it’s at the park with my girls.
I never know when I’ll see something that will trigger memories of Kyle, or worse, my memories of my dreams of Kyle.
Sometimes I feel like it never happened – that it was all a bad dream – and that now I’m awake and I should go do dishes. Then, I open my freezer and bags of frozen breast milk fall out that I’m holding for a friend.
Kyle’s milk. it says, on the name line.
Then there’s those wretched anniversaries. For the one month anniversary, I was home for several days by myself – my husband was visiting his dying grandfather in Florida. He desperately didn’t want to leave, but I thought I’d be ok.
It’s incredible the things that go through your mind, the moments you relive, all because of silly numbers on a clock or on a calendar!
Every. Single. Memory. It all came back as if I were looking on again while it happened. I felt contractions. I remembered that blessed morphine dose I got to give me a break from the pain for an hour or two so I could get a visit from my girls. I remembered my sweet sister’s laboring over photos – that I still can’t look at. I remembered the tears that were shed by nurses on my behalf behind curtains and closed doors. I remembered holding him. And around the time he was born in my arms, 1:30 AM, I finally let myself fall asleep. Then when I woke up, I just wanted that moment – that awful moment – when I passed on his little body to the funeral home man to come and go quickly.
I had made plans with a good friend visiting from China to meet us at the park that day. Hoping it would keep me from being in terrible despair in my room all day. But, honestly, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Thankfully, my girls are very self-sustaining. They were completely happy to find a movie and their two favorite boxes of cereal. I heard them talking… “Mommy’s still sad today, Kami. I’ll just get you breakfast today.” “OK! Col-we! Let’s just watch a movie!” “Kami, I can’t find any bowls. We’ll just have to eat the cereal like this, ok?”
Later that morning, Chloe came in and checked on me. I told her, “Chloe, Mommy’s gonna be really sad today. It’s Kyle’s one month day. But he’s not here to have a little party for him. So I just miss him.”
She gave me the prettiest smile and said, “Oh mom, how about we have a baby Kyle picnic, then, at the park? We can have a picnic and play and run. It can be a baby Kyle party.”
While that would probably get most mama’s hearts and turn them around for the better, I was beyond easy convincing at this point. “But, Chloe, Kyle won’t be there.”
Apparently, Chloe was beyond easy convincing too. “But Mom. It’s OK. It’s just a celebration. For Kyle. Cause he’s in Heaven. So it can still be good. And here….”
(She ran to the kitchen and grabbed some blue daisies another friend and delivered to my house the day before and brought them into my room.) “….we can just take these to him today at his flower place.”
My daughter is a genius. The other title for this post was going to be “(Not so much) Like Mother, Like Daughter.”
Chloe proceeded to make a picnic lunch. She’s quite the inventive cook. Peanut butter and rotisserie chicken sandwiches with lettuce? Hmm…..hey. At least they were triple deckers. This was one family outing I was happy to be on a diet.
Seeing those smiles and yogurt mustaches was just what I needed. It got my mind off the ticking minutes. And got my mind on what I had right in front of me. Two beautiful gifts I’ll never deserve. And sometimes I think they’re angels. I guess I’ve been blessed with a lot of angels.
Chloe even got a hopscotch lesson. And a spanish lesson. And a quarter.
Then it was off to what we call the “Flower Place”. Where in the place of harsh, cruel, death, even in January, new grass was growing. And I felt like it was somehow a picture of my heart. I was feeling a little bit of healing. A little bit of growth. And it had all been watered by my never ending flow of tears. Without those tears, without that death, that grass wouldn’t be there. And my heart would never have grown to a place where it would be able to feel like it does now.
So, while in the depths of difficult hard grief, I’m learning that even when I go through deep waters, God will be with me. When I go through rivers of difficulty, I will not drown. When I walk through the fire of oppression, I will not be burned up; the flames will not consume me – because God is my God. So, my grief, while mostly terrible – is sometimes good.
– Isaiah 43:2,3