Friday, June 19, 2015

three weeks.

It's been three weeks.
The days have come and gone strangely.  Time doesn't seem to make sense anymore, which I've been told by several other moms who have lost children is perfectly normal.  It may never make sense again.  How can it feel like she was just here yet it feels as if this new normal without her has happened rapidly.  It's conflicting and hard.  But peaceful and good. 
It's just altogether different. 

In the last 21 days I have done things with Nora and Braden that I haven't been able to do in 5 years.  Not because I didn't want to.  Simply because doing them was not only challenging but a lot of times emotionally taxing on all of us.  I cried hard last week, curled up in my bed.
"I have to re-learn how to mother just these two kids.  How am I going to do that?"

Mabel was part of everything we did, but she made everything we did a little more complex.  It's a strange feeling to jump in the car without equipment, feeding supplies and especially without my drooling girl.  Oh I miss her so. 
Nora is not wanting to be at home much-finding enjoyment with her friends, painting once a week with Harper and William's Grandma Connie, riding horses with Pawpy, and just staying busy.  She's not talking much about her feelings or emotions but is talking often about her sister.  She hopes that Mabel is doing all the things in Heaven that she is doing here on earth; such as horse riding. 
I hope that too. 

Our boy is sure having a harder time.  He's incredibly emotional, impulsive, overly anxious and extremely angry.  His feelings come out in rage.  They manifest very high or very low.  His doctor has seen him, we're on the same page, but managing his emotions with the rest of our home has been a challenge this week especially.  Unlike his sister, he doesn't want to leave the house.  Almost not at all.  He enjoys being with his friends but there are only a select few that he will go spend time with.  We've tried to keep him busy but mostly he wants to be in his room.  He's crying a lot. 
He misses his girl.  

 Both kids have been with us to the cemetery.  Nora wanted to go first and seemed to feel at ease right away at 'Mabel's spot.'  This spot also just happens to be where my Nanny and Uncle are buried.  Nanny and Mabel share a beautiful bench with a beautiful angel atop.  The angel holds a detailed dove in her hands, as she looks toward Heaven and when you walk behind her, you almost gasp at the fact that she's barefoot.  Our girl never wore shoes a day in her life. 
It's literally perfect.   
Braden wasn't quite ready to venture to the cemetery when his sister was but was super brave a few nights later right as it was getting dark.  We got out together.  He walked around, asked me to pray and then told me that he was good and asked if could I leave him alone for a few minutes. 
I did. 
When he returned to the car he blew her a kiss, let out a sigh and said, "Ok.  I feel better now."
 Nora and I have been out together to our garden. 
Uncle Mike and Nora planted tomatoes, onions, peppers, green beans and more in our front yard garden just a couple of days before Mabel died.  I watched from the window as my little girl dug deep in the dirt and planted food that will grow.  Food that will nourish us.  I watched her step across a place in the earth that I knew deep down would become a sanctuary for the two of us. 
And that has certainly already proved to be true. 
A few days ago I found us; she on one end, in the hot hot sun and me on the other, covered by the shade.  We talked some, argued some and were quiet some.  All very typical of our relationship.  Mostly I was grateful that no matter what we were doing, we were doing it together.  I hope that's what she will look back and remember.  She and I and the earth just weeks after her sister died.  We dug deep, pulled weeds at their roots, and locked eyes in love. 
Hard, rugged, mucky love.  
 Late one night this week I lost all control and let myself feel all that I needed to feel. 
That she's really gone. 
And she's really not coming back.
I wanted so badly, in desperation to drive to where her body lays and claw at the ground with my fingernails, all the way to her until she was no longer covered by the earth and her hair rested  across my shoulder once again.  But the truth is, that deep need for her is always going to be just an ache that I cannot quench.  A desire, a need that I cannot fulfill. 
She isn't here.  And she really isn't there.
My girl has been with Jesus for 21 days.  Oh what a joy for her that must be.

There was a loving tribute written about Mabel and I and her life's journey in our local newspaper this week.  It was such an honor to read someone's portrayal of our life together. 
It was ours together, after all. 
She was an extension of me.  She was dependent wholly on me. 
She was my baby.  And the loss of her is so physically repulsive to my being because I'm so used to having her on me at all times.  Literally draped over me. 
Oh I miss the weight of her. 
At the end of the beautiful column written about Mabel's life, the author talked about how I am still mothering two young children and how I know what it means to continue to live for them. 
He is right and so I am trying every day to help them to really do the same. 
Live while missing our girl.  

I see them smiling and I hear their laughter and I am reminded that I must go on.  They deserve the mom that I am.  The kind of mom that Mabel helped shape me to be.  The kind of mom who is present, does not take a moment for granted, and can be fully in this life with them. 
I cannot lie, though, mothering the two of them has always been a challenge and now as the days have passed since their sister left us, it has proved to be no different.  Their moods are unpredictable, their sadness comes rapidly (as does mine) and yet they are really still just trying to be normal kids in the midst of a really not-normal life. 
I'm just so proud of them every single day.  I really can't express it enough. 
So unlike I have read in other instances, time has not stood still for us.  In fact, time has moved very rapidly since the moment Mabel left my arms for Heaven.  Time is a thief in the way that it just never stops moving along.  In so many ways it forces us to do the same and in so many ways it robs me of really important moments that I need to grieve and mourn the way I feel is necessary.  But I can see in the every day moments how we are healing.  How, together, this family is growing and strengthening.  But the in-betweens that people do not see; the every day talks, questions and breakdowns-those are no joke.  Those are intense, intimate parts of this walk that don't get talked about often enough. 
If you will just continue to pray for the kids, I would so appreciate it. 
My grief feels all too familiar.  There's is just beginning and it's a hard thing to walk beside them in, all while doing it myself.  They have incredible therapists and doctors who are helpful in all the right ways but the void just can't ever be filled for them.
It's the most heartbreaking thing I'll ever have to write about, or live through.
In our real life, they lost their sister at the ages of 8 and 7.  Trauma like that is intense for a heart. 
But our God has proven to be so faithful in every single detail and I know He will continue to be throughout their lives as they learn to cope with the reality of being without her. 
Thank you for your unending love and support.  It means more than you'll ever know. 
I am grateful every day for the friendships made here, all while sharing Mabel's extraordinary story of life, hope and Heaven.  What an honor to be her mom {and theirs.}


Grandma said...

Your story saddens and inspires me. I don't know you but your sorrow fills my heart. Continued prayers for you and your children.

Kara Harris said...

As a parent of a child with a life threatening illness I have followed your blog for over a year. I logged on today and could not believe the news that your precious Mabel has left your presence. As a Christian, I am grateful that she is present with Jesus and her pain is nor more. But the pain you must be feeling is unimaginable. You and your family is in my prayers.

Kara Harris