rear view mirror
I don’t want to write tonight.. I don’t want to go there..
To remember where I was 4 months ago tonight. Steeling myself for the something so strong ..
it dissolves steel.
It started to hit this morning.. driving to a friends house I cried silent.. tears… but since then I have run from the truth that haunts me ..
I cried angry tears and sad tears.. Relay for life is soon to happen in my town. Driving I saw the purple ribbons everywhere.. I wish I had no connection to it…I wish it didn’t impact me like it does. It made me feel stupid looking at them. . How I had been tricked into thinking that the money raised was for all cancers.. pediatric and adult when in reality it is unproprtionaly split towards adult cancer. 1 cent of every dollar goes towards pediatrics (PAC2)
A worthy organization in that regard.. they have done amazing things.. saved countless ADULT lives.. for that we should all be grateful .. my issue is with their advertisisng and how they dont market themselves honestly.
You know what. This is my blog.. my journal .. my outlet so I am not going to be “pc” about it.
I was so angry. Teeth gritting and hands gripping the steering wheel… driving to one of my daughters best friends house.. looking back and seeing a empty seat.. where my 6 yr old should have been.
Angry at first about being tricked.. fooled into complacency… Then my anger hit a new high when I realized maybe it didnt have to be this way. Maybe if Relay and American Cancer Society gave kids a bigger cut..
maybe she would still be here. .
Maybe if our government gave them a little bit more money .. I would have a survivor on my hands..
instead I am looking in the rear view mirror at a blank space.
Then the guilt hit.. And I ran from that hard and fast all day long..
I know I won’t be the one to make the change happen.. but perhaps I can be a instrument in the changes that need to happen. What if I had done it sooner? What if I read and truly took note of the articles that I am sure were floating around. What if I had learned the facts before it was my daughter going before the tumor board? Would it have made a difference?
I will never know.. but I will forever wonder..
We are supposed to protect our kids..To struggle letting them grow up and move on.. to keep them safe and healthy. ..
…just alive. That’s it. Just keep them alive….
Why couldn’t I do it?
Instead I find myself looking at a l.e.d dragonfly in our backyard.. longing and apologizing to the wind.. hoping my message gets carried to her..
I hope my cries were muffled enough so the boys couldn’t hear me as I could run no longer looking at her dragonfly lite up in our yard.. I think Jonathan knows.. on a cellular level I think he knows that a milestone is coming..The boys fought sleep tonight. Something they rarely do but it was a nightly occurrence with Jennifer and Jonathan. It drove Tony batty tonight.. but not me. I just figured out why ..because it means tonight they are relating as friends to each other. Not just room mates.. but real friends.
I think about how she asked for her own room when we came home from Stanford.. we thought it was just that she wanted her own space.. that on some level she knew she was dying and wanted to freedom to do that. We have also thought that this was a way she was distancing herself from Jonathan..
maybe the friendship between her two little brothers was also something she wanted. The way she loved these boys.. and taught them how to be loving to each other… It really wouldn’t surprise me if that was a piece of it for her.
I think that awareness Jonathan has, might have also played a part in not wanting to sleep tonight. He has not slept with me since he was a baby.. but last night he came to us in the middle of the night.. just needing us.. nothing overt really.. So I grabbed him and he slept in my arms.
There was piece of me, one that I am not proud of.. that wanted to pretend it was her.. to whisper her name.. to try to force my arms to remember her weight.
Today he just seemed to be taking note.. looking for her everywhere and in everything. We played outside and he found a wisher (dandelion) and proudly brought it to me. I made my wish. Later on he found a flower (weed) and genuinely excitedly brought it to me pointing out that it had one tiny part of a wisher stuck to it. He is truly absorbing everything we do and say in regards to Jennifer. It is so much pressure to be sure I am doing it right.
We ended up playing tag and a few butterflies flew around us.. one in particular cut right through us and Nicholas, Charlotte and I all just paused and watched it. Jonathan froze in place.. finger out. Hoping so intently that it would land on his finger. I knew that look from having felt it on my own body just a few days ago.. that afternoon looking at her picture hoping if I did it just right I could make her come back out of it.. He had that same desperate intensity trying to will that butterfly to land on his finger. When it didn’t I noticed the wave of disappointment wash over him. I wonder what it translates to in his little mind?
Couldn’t help him through it then though.. I was too busy running from my own sorrow.
Inside not much later he came skipping to me. .simply bursting at the seams with joy when he noticed the glitter all over his hands. Pure joy as he held them up.
At prayer during dinner Nicholas thanked Jesus for taking Jennifer home. We don’t actually use those words in regards to heaven or Jennifer now, so it stunned Tony and I for a moment. .. however since he is the one I think sees/connects with her hearing him say that slowed me down again. Then Jonathan sharing about how he missed sissy today paved the way for the pain to start to penetrate tonight.
I remember holding her. Breathing with her. Paying attention to the spacing between each rattling breath she took. Always waiting for it to be her last. I remember by this time being so content with her.. happy that it was just her and I again. Tony wrote about the huge seizure she had.. and how much he especially, struggles with the worry that he was the one that caused it. I wanted to move her just one more big time. I had wanted to do it all day, but since I had to get up to pee and nurse the baby we didn’t dare until we knew I wouldn’t move again while she was still with us. I had a need to get her perfectly positioned in my arms.. so we could be completely wrapped up in each other. We took our time mapping it out before doing it. It was truly terrifying.
And then freeing. To hold her way I had for so many nights as a baby. As a
baby she slept in our bed in my arms.. absolutely perfectly for months. We both slept well.. still could. The only one of my 4 I could sleep well with past a few weeks old. I needed to cradle her like that again. ..maybe she held on for that time too.. to get some hours, back together again, the way we were both most comfortable.
I heard her body make noises I won’t describe, that I will never forget. I felt her body change in ways that I can only assume give me the nightmares I cannot remember.. And I witnessed her last breath.
I just want to hold her. To kiss her again. I hated seeing her suffering the way she did.
But at least she was still here.
Tonight I don’t care how perfect that other home is..
I want her here in mine..
I want her back in my rear view mirror.