I have been so busy. I mean, aren't we all, right? Had a great trip visiting my friends in Seattle. Thought my next blog would be about them and how much I miss them and how great it was to visit. Well, it really WAS all great. I miss them so much and am so grateful some of them keep me in their lives. It was so fun.
But my heart has been elsewhere. My mind has been elsewhere. I keep looking at the date on the calendar and have moments where I marvel that it's been a YEAR. How is that possible? Where has she been? What has she been doing? That's what my thoughts are consumed with lately.
I just crawled into bed and was looking over these photos of my babes. They are such a wonder to me. My oldest especially as she is so foreign to me a lot of the time but then I look at her sometimes and think......aaaaah. Yes. Where have you been all my life.
And then I have moments where I think....WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! I waited what seems like a lifetime for her to show up. She frightens me. She intrigues me. She amuses me. She loves me. She tests me. She forgives me. God, she is my salvation.
And then I am brought back to her. Another HER. I have a lot of fear when I think of her now. I wish I had the strength and faith her children and husband have but I just worry. Where is she? Is she happy? Is she safe? Is she....okay? I reflect on this.....often.
"Both of my children have been beautiful surprises to me, in different ways. I thought of Jessica recently when I was admiring a beautiful piece of jewelry. I asked the shopkeeper about the stone and she told me a name I had never heard before; it was a rare semi-precious jewel. I could hardly take my eyes off of it. It seemed to hold all the colors of the ocean, changing subtly as I turned it in the light. That is how Jessica has seemed to me. She is startlingly beautiful, not fitting any mold or predictable set of characteristics. She has been a driving force in my life, especially in years past when I battled with depression and feeling like I was facing a brick wall trying to change myself. As I observed my strong, spirited yet vulnerable daughter, I realized how important it was that she have a strong mother -- she needed and deserved one -- and that motivated me to push on through. She continues to motivate me in words unspoken, and she's given both Mark and I delight and joy."
It has been a year since she died from leukemia. Died. That's a word I can barely utter. Did she really die from this? Is she really gone? Is it totally ridiculous that I can't seem to STILL grasp that she is not of this world anymore? And, more importantly, was she ever?
I've always loved the term "too good for this world" when speaking of people that die just too damn early. I am convinced of it now. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said "BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". I laughed out loud. Not because it was ridiculous but because I thought.... maybe she knew a lot more than we know now? Is it possible that she really was too good for this crazy world?
I know what it feels like to long for that love. I know when I look in my firstborn's eyes how I feel that rush of emotion....fear, excitement, anticipation, pride....yet I can't imagine what it feels like to look at that child and know you are leaving them. Oh how I wish I could know how she is. That it's alright.
I watch her beautiful daughter. I selfishly marvel at how she's become this woman from a little, angelic baby....much like my own. I look at my girls and get it. I GET IT. And now I know, SHE got it....she was so ahead of us all. She raised these beautiful children, had a wonderful family and friends that loved her more than anything. That is how I know she could leave us. She knew it would be alright. Somehow. Some way.
So it's been a year and it seems like a lifetime most days. I hope she is alright. I hope she is peaceful and shining down on her children. I'd like to be smart enough to KNOW she is but until then I'll just hope. And believe.