I’m starting earlier tonight. Lisa is getting Anna Roan to bed; Julia Anne is already asleep. Sean has gone to bed. He was much better today,; hopefully he will be even better today. Jennifer, Adair and Meleah are all in bed as well. It’s an early night for most of the clan. Hernan is on the computer in the other room and I am here in the den listening to Christmas music on Pandora radio. I could have started a movie, but I felt led to just reflect and write for a while. It’s been a good day. The sun was shining and we got a long bike ride in. Tonight we all had dinner together, and then we watched “Despicable Me”. It was a great movie, just as I had been told. Everyone loved it from Anna Roan up to me. It covered all the age spectrums. It was a funny story with some great truths imbedded into it.
After the movie, everyone but Hernan, Anna and myself were off in different bedrooms. Anna was talking about the movie and doing her “ballerina twirls”. She was telling me that her mom told her to practice every chance she got. She also said that her mom told her she should learn something new every day. She told me this while she was bouncing up and down on the ottoman next to the couch. I asked her what she was learning new today. She just laughed and then told me she had just learned to bounce like this. I just laughed and went and hugged her. She just lingered in my arms for a minute, hugging me back and she was off twirling and dancing again.
A few minutes later she went to the dinning room table where they had been doing arts and crafts. I had seen her sitting there drawing before I came into the room. She brought me this picture and told me it was for Nana. She said that she loved Nana very much. I looked at her, trying not to cry. I just smiled and asked her where she wanted to hang it. She just said: “ I don’t know where to hang it, I don’t know where heaven is”. I just held her and said that wherever she hung it, her Nana could see it because heaven is all around us. She then looked at the Christmas Tree and said that she knew that Nana would really like that tree. Then we were talking about the bike ride and I told her how much Nana loved to ride bikes, and she would have really enjoyed today.
I guess we spent another ten minutes talking and playing before Lisa came in. I will probably cherish this moment for the rest of my life. How often do you really get to go that deep into the mind of a four year old. Just to have her be open about her love for her Nana and drawing that picture. But what got me the most was when I asked her where she wanted to hang it. The look on her face was one of puzzlement and a lost feeling. I almost couldn’t hold it together. How does a young child understand loss? I’m sure it is different. I know it is, I lost my physical dad when I was three. How did I understand and except loss? I have a few vague memories of him. I really hope that Anna can have more memories of Nana than I did of my dad. Everyone is affected by loss. I know that each of us process in different ways. I’ve focused on Jennifer Lisa and myself,, but what about Adair, Meleah and Anna. How have they processed their loss? I was able to talk with both of Adair and Meleah back in the spring. But I haven’t talked with them since. Maybe I will have a time when it is right to talk with them like it was with Anna tonight. I would like that very much.
So, what have I learned so far this week? One thing is that everything we have done has so much of Julia in it. That’s good. I am learning to embrace her memories and how I see her in the girls and even my granddaughters. At the same time I have not had grief, but only the joy of all the memories that we had together. So I have laughed a lit, and cried a little. There will probably be more of both, but that’s OK. I really believe that most of the tears will be tears of joy from past memories. A;; week so far that is what it has been. Have I turned a corner? Probably. Will I have some setbacks along the way? Probably. But I have truly come to learn that emotional healing is a process. But it is a process that can be sped up by focusing on the Goodness of God. This week is a week for family. I pray that all my family can experience even more healing as this week progresses.
Previously I got interrupted in the middle of this. Otherwise it would have been published long ago.