March 6, 2013
4 – 8
Grief can do such funny things to your brain.
In some ways, it feels like it’s changed the wiring around in there. Things you once wouldn’t imagine worrying about, wouldn’t even have thought about in the past, all of a sudden mean the world. Things that used to drive you crazy, you now miss and crave. And, some things that used to worry you, no longer do.
Of course, much of this is linked to the person you lost. Along with realizations of what is important in life.
Numbers, and in particular time, can take on a whole new meaning as well.
Tomorrow, my oldest ‘baby’ will be turning 8. She is a marvel to me. Wicked smart, precocious, would read ALL day if you let her. She loves to laugh, is caring, loving, compassionate, silly. She can be quite shy at times (though not when it comes to performing on stage!), too hard on herself at times, easily unnerved, but she is filled with more courage and strength than she knows. She has so many of the wonderful qualities and features her Daddy had, and she loves to try and smile like him. She’s graceful and kind. She’s been through so, very much in her short life. I could go on – even though there just aren’t enough words.
I feel SO lucky to be her Mama, and I try to tell her so every day. Along with how loved she is – by both her Mama AND her Daddy…
Eight is a big number – she wants to get her ears pierced! – and it also holds a great deal of meaning to me, and as I found out recently, to her as well.
‘Almost’ four years ago, I couldn’t imagine even getting to this point. In those early days of grief, my newly wired brain did a lot of computing. Numbers, dates, time. Along with tracking the days that had passed since Elias died, I thought about dates in the future that I couldn’t imagine even getting to, let alone surviving.
The date C lived longer without her Daddy than with him has long since passed. The date I’d lived in the house longer without Elias than with him now too, among many others. And, though I’ve survived more than I thought I ever would, though I stopped counting in days some time ago, and will even stretch to give it to you in months, there are still some dates and ‘milestones’ that take my breath away.
In those early days of grief, I remember thinking of the point where E would have lived longer without her Daddy than with him – and with it, the date I’d have parented longer alone than with him. It seemed impossibly far away. I seriously questioned whether I’d ever even make it that far. Though, as her eighth birthday approaches, so does that date. I guess the impossible, wasn’t.
Unfortunately, though I haven’t voiced out loud to her how tough this one is for me, it seems she’s taken note as well. As I mentioned before, the girls have been hit by their own grief more in the past couple of months, and one night recently, as E was in tears, she said to me, “I’m almost 8, and I was only 4 when Daddy died!” Not hard math, even for an 8yr old, but I guess I hadn’t realized she would look at it that way as well. She has spent half her life without her Daddy.
Of course, the actual date won’t be until just after the 4th ‘anniversary’ of his death in April, but the birthday still hits home (though, any birthday for either girl without their Daddy here still just doesn’t seem right . . . )
I don’t want to go too ‘over the top’ to compensate, but I think her ears will get pierced (and I just may get my nose pierced along with her!), and though I generally stay away from anything too ‘commercial’ for my girls, we will have a fun Harry Potter themed birthday party (her new favourite book series), complete with ButterBeer, wand making, and more (and, perhaps I ‘did’ go a little crazy on the invites, especially considering we only sent out 6!)
And, most of all, I will celebrate this amazing, beautiful little girl of mine (who is growing up so very fast).
Just the thought of how much I love her brings tears of joy to my eyes….
P.S. I Love You