I was given the name of a ministry that specializes in creating beautiful things to remember your deceased child by. The volunteers for Heavenly Angels In Need create buriel clothes, bracelets, and memory boxes, all at no cost. Although it was hard to ask for it, I really wanted something beautiful to put some of Emmy’s things in. A gorgeous, hand-painted box arrived in the mail today. I have been so blessed by this ministry.
I am half Irish and half German. My children know the German side of me best because we often have German dishes throughout the year and I know more about that side of my heritage. The children know dad was full-blooded Irish, but we never did much to celebrate that side (other than listen to a lot of Celtic music ;o) )
Well, this year, I decided we needed to have a “green” supper, so I cooked:
Corned Beef Brisket
Cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots
Irish Soda Bread
Irish Cream Cheesecake
and my 7 year old made a cake w/ frosting and green sprinkles!
All the recipes were from an ebook put out by Urban Homemaker. Everyone had a great time! This is also the first meal I cooked on my own, so that in and of itself was cause to celebrate.
Today is March 10. My baby girl left this world one month ago today.
We went to her grave today. I put indigo delphiniums and baby’s breath on her grave. We read Scripture. I tried to read Ps 30 out loud, but dh had to finish it for me. I could not find my voice through the tears. Ty and I and the children stood in a circle and prayed over her grave. We prayed for strength in the days to come and we prayed for the day we would all see Emmy again.
My father sits,
A blank stare steadily
erases the sparkle.
I watch him fade
to no one.
I am fading too.
No longer the man
He is the disease
A death he does not deserve.
Soon I will be forgotten.
Today we placed my father in a nursing home. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in early 2003. I began grieving then.
Actually, I began grieving 11 years ago when he turned 70. It took me nearly 3 years to come to grips with his mortality. Ultimately, it was a college level creative writing class that forced me to face my fears. With the poetry came healing and acceptance of the inevitable–someday he would die because we all die. Five years later the feelings resurfaced with the diagnosis and once again, I wrote through the pain and anger and frustration.
I received this picture from my aunt today…
This morning was very difficult for me. Somewhere between sleeping and waking, I held Emmy as she nestled up to me, I ran my fingers through her hair and tucked it behind her ears. But, you can never stay in that state of consciousness for very long. Far too quickly, I was snatched from that world that becomes hazy the moment you leave it.
After a routine morning of breakfast and cleaning and caring for the children, always feeling the grief welling near the surface, I opened the card that contained this picture and was unable to stop the tears that had been begging to be cried all morning. I know my aunt was worried the picture would be too painful, but she also knew I would want any picture of Emmy I could get my hands on. Now that I’ve had a good cry over the memories that picture holds, I can look at it, study it. And I see what I have seen in many of her pictures…something that has been pointed out by others time and time again…her eyes.
Our 3 year old has had a profound understanding of all that has happened these past 3 weeks. We have been amazed, and often comforted, over and over again by the words she speaks. Tonight was no exception…
As she sat eating a piece of peanut butter pie in her little purple jammies, she suddenly said, “Where is Emmy?”
I hope the sound of me sucking in air was not audible, but both my husband and I looked up at her, startled. My husband said, “She is in Heaven.”
To which my daughter replied, “She’s not at the hospital. Jesus was at the hospital, and then He took her to Heaven, and He’s holding her in Heaven.”
“Yes, dear, He is.”
“She’s not sick anymore.”
“No, dear, she’s not sick anymore.”
I can feel it.
Every day a little more.
It will never be the *SAME* because there is someone *MISSING*, but I know the Lord will bring a *NEW NORMAL*
I made the bed because I wanted it to look nice. I vacumned the floor because I wanted to. These are little pieces of normalcy that are a welcome sight to me.
Even my heartache has bits of joy intermixed. Packing up the milk today to send to the adopted baby was oh so hard. I cried quietly as I put it all into bags and sent it on its way, but there was joy in knowing another child would benefit from what was meant for my little one.
I continue to read my Psalms every night and every morning. I continue to put one foot in front of the other. I continue to trust in the Lord. And the Lord blesses over and over again.
Getting out of bed has been very difficult. I know the Lord wants me to get up and be a mother to my other 4 children, so after some brainstorming w/ some friends, one of them called this morning to get me up out of bed and give me a few simple tasks to do. Even though it hurt to be awake, it felt good to do something as simple as make coffee and put the cereal on the table for the children.
I folded Emmy’s clothes today. The day she died, in a frenzy, I had pulled all of her clothes out of the closet and sat on the floor of her room holding them and crying. I later put those clothes in her crib and left them there. I packed away the ones she never wore and neatly folded the ones she had and put them in the drawers of her dresser. There were stains on some of them that were from her. I am not ready for them to be in storage, but I am ready for them to be somewhere other than scattered across the crib.