This experience has showed me the goodness in people. We are so grateful for all the love and prayers, the monetary support and meals being delivered to my men folk back home. I am trying really hard to help JLK see how lucky we are and to teach her to find ways to pay it forward.
Its hard to do though since I catch myself wondering why?
I am no longer raising her to be a productive adult or a good wife. I want to give her only yeses. It has been brought up that maybe we should send her back to kindergarten after treatment. As a way for her to know she is ok and not be scared that we aren’t making her go. Not gonna happen though, both since I am selfish and I cant imagine not being with her….(that make me pause knowing I am going to be forced into that silent distance) and I dont think she is thrown off kilter by not going, it was too new to her life.
However I am known for being pretty cheap, a bit of a coupon clipper…but we have been eating out and I actually bought her a frivolous purchase. I think that may have thrown her. Its a seat pet. A ridiculous info-mercial toy for her seat belt. She wanted one for a long time and had been having a bad day and she saw it and I got it for her. She loved it…but soon wanted another info-mercial toy. And she has been hounding me for it. I realized this was the thing that was throwing her. She was testing me probably without knowing it. She needs me to say no for her to feel safe. And I realized just because I know our time is being cut short I cant quit parenting her.
So I got us right back on track. We bought that second info-mercial toy. For a little girl whose name we pulled off a Christmas tree. We talked about how lucky we have always been to be able to provide presents under the tree for her. And asked her to think about how she might feel if she woke up to no presents..And she practiced what she thinks the girls reaction will be when she opens the gift. We talked about that no matter how hard things seem she can always find a way to help somebody else out. And I reminded her how many people she has around us that are proud of her and helping us out.
She tried her best to get me to get her one and I wasnt positive she had gotten any of the good feeling that comes from doing for others until this morning when she asked to go make teddy bears for her brothers.
My sister had talked to Jennifer about going to Build a Bear to make presents a little bit ago. And today before her radiation it is what she asked to go do. Throughout today she never asked to get something for herself. I think she found a true joy in making something for her siblings. We had only been planning on making them for her brothers, but on the way she asked if she could make one for her sister too. We said yes.
This is something they can love and cuddle. When Jonathan falls and needs a hug from sissy he can run to his bear and squeeze it. Nicholas can snuggle it in the night and for Charlotte she will know how her sister always thought of her. Jennifer was so proud to be putting all of this together. It was my moment to watch her experience giving life the only way a 6yr old can. She even got to put a heart in each one. A gift from her for them for always. It was a really fun time for us to be together, she was so happy. It was very bittersweet for me though…She thinks she is just being a good sister. I know this will be one of the only tangible ties my kids have to their big sister.
She has helped change all their diapers and give them first foods…She welcomed each one home from the hospital with cards and kisses…She is their leader and helper. I hope these animals serve as a reminder to always take care of each other…the way Jennifer does for them. I want them to never ever forget her and the way she loves them.
And then they asked if we wanted to add in sound. My first true Libby reaction was how much and no. But I asked if it could be her voice. Yes. IMG_2716
So she gave each animal a message from her to share with each of her siblings. I watched a little but then it became too much for me and I had to leave the store to compose myself. Auntie stayed with her and I hope that time was a gift for my sister to share with her niece.
How am I going to make it without her with me? We are doing so much together and I am getting even more attached (how is that even possible?) everyday of treatment. She leans on me now before they tell her too to get her sleepy meds. Its her least favorite thing but she doesn’t complain she doesn’t let the fear take over. She just leans in and I talk and she breathes. (I love that sound of her breathing) We hold hands automatically now. We share jokes and giggles and so many little moments throughout our day. Though I think my body shields me from really feeling the pain…it allows me in this moment sitting here writing to swell with pride. That feeling inside of love and joy that balloons up when thinking of her smile and silly eye rolls at me. She is growing up and changing through this experience…maturing so quickly.
There was a time I wasn’t sure I would get to experience that feeling. A time when I wasn’t sure if we would ever be parents. A time here at the same hospital thinking this had to be the worst thing to go through…I drive by that building everyday and I remember….
She is my little girl and calls me mommy still.
I will never be her mom but live forever only knowing myself as her mommy.