I must admit that I was shocked today when thoughts began flowing and I felt the need to blog them. That hasn’t happened in ages. I’ve largely been absent from not just this blog, but all social media. Blame life, schedules, the pandemic. I simply retreated to my family and generally lost the desire to put much of anything out there. I’d occasionally throw the extended family a picture or post on the Facetube, but I grew tired of the world of digital interaction, likes, and fleeting exchanges. I have been content with my little herd and, honestly, have loved being free of the time blackhole that social media can be. Anyway, I digress.
My children and husband have been filling my heart. We have been healing each other. Covid. Man, what a b***h this pandemic has been for our family and most of the world. Outside of illness and death that has ravaged our immediate and extended family, the PTSD/grief triggers have been real, heavy, profound, and not infrequent. It’s been a bear to mother through. It’s resembled that first year after Caleb’s death in many ways. Upended lives and a loss of normalcy. We’re finally starting down the other side of this mountain. I think. Don’t jinx it!
Yet, there has been so much beauty. It’s no secret that having a baby after Caleb died was terrifying. My prior blog posts about it don’t even scratch the surface. I kid you not, our baby girl is a prophetically miraculous source of wisdom and love. Her declarations of love and wisdom know no limits.
She has never met a living thing she doesn’t long to be best friends with and protect, especially toads, insects, dogs, cats, the random deer, every classmate, and the lady she gleefully skipped up to in the grocery store this last week to make it known that Alice thought her eyeshadow was “really pretty”. The woman (who looked about my mother’s age and did her makeup in a similar way) looked on the verge of tears as she repeatedly thanked my 4 year old for saying the nicest thing anyone has ever said to her. Alice hugged my leg and smiled bashfully at the returned compliment of being such a nice girl with a beautiful bow.
As my 11 year old dotingly had a mini spa day with Alice this weekend while I prepped for a church Christmas party (big sis props!), I overheard a face masked Alice declare to her sis that “this is the life” as they lounged in the toy room and made sure to tell her sister that she’s “just the best”.
I constantly find random video messages on my phone from Alice sneaking off with it to record some message telling me she loves me or serenading me some adorable made up song about whatever is on her mind.
She’ll gently place her hand on my arm and whisper, “I wish Caleb wasn’t in heaven so I could play with him again.” I’ll ask her why she said again and she’ll tell me that she played with him before, in heaven. Then, she’ll cup my cheek, wipe the inevitable tear, and we’ll smile together as our foreheads meet in a wise-beyond-her-years moment of understanding.
She can be a loud, rowdy, will not go to sleep little monster. But, she’s our monster. And she reminds us how to live and love every day, much like her big brother did. I have no idea what I did to deserve to be entrusted with 7 amazing, souls. They try me and push me in ways I never thought possible. I often feel so broken and unworthy. I am such a work in process and God knows I screw up plenty. Yet, they show me unwavering love, understanding, compassion, and a fighting spirit.
So, as we all fly through this crazy, busy holiday season and my little herd moves through our hell week of reminders leading up to Caleb’s death date and birthday, I leave you with some 4 year old wisdom. While driving in the car recently, my 11 year old moaned, “It’s only 4:28 and the sun is already setting!”.
“But, the sunset is beautiful!”, Alice immediately replied. And we all sat in silent awe of it’s beauty for a moment before excitedly beginning a conversation about all the various colors.
Try to remember, there’s beauty in everything. Alice has reminded me of that.