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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No More Shadows

We sit in her room with the happy, pink flowers hanging on the wall and the butterfly curtains billowing- the babies and I.  They lay on the bright, white bedspread and I show them the things that were special to their big sister, Makiah...  her purple, shell necklace that sings The Little Mermaid's song because she wore it all the time and drove me crazy playing the song... her tiny ballerina bear because she wanted to "be a ballerina not when I'm a grown up but now while I'm a little girl..."  her baby doll that giggles because she loved babies and wanted brothers and sisters more than anything in the world.  I show them her picture and they grin and reach for her, well, for it.  I get out the video camera.  Then it hits me.  The profound sadness of it all.  I am taping my girls' reactions to their sister's picture.  Because I can't video their reaction to their sister.  I almost never cry in front of the twins, but today I cannot keep the tears from falling.

I run my fingers over some of her last art projects from school.  I pick up the baby doll and think how wrong it is that the batteries lasted longer than my little girl.  I have been finding "tiny fings" of hers all over the house lately.  A mermaid stamp in the kitchen drawer.  A pink barbie mirror in her daddy's socks.  A little aphid picture from The Ladybug Game under the living room rug.  A tiny barbie shoe on my closet floor.  And a breakfast bar I had packed for her in a purse that I pulled out of my closet.  I feel sick.  I used to put these things away, but now I leave them where I find them.  I can't stand the thought of having no more reminders of her to pop up around the house.  So they have become sacred in their hiding places under rugs and beneath socks.  I can never clean too deeply lest I wipe away all the signs of her.  The tangibles that remind me of happy days when she was tangible.

I feel inside a mounting... of what I do not know.  Eleven days until her heaven day.  It seems that it should be cataclysmic.   This day that is coming.  This marking of the days.   Even the ancients mourned on certain days.  This dreading and enduring and exhaling when it is past and we have survived.  What is it in us that cannot help but mark these anniversaries?  A verse pops in my mind... "Deep calls out to deep."  I wrote the other day that the Bible says God has put eternity in the hearts of men.  Maybe it is that place in us that yearns wistfully for these days to be set right.  For the tragedies to be undone.  For time not to matter so much.

As I film my babies playing with their sister's things, I wonder if all our memorable moments will now be quietly marked by sadness.  Not overtly, but always there beneath the surface.  In a deep place.  Like a shadow that has been cast across my life, her death tinges everything a slightly different shade.  As I hear the ticking of the clock in my soul, the approach of the one year anniversary, I weep for what is lost and I long for what is to come.  The day when there will be no more marking of sad days... no more holding our breath in sickening anticipation... no more shadows.

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