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It has been almost a week since I posted last.

We have had a typical week.   A week that included family, friends, sunshine, joy, laughter, tears, sadness, grief, prayer and trying to figure out how to move forward together.

I have noticed that many of the last few posts have been about our children.  This hasn’t been intentional and I also don’t believe that it is coincidental.  They are such an integral part of my journey.

Thanks Marisa.

Tonight Zion and Jacoba were sitting in the kitchen while I was cleaning up the dishes.  Jacoba asked me what I was doing.  I told her that I was cleaning up the dishes.  She said, “that is a big job”.

I asked her what other big jobs I had in the house.

She and Zion compiled a list of my big jobs.  They were “cleaning the dishes, making the supper, cleaning the laundry, putting the fire on (woodstove), changing the monster’s diaper (Zekijah), and driving the van”.

I asked if there was any more big jobs that I have that they forgot about.

They thought about it and decisively said “no”.

I said, “what about playing with you guys?”

Zion said, “that’s not a big job.  That’s a good job”. 

A good job indeed buddy.

We are breathing a bit easier these days.

It is difficult to be sick when you are a single parent.

Thankfully, my parents are the best ever.

MdH

It was just a bottle of bleach.

And it was everything besides the bottle of bleach.

I was going to soak the kid’s bath toys and went to the closet for the bleach. Then I remembered when Marisa and I bought that bottle of bleach. The story is funny, interesting and unimportant.

I was overcome. I felt flushed. Besieged. Weighed down. Assaulted.

Which goes to show that all at once, my world can overwhelm me.

MdH

(For all the non-Canadians reading this, ‘Z’ is prounouced ‘Zed”.)

It seems fitting that after two posts about the girls that I share something good about Zion. 

How much time do you have?

Yesterday after his kids support group, I asked him how it was and what he learned.  He said that he really didn’t learn anything.  I let it go and we talked about other things.

Then this morning he said, “Yesterday, at group, I learned that if we are sad we are supposed to talk to our mom or dads, whichever one is alive.” 

I listened and didn’t say anything.  I thought he was going to tell me that he was sad.

Then he said “but I already knew that.”

It was a holy moment for me.

Today when Zekijah woke up from her nap, she called me from her bed and when I came into her room, she had her arms outstretched for me to hold her.

When I picked her up, she landed on my chest as if to say, all is now good.

And it hit me again.  I am her earthly lifeline.  

When she needs food, I am the one that provides it for her.  When she needs her confidence boosted, I do that.  When she needs a nap, I bring her to her bed.  When she needs to play, I make sure things are safe for her.  When she needs her nose or bum wiped, I do it.  When she needs to sing, I provide the harmony.  When she wants to go outside, I bundle her up.  When she needs to carve her space in the family dynamics, I clear the path for her. 

And I do it all with meaning.

And you might think that this is a one-way street.  That I give, give and give.  But it should be clear.  She gives me presents.  Every day.

Just her presence is all the presents I need.

Jacoba and I were sitting on the swings outside today.  She said to me,

“When Mommy was alive you called her M’ris and when she died you call her Marisa.”

…it makes total sense.  She is right.  I almost always shortened Marisa’s name when I called Her.  But now, when I talk about Marisa I use Her full name because I am not speaking to Her, but about Her.

What a beautiful 4 year old mind. 

It just goes to show that they pick up different things that we do.  It is ‘normal’ for her that her mom died.  But it isn’t ‘normal’ for Jacoba that I call Marisa by a ‘different’ name now.

A beautiful mind that matches her beautiful face.

MdH

 

Zion wasn’t feeling well.  That meant we didn’t go to the group.

Too bad.  Zekijah got it too.  Clingy.  Sniffly.  They both didn’t want to leave my lap for much of the day.

It was great.

MdH

Last week Zion and I went to our first of 6 sessions in a group called “Forget me not”.

This is put on by Hospice Niagara and it is for children who have lost a loved one through death.

Sadly, our beautiful Zion qualifies.

Before we went Zion told me that he didn’t want to talk about Mommy.  I told him that was fine.  But then Zion met a friend.  A member of the suffering club.  A boy named Jacob who lost his dad.  Jacob is 5 as well.  Zion and Jacob got along great.

When we left the group last week, the first question Zion asked me was “can we come back next week?”

So we are going again tomorrow. 

Zion is starting to understand what I have known for awhile now.  It is easier when people suffer together.

MdH

 

Today was a glorious day.
We live in Southern Ontario and we have 4 distinct seasons. We have a full season of winter, a clear spring, a hot summer and a beautiful autumn.
Today was one of those crisp, clear, sunny, and cold (-4 C) days. Beautiful.

Zion and I (and our neighbour Ryan, age 7) spent the afternoon in the backyard.

After tag, the boys explored the forest while I sat in the sun.

My thoughts naturally floated to Marisa and our life together.  I thought about our wedding day.  I thought about the times we snowboarded in West Vancouver.  I thought about the time we enjoyed eachother behind a Scouts Canada building somewhere on the way to Ottawa.  I thought about the time Marisa was my piano accompaniment for one of my voice recitals.  I thought about when we found out Marisa was pregnant with Zion.  I thought about the first time Marisa met my family and how my Dad picked Her up and lifted Her into the air.  I thought about the first time She played piano for my family.  I thought about the time Marisa played piano in Holland and my Pake (grandfather) told me that She was a ‘keeper’.  I thought about the first time that I met Her family and stopped at the gas station to make sure my shirt was tucked in properly.

It was a strange time for me because I wasn’t filled with grief like I normally am when I think of Her. 

It was a glorious pocket of time.

MdH