Monday, June 10, 2013

Missing You

You've all seen those cute little e-cards, you know the ones that have a cute saying everyone is thinking yet no one says?  You've all seen the one that says Kids say the darnedest things, and then followed up by a cute, yet embarrassing story?

Well kids also ask the toughest questions.  I had my niece and nephew for a few days this last week.  After one busy day of baseball, I was getting ready to put them down for bed and all night I could tell something was up with my niece, she took a quick bath and didn't want to play, brushed her teeth in 3 minutes (instead of the 15 minutes it usually takes) so finally I took a moment and asked if there was anything she wanted to talk about.

She lowered her head and very quietly said, I miss my Dad so much.  Immediately my eyes filled with tears, it is such a tough subject to talk about, and especially tough with a 6 year old little girl.  The questions that followed were some of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer.  Why did my dad die?  How did my dad die?  Does everyone die?  Will you die?  Will my mom die?  Why didn't my friends dads die?  Did your dad die?  As I'm doing my best to answer her questions, in terms a 6 year old child can understand through tears and sobs of my own, my dog Charlie lays on her lap while she mindlessly twists her fingers in the fur of his ears.  He doesn't move his head, just lays on her lap letting her tug at his fur, doing his best to comfort her.  She looks down at him and says, will CharChar die?  Aunt JuJu, I'm scared to die.  Those were the words that hurt the most and brought sobs from my boys.  I wipe the tears from my eyes as I search for something comforting to say to her, knowing all ears are on me, because although they've never said it, I know my boys are scared of dying too, everyone is scared to die, everyone except those who are at the door of death and have accepted it.  I grab her hands and I tell her stories of what a wonderful brother her dad was, how he always had a smile on his face, he was always teasing us, laughing, cracking jokes, never in a million years did I know he was so sad on the inside.  I told her that I was very sad, because I missed her dad as much as she did.  I was sad for her and her little brother, and for my boys and every other little niece or nephew of my brother Jessie's, sad because they would never meet the fun loving, carefree person I knew.  I said I'm scared to die too, because I would never want to leave you or your brother or Dylan or Gage, but I know I won't die before my time because your dad is up there watching over me.  I know he is with us where ever we go, watching over and protecting us as we go through life.  I repeated the story of how when she was a little tiny girl she always said, Daddy, I want juice, in that little whiny voice.  I told stories of growing up with her dad, who became my best friend, the one person I knew I could turn to and say whatever I wanted and he would never judge, he would just listen.

You see once a child opens up to you, they just talk, they don't try and find the right words, or words that won't hurt as bad as others, they just say what is on their minds, no sugar coating it.

After an hour of telling stories and remembering the one we lost, everyone felt better, our eyes were dry, we had smiles on our faces and happy memories running through our heads.  You see, what she was so sad about was forgetting who her dad was, not being able to recall the sound of his voice, or the things they used to do before he left our lives.

Sometimes we have to take a walk down memory lane to bring back the happy thoughts.

<3 Julie

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