Lessons from a two year old

Ok...so I was down this weekend. Which I'm sure is pretty evident from that last post. So, let me backtrack just a bit and tell you about the good things that happened this Easter weekend. The moments that truly filled my heart with warmth and love. You see, when I'm sad, it's hard to separate the two...the sad from the happy...and usually, when writing, the sad far outweighs the happy. But that's when I'm at the height of that emotional episode...which at least now, 14 months after Zoe has died, I can say are episodes...meaning they don't last for weeks on end.

So...believe me when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching Avery and Lily hunt eggs for the first time. This was the very first family Easter Egg hunt they've been to. There are 13 great-grandkids (including Zoe) all ranging in age from 2 to 14 so it was a thrill to watch them just blend right in with the family members who basically only know them through photographs and this blog. Up until now we've kept them quarantined out of fear of contracting illness like RSV. So, this was a very special day for us and I know it was especially exciting for Richard's grandmother. Since this was their first real egg hunt and the fact that they are just 2 years old, they weren't as quick to run out and grab up as many eggs as possible like the other kids who are old pros at egg hunting. They did get the hang of it but by that time most of the eggs were gone. One of our nephews, who is 12, did the most thoughtful thing. He took several of his own eggs and "hid" them in close proximity to where the girls were and he then protected them from the other kids thereby ensuring that Lily and Avery would experience the triumph of finding those eggs. He did this a couple of times and this simple and thoughtful act completely warmed my heart. To see this expression of love from a 12 year old boy was quite simply incredible!

His younger brother, our 6 year old nephew, started doing the same thing except Lily "caught" him and picked up the egg, carried it back to him and said "This Rynan's egg" and politely handed it over. (too cute!) The boys were also very sweet to trade out the candies Avery and Lily couldn't have for little toys or hershey kisses from their own stashes. I know I didn't say it enough to them, or to their mother, but I was very thankful for their sweet and loving gestures.

Egg hunt #2 came on Sunday. Of course the girls are now professional egg hunters but they still got such enjoyment out of find the eggs. Watching Lily's little legs carry her quickly from tree to tree and bush to bush with such sheer excitement was incredible. She has eagle eyes, this girl...in addition to her super-sonic hearing...she apparently has xray vision too (hee, hee). So again, we had a nice day, beautiful weather, the girls completely enjoyed themselves, and so did I. The longing for Zoe was still settled in my heart...I just couldn't stop imagining the three of them hand in hand, in my mind, Lily in her pink sear sucker, Avery in green, and Zoe in lavender (of course). What a portrait that would be...I can only imagine.

Being the most intuitive, compassionate man on the planet...my darling husband spoke to me on Monday about the depth of sorrow expressed in my body language over the weekend and that last post. He has been, and continues to be a champion to keep our family together and help me through this grief. This is an enormous job on his part and I am eternally grateful that he sees fit to continue with it...and me. I tend not to verbalize much, I find it much easier to write but no marriage can survive on the written word alone. I appreciate very much his continued attempts to better our communication and even more so, his patience with me. One of these discussions happened to occur in the girls' room while I was changing diapers. I of course could not contain my tears and Avery and Lily looked at me and were very concerned. Lily kept saying "Mommy ok. Mommy ok." To which we said "Yes, Mommy is ok, Mommy just misses Zoe sometimes and it makes her sad." After we stopped talking Avery stood up and said "Mommy talk again. Daddy talk again." We asked "Talk about what?" She said "Talk about Zoe."

Later that night, after baths, we were getting them dressed for bed and Avery was in particularly rare form. She was walking around just chattering and singing and reciting nursery rhymes. And then she said this:

She laughs and says "Av-er-we is yaffing"

She laughs again and says "Av-er-we is yaffing, Zoe is yaffing too. Zoe is happy."

Richard and I look at each other, a little stunned, as there has been no talk since the morning in
reference to sadness or happiness and Zoe.

Then she says "Zoe has a kitt-nen"

We ask what color

She says "B-wown and pink ears."

She then goes back to dancing around and singing and then settles in Richard's lap and says:
"Don't be sad. Don't be sad, Mommy don't be upset anymore."

I was speechless. Zoe has this way of letting me know she's here and that she's ok at the moments when I need to hear it most. I love that she and God saw fit to whisper in Avery's ear this time...


Tina said...

What a beautiful gift for you to hear she is happy with a kitten.

Cassie said...

Your children are wonderful! All 3 of them!

Jennifer said...

Tears in my eyes as I read about the sister connection. This makes me want to have a sister for Anna! I'm so glad that you all continue to "work" on this grief-TOGETHER!

Anonymous said...

That is absolutely beautiful Keira!! Your girls are so blessed to have their sister with them in their hearts and Zoe truly knows when you need a little message from her!!

Naomi Levit said...

your girls are amazing! i love you and miss you all so very much:)

Trish said...

The kids always know..
Thinking of you..

Misty said...

I have chills & the biggest smile reading this! And to think all day I kept seeing something with Ladybugs and then to read this.... LOVE IT!

Beth said...

Amazing... absolutely amazing... brings tears to my eyes.

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31