A girls retreat at the lake
A fireside pic-nic
A seat in a hot-tub while the sun went down.
It was nice, it was relaxing, I felt like a grown-up.
It was a gift and one I treasure.
The long drive up and back I shared with a friend who lost her daughter last year in a car accident. Berta is one of Sarah's (my sister-in-laws) best friends. She generously shares her with me because she knows how the two of us share the same pain, she hopes we can comfort each other.
Berta is an exceptional person. She is kind and loving, she pets you and calls you silly baby names. She is gentle and warm. She is maternal. Life for her is like a handful of sand. It slips through the cracks between her fingers, and the wind blows some of it away, but she does all she can to protect it, holds onto all the best parts, and marvels at what rides on the breeze.
She was good for me. We told stories about our daughters, shared intimate details, cried and talked about surviving this. She walks ahead of me. She shows me that it is OK to cry, wonder why, save clothing that smells like them. She explains that it gets a little bit more bearable as time pushes you forward and offers you new things to live through and love.
She honors her daughter by being her very best self, by loving her family and holding them close.
She honors herself by taking care of her body, doing work she loves, letting herself be loved, and by finding quiet spaces and soft places.
I have much to learn.
Sarah treated us to a beautiful lunch of green salads, thin pizza with a balsamic glaze, and bits of seafood piled high. We watched the boats come in and out and people walk by wearing big hats and sandals. We talked about ordinary things. It was peaceful, it was nourishing.
I am home now, my house smells like my house. My studio is tidy and waiting for me.
I have a busy week.
Tomorrow will be five months.
It was like yesterday, it was like a million years ago. I don't want to remember the sad parts over again. I will write it all down later when I am stronger.
If she were here, sitting next to me, I would kiss her cheeks, wrap my arms around her, inhale her and tell her how much I love her.
I would hold on tight, so tight.
This is my prayer tonight:
Hey God, it's me, the pissed off mom with tear stained cheeks and a pounding heart. I am here to ask for the same thing I have been asking for. I will never stop asking. Will you ever grow tired of me asking?
God please, I know you can not give her back, I know you won't. All I ask is for you to let me know she is OK. That she is someplace, that she is still her wonderful beautiful self, that she is happy.
Send me an angel, a guide, a ghost, my daughters voice...just for a moment, just a few words. I need something to hold onto, I need something real. I can not live with mystery and signs, I can not live wondering and hoping, I don't want to make up a story so I can sleep.
I will cry everyday for the rest of my life, I will miss her, and my life will be forever changed but give me this one thing so my pounding heart can calm just a little, so I can find a way to navigate the rest of this life the way you would want me to, the way I am meant to.
I am lost here in this ocean waiting for something to float by, something I can hold onto. I can paddle myself to land just send me something to hold onto.
Hold me close.
I need, I need, I need.
Thank you for my many blessings, for sending me friends who will sit in cars and cry with me, who will hold my hand as the sun sets behind mountains. Thank you for the ones that love me that will be with me on her birthday and share cake and help me through the first birthday without her. Thank you for giving me words to express myself. Thank you for giving me that sweet, sweet girl, my love, my heart, my teacher, my friend. I would have one moment with her and a lifetime of missing her if the option was to never love her at all.
I am loved.
I am broken hearted.
Heal me. Whisper secrets in my ear. One thing that is all I need.