Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

For Mother's Day this year Jennifer, who I do not know, sent me the Angel of Hope, this beautiful journal and a card with a butterfly on it. I only know that Jennifer also is going through difficulties to get her family here. I wanted to thank her so much--and tell her I have faith good things are in store for her too.
I know I am so blessed. I have two daughters, even if one of them isn't here physically anymore. And yet I Hope that there is at least one more in store for us. I Hope I can get through this life living worthy of Charlotte, and I Hope that with time I won't have moments of anguish every single day. I Hope good things are to come. I know the purpose of life sometimes is just to get through it, and sometimes Hope is all I have for the day. I'll look to my little angel to remember there are others who have gone before to light up the way.

When I drove up to my mom's to pick up Ella today, I saw her stroller in her driveway, the same stroller I pushed Charlotte around in for two years. She went to her first day of preschool in that stroller, because I was hugely pregnant and couldn't lift her wheelchair in and out of the car by myself. Oh, and they had assigned her to a school bus without a wheelchair lift.
It was instant and totally irrational, but I felt my heart leap and I thought "Charlotte's here!" and in the next instant I felt my heart break all over again. I pulled myself together within moments but it was like another little death. It's hard, these forgettings and rememberings. And it's too much to think too far ahead. To think of myself as a grandmother, still thinking of Charlotte and wishing my other children remembered her too. And to imagine losing my parents and being just a little bit jealous, to think that they will see Charlotte again before me. But then, you would think I would have learned to not predict the future. I Hope one day I feel that same leap in my chest and the next moment I see my Charlotte smiling and I hold her close again.

When I pick up Ella, I don't instinctively look for a oxygen tank to sling across my back. But I used to. I used to feel my heart skip a beat when I glanced up and didn't see tubing across her face. I haven't thought to myself lately how easy it would be to feed Ella through a surgically implanted tube. Last Thursday I didn't once ask myself when the Praxair man would arrive. How quickly I un-adapt. Now, almost three months since last holding Charlotte, I have already forgotten our routines. I think this is why the grieving gets harder. I am left with less to do, less to worry about, and I feel those absences almost as acutely as Charlotte's. Up until two weeks ago I still would stop and listen now and then thinking I had heard an alarm from her bedroom. But it is quiet.

That's when the grief wraps itself around my throat. At night, when all is quiet.
Tonight I will listen for the tune without the words and pray it never stops. I will cling to Hope.


Jessica said...

Just want you to know I am thinking of you. I find hope for my Eva in Charolette's story. Thank you for opening up to me through this all.

Amanda said...

Dearest Erin, I wish I could find the words to comfort you. I wish I could take away even a small bit of the anguish you feel. If only. All I have is to say that I love you dearly and when Jack does something that reminds me of Boof (which he does SO OFTEN), I smile and know how blessed I am to have had her in my life. I know that when he giggles at the wall he is giggling at Charlotte. When he is upset and looks up at the ceiling and is instantly comforted, I know that Charlotte is looking out for him. She'll be a busy taking care of all of us now. I feel such comfort in knowing that she's watching out for us.

Lacey said...

I wish I had the right words. I can only imagine having almost 4 years with Jax now, not needing an oxygen tank or feeding pump anymore. It would be to wierd. We love you, Lacey and Jax

Michelle said...

Sometimes, when hope is all we have, we realize that it can be enough.

My hope for you is that it gets easier with time.

P.S. It was so nice to finally meet you. I told Amanda that we need to hang out again soon, and dessert definitely needs to be involved :)

Becky said...

I'm SO thankful for the hope of the gospel and I can't wait for the day when you can wrap your arms around your dear Charlotte again. Hold on Erin...one day at a time...

Know that I am thinking about you!

We have Angel Wings said...

Thinking of you sweetie. Sending you many hugs.