My daughter’s birthday was over the weekend, sandwiched in between two separate family funerals (and a soccer lesson). It’s one of those delicate parenting moments. Of course you want your children to feel they are safe and secure while acknowledging the reality of loss… You still want your child to feel special on their birthday. So as life goes on, you are pressing dress shirts for your sons to wear to a showing, and explaining to your 4 year old how we are related to those who have passed. You need to make sure your daughter has her 22 snacks to bring on her appointed day to her kindergarten class. It’s important that your 5th grader still gets his homework done. And when you realize on one of the evenings you are too exhausted to stay up with him, you have to make sure you write the teacher a note explaining you’ve been to a funeral and ask for another day to make it up. (Then, if you’re like me, you judge yourself for not planning your timing better.) I am in remembrance that it was about this time last year that I lost one of my best friends, Barbara. I miss her. And sometimes all of this life feels like it’s coming and going so fast.
You try to keep it in perspective, right? It’s a balancing act. I have so much to be thankful for: My children are healthy. My two year old is having the longest period ever of clear skin on his face, and we haven’t been to ER in over a month. We made it through the last asthmatic attack right at home! We are warm, even though it is snowing outside… because I managed to locate two AA batteries to put in our digital thermostat that stopped working. We have food on our table… Which reminds me someone still needs to pick up the birthday cake…
What would I do without my support group?
My husband? Who takes the day off of work to attend my great-aunt’s funeral with me. And exits with my 2 year old when he claimed to have pooped during the service. Diapers still need to be changed.
My parents? …Who offer to pick up the cake and bring it to the party. Who say, “Do you and the kids have something to wear to the funeral? Do you need us to come watch the kids so you can go shopping?” I still have to get dressed.
And I realize that I have loved ones who just lost a mother, an aunt, a sister, a grandmother… It’s a time of reflection, grief, appreciation… But you can’t just stop. There are still wishes to be made.
Through all of the uncertainty that’s going on in our country, in the media, in our families, in our homes… You realize the significance of family and the strength in love. And sharing that love.
At times, I know we all feel like we are in a wind tunnel… a storm with things coming at us from every direction. Sometimes, it’s really hard to navigate. My advice? To myself? Remember this is temporary…
Look for the good. Be the good.
Happy Birthday Naomi! Mommy loves you!