Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Prize

There is a reason I will never become more than a home baker.  And that reason is because bakers have to get up early.  Mornings and I are not friends and never have been.  So its really no surprise to me that since I've been trying to get up earlier, I've been sleeping in later.  This morning my alarm went off for 20 minutes straight before I even heard it.  Which is amazing, considering how Little Lady only has to sneeze and I'm wide awake listening for her through two closed doors and down a hall. That whole Mama instinct thing is powerful. 

This week has been a bit of a doozy.  Little Lady keeps growing, sigh, so I was going through the closet and sorting out the too small things for Goodwill and looking through the hand-me-downs bin to see what we still have for her from her brothers.  The hand-me-down bin is getting really small.  And what is left in it are the things my Jameson was wearing before he got sick.  The snowman Christmas jammies.  The Irish Prince shirt.  The t-shirts and long sleeved T's that he wore on our last family vacation...the ones that have so much love and happiness wrapped into them that just holding them in my hands breaks my heart again.  And now she is going to be wearing some of them.  She is getting bigger than her big brother.  And soon she will be older then he ever got to be.  It is difficult to process all of these emotions...the happy and sad and glad and despairing that all roll together and tangle up until it's just one big mess of me and it seems right to be this constant jumbled mess of everything.

Life gets complicated.

Adding to the whole she's-growing-up-too-fast-and-outliving-her-brother-and-that's-a-very-good-thing-for-her-but-it-never-stops-sucking-so-freaking-much-that-he-is-dead moment, is the annual letter to the teacher explaining a bit of our family history so when Little Man inevitably brings up that his brother died, the teacher isn't caught off guard.  It wasn't as hard to write this time and that's because it's the fourth time I've had to write it.  Fourth.  I know that time keeps on moving and it's no surprise that every year is going to be another year farther away, but it still hits me over the head like a hammer when I think about it.

Two nights ago I was looking at pictures on the digital picture slideshow with Little Lady and we have a lot of our favorites up there.  It is very Jameson heavy, but also full of vacation pictures and recent shots.  She knows who Jameson is and is getting pretty good at saying his name and saying that he is her brother.  And while looking at these pictures, she asked me where he is.  And she's sitting on my lap almost nose to nose with me, waiting for my answer with these huge, serious eyes, and I have no idea how to explain to a two year old where her brother is.  So I looked at her and said that Jameson got really sick and he died and when you die you have to leave here and now Jameson lives in Heaven with Jesus.  And she looked right at me like she understood everything and she gasped and smiled and said "Yay!" and clapped her hands together and then she said, "He's not dead anymore Mama!  He lives in Heaven!"  And she said it like we should all think it.  Like it's the prize and he got it.  And that is truth right out of her mouth and it bowled me over.  And I'm sitting here reliving that moment with tears streaming down my cheeks and it's hard to breath and it's so true it hurts.  And Jesus' words ring in my ears, "And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 18:3

He's gone from here.  And that emptiness, the void screams out to me so much.  I work so hard to seek out Joy from this life, to find the gifts along the way and yet, so often I fail to see the greatest gift right in front of my face.  Jameson's already got the prize.   

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