I sang for church on Sunday night and invited my eighty-eight year old neighbor to join us. He was unable to attend, but was interested to come another time. The next day my children and I walked across the street to visit him as he sat outside chuckling in his lawn-chair. He described how he had seen me arrive home in my “formal” after church. It was really just a long skirt with a pretty hand-stitched pattern.
He had seen Jordan hop on his bike as soon as we were parked in the driveway. Side note to the story: my son is both anxious and over zealous to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels and practices every chance he can. This means I have to run along side of him helping him balance.
Sunday night I was trying to keep up with Jordan in a skirt and chunky sandals! My neighbor shared that he could only grin when he saw me dressed up, helping Jordan bike down the road.
“It suited you,” he told me. “I thought to myself, ‘now that’s Jennifer!’”
I thanked him. It seemed to be a good summary of my life—balancing kids and hobbies and mommy time and me time and life.
My daughter surprised me the next day when we were playing doctor. Maddi was the doctor and I was the patient crying with a hurt, although I hadn’t figured out yet what was my ailment. Maddi rushed to my side, her thermometer and stethoscope in one hand as she began rubbing my back with her other.
“It’s okay,” she told me. “Your mommy died and went to heaven. It’s okay. I have a car and I can drive you there to see your mommy.”
I told her she was a good doctor and she preceded to pretend to give me a shot.
Loss is everywhere. Even when we play. But, so is love. Love is kinder and stronger and deeper.
If you are interested to see some updated photos of the love I’m trying to describe, please visit my friend, Lisa Slotsve’s website. Her photography is stunning. She has captured my children and I in the midst of life. The photos seem to say, “this is the real us”. And that ultimately says, “this is love.”
Scroll down to see the post from June 21, 2008 titled Fully Family Weekend.