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Friday, August 19, 2011

For my friend, I will...

Jenny is what I like to call my bestest best friend in the whole wide world. We first met when we were 12 and 13 years old, in grade 7. We had some ups and down in those first few years, but we quickly realized that ours was a friendship that would stand the test of time. And it has.
Through my loss, Jenny was there, no matter what I needed, she was there for me. Jenny, her husband and their daughter were all there for Alexandra's fundraiser, helping us find items, baking, helping with everything that they could, they were there with me the entire day.
My bestest best friend Jenny is pregnant with her second daughter. I happened to have some maternity clothes still kicking around my house, so I decided to give them to Jenny when I returned the items she had lent me for Alexandra...Items that have been sitting in Alexandra's nursery for over a year now. Last night I also decided that Jenny needed to have some of Alexandra's clothes. I have been holding onto them, unable to take them out of her dresser, unable to give them away. Something changed in me last night though, I decided that, for my friend, I would let go of some of those items and share them with someone who would be truly grateful for them. And when I gave them to Jenny, her response was just what I expected from her, so thankful and so kind. First making sure that it was ok and I would be ok giving up these items.
Jenny and I are crossing a new bridge together, each dealing with something incredibly difficult with the other one. I feel like I have traumatised my dear friend with my loss, I have given her a new concern that she didn't realize was there before, and I feel terribly about that. But despite her own feelings, she stood with me, looking through Alexandra's stuff today. She looked at my daughter's pictures with me and she cried, while I, as usual, fought off the tears until she left.
Standing in my reality is hard for her because she is my friend and she feels sad for me, and because it is scary for her. Standing in her reality is hard for me because I don't want to hurt or scare her and because she is pregnant and I wish that I was, and she is having a daughter and I wish that I had my daughter. So, the two of stood together today, by each other's sides, in each other's realities, scared and sad, but together. Because that is what friends do, and I am so grateful to have a friend in Jenny.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Hawks Are Everywhere

I look forward to seeing hawks because of what I feel is a connection between the hawks and my daughter. I have spoke of this before, but for those that haven't read from the beginning, we started seeing the hawks around the time that we lost our daughter. I noticed that whenever I would be sitting on the couch in my living room looking out the window, in a state of complete despair, missing my daughter, I would see a hawk, off in the distance, circling in the sky. I had never noticed these hawks before.
Losing Alexandra has changed me in such a profound way, where I would once glance at the hawk and carry on, I now stop to watch. I stop to look at the flowers, the trees, the little birds chirping. I see jack rabbits hopping around. I notice little miracles in everything. I know that some people lose their faith when they lost a child, I can completely understand how that could happen, I mean, really, how could you not question things a little bit, at least for a minute, but the opposite happened for me.
Last night on the way to the cemetery, Steve and I chatted, we discussed he idea that when you die, you may cease to exist. Steve questions things in his head a lot, and he is in a very different place than me at the moment. I asked him, how could he not believe that there is something more out there now, when he had discussed his belief that the hawks must have something to do with Alexandra, less than a year ago. He is just questioning things right now, and that's ok, and probably more than that, it's good that he's searching within himself for the answers that will make him the most comfortable.
At the cemetery, I wiped Alexandra's headstone, had a few minutes with her, organized her stuffed animals, chatted with Dayne about the mushrooms around Alexandra's grave. It's been raining a lot, so I explained that the rain makes the mushrooms grow and then I explained the story that my mom told me when I was younger, about the possibility that little fairies reside under mushrooms. It was kind of neat to me because I had just received Alexandra's new treasure bean, with a fairy on it, and here I was, explaining fairies to Dayne, and maybe Alexandra was listening too.
After we were finished visiting with Alexandra, I headed down the hill to my Grandfather's grave, to clean it up. I sat in the grass with my scissors trimming the grass around it, wiping away the dirt and dust and talking to my son about his great grandfather. There are water taps in the cemetery, but the one we could locate was not working, so Steve wandered around with the bucket looking for another tap. As Steve walked down the road directly in front of me and down a small hill, we all heard a loud hawk cry. All three of us stopped, turned and looked up. We all saw it then, high up in a pine tree, perched on the very top branch, looking directly at Steve. Steve yelled up to me "Do you see it?" and I yelled back, "Yes!" And as Steve went to move, as if to say "STOP! Look at me!" The hawk screamed again, and every time Steve moved it would screech and stare at him.
In my mind I thought of the postal workers in my city who had been attacked by a large hawk, probably as big as the one I was looking at right now, but the hawk didn't move, it just stared at Steve screeching. Dayne became excited at this encounter and jumped, yelling, "Hey hawk! Hi!" and the hawk turned it's head looking at him. I told him to be quiet, so he didn't scare the bird and we began to talk about what hawks like to eat as we stared up at it.
This bird seemed fixated on Steve and, while it may have meant nothing more than a cool encounter to him, to me, this was just another little sign from our daughter. He dared to question and here was a sign, screeching at him from on top of a tree, within eye shot of Alexandra's grave. It was as if the hawk was telling Steve to believe.
These moments are all around us, and I do believe if we just stop and listen, we will hear it, if we take a moment to look, we will all see. And with so many signs everywhere I look, how can I NOT believe that my little girl is somewhere around me, checking in, watching over us, letting us know that she is ok, she is with us and she misses us as much as we miss her?