My daughter Heather and I were chatting on the phone today, firming up arrangements for the family get together's planned for this Thursday and into the holiday weekend; confirming when her brothers off, when my brother and family arrives and when my husbands ex gets into town with her little niece Jess. You see the day is fast approaching, the five year anniversary of Gretchen and Eric's death. July 3rd is the day.
Anyway during our phone conversation Heather told me her little cousin is going to stay with her and her hubby for five weeks. The child is a cute little fifth grader and is being raised by a disinterested mother, my husbands exes sister. The little girl text-ed her today to tell her how happy she was to come' live' with her. The use of the word live instead of visit or vacation sent up a bit of a caution signal to my daughter. Lets face it, there's a difference between visiting and living so my daughter naturally followed up.Wanting to make sure the child knew that there was an end date to the arrangement, that she would be returning home in time for school to start.
My daughter and her husband are wonderful and loving parents to my three grandsons, they have a lovely home which is "that home". All the kids in their community are always welcome and tend to gather there to play because it is so welcoming and comfortable.
She made sure the child understood that it was a visit and they talked about some of the fun things we had planned for this weekend and beyond. Then as mothers do she said to the child." after all Jess you'll miss your Mommy and be ready to go home after five weeks won't you?" To my daughters dismay the child replied quickly "no not really I've lived with her long enough."
And with the shadow of my loss looming ever so much closer I can't help but reflect on what type of mother I was to my children when they were little and who I am to them now that they have grown. And in all the days since Gretchen and Eric have passed and in the days to come not only will keep those memories close but I will continue to honor my children who are still with me in the hope that they will honor me.
Maybe I've just lived a sheltered life. I cannot in my wildest dreams ever imagine those words passing a child's lips; any child's lips. Little girls that age are supposed to have such a special connection with their mommies, they not only want to be with them, they want to be them. How is it that a small child could have reached her mommy limit; is there such a thing as a mommy limit for a child?
Could you ever imagine your child saying such a thing?