Friday, September 12, 2014

the end of perfection...

one last peaceful day starts...
It's been over 36 hours since the world tilted on it's axis for us.  Yesterday was probably the hardest day for me to witness.  It hurt me to watch the boys coming to terms with their Daddy's death.  Watching my girls, that killed me.

I was so blessed yesterday.  Even though I knew what I was hiding from a sweet little princess, she didn't. I work with an incredible group of individuals and because of that I was able to spend the last day of my grand baby's innocence with her.  While Mommy and Grandpa dealt with the horrors and sorted out the bits and pieces of death.  I was able to love, spoil and enjoy a Gramma and Grand Baby day.

I had the wonderful gift to protect and prolong the perfection of her childhood.  We giggled, laughed, created, walked, talked, dreamed and schemed.  All the things that my angel loves to do we did.
Might have missed this cake before...
We went to the doctor for her little ear, she is so mature and was able to answer all the questions a Gramma didn't know.  She was so patient as we waited for over an hour.  We schemed that she would be able to miss school for the day (yes, I already knew she wasn't going regardless, but she didn't).

Without knowing how long things would take for Mommy, not knowing how long she got to be untouched by the sadness that was coming, I planned a full and busy day.

Being silly with Scarlet
Being cute with Scarlet
She picked lunch... Doritos taco's at Taco Bell... she discovered she loves Dr. Pepper Vanilla Freezes and the cinnamon balls they serve and I indulged her just a bit more than I normally would have.

After a fun, silly lunch we headed home.  She let Gramma catch a quick cat nap while she enjoyed her cartoons (I'd had about 2 hours of sleep the night before and it was catching up). Thirty minutes later and we were back on the run.

Walking Gator on a crisp afternoon
We walked the boys together, my little old man is so gentle and calm with her.  They enjoyed the extra time in the cool weather that seemed to come rushing in with the tragic loss.  I enjoyed listening to her talk and share with me her hopes and dreams.  I almost started crying on that walk.

Tears threatened as she shared how much she loved her brothers and missed seeing them.  At that point it was still up in the air where they would stay.  I know my sweet girl was willing and able to have them move in with her and baby girl, but they do have a mother of their own.  I was praying they would stay with my girls, but fearful that they would be heading back to Washington.  That story is so deep and twisted that it breaks my heart...

I heard last night they will be heading back west, my heart is so sad.  My little angel will lose her Daddy and her brothers... sometimes I feel that people don't think of all the things that matter. Sometimes I feel adults are very selfish.  Those boys have lives here now, they have girl friends, friends, hopes and dreams...

We found the first red leaf of fall during our walk.

Fall was on it's way, ushering all of the changes in her world with it.

When Grampa called... I knew our timeline.  So we headed off to the store.  Chili needed to be made and she was certain her mommy needed caramel apples.  She didn't know what mom had been busy with, but she was certain that she needed caramel apples to give her energy for the rest of the day.

Wrapping apples takes a lot of concentration...
Did they really think this was easy?
The angel and I spent the remainder of the afternoon being domestic.  While I made the chili for dinner, she worked on the bird house for Scarlet (her mechanical bird). Her creativity and artistic nature fills my soul with positive energy.  As soon as she finished that, I washed and dried her apples and she prepared the caramel apples.  The wraps make it so simple and she was able to read the directions and complete the task without my interference. It was truly a gift of love from her to her Mommy.

Caramel Apples for the family

She was so happy when her brothers walked in with Mommy... she didn't seem surprised at all. She simply turned to me and said "Gramma we need to make two more caramel apples".  She'd made 5, one for each of the people she'd expected.

She'd needed a stuffed hello kitty while we were at the store, I wasn't sure why.  But I said okay, how do you tell a princess no, especially when you are guarding them against a horrible truth. I found out why when Mommy showed up.  She'd given it to mommy... without knowing why she knew mommy needed love and protection.

As we crowded around the dining room table, in between piles of boxes still needing opened and emptied, that little angel willingly gave up chair after chair to be surrounded by her family.  I was still in the kitchen, fixing a different kind of noodle for the boys - who preferred their chili mac with elbow noodles, when she came out to get a kitchen stool.  Telling me I would need to bring one for myself when I came out.

At one point she put both of her little hands on either side of her youngest brother's head and laughingly placed a big kiss on his forehead - that image is going to be in my memory forever! Right beside the sight at the other end of the table where her mommy's heart melted and eyes filled with tears at the same time - she knows the deep love those three share, she knew the pricelessness of that kiss...

She's ready to tackle the world!

A short time later, the world changed for that princess.  When we arrived at her home, she noticed both of Daddy's dogs, she had to have seen her brother's belongings... today in a clearer head, I realize she knew all day that something was going on, that we were keeping her in the dark about something.  She'd asked about him twice before we arrived back at her house. She probably thought Daddy had managed to end up in jail again, he had a rebellious streak that often ended him up in trouble. That was something she was aware of.

Instead of focusing on all of the things unusual around her, she focused on the bags of clothes I had brought over with me the night before for her and mommy to look through.  Things that predated the phone call.  She knew...

She knew mommy was waiting to talk to her, she knew...

As she sat in mommy's lap, as she waited to hear what was going on, her goofy little smile looked so much like her Daddy's... it wasn't a happy smile, it was something different.

In an instant I watched her world change.  I watched my sweet daughter, who's faced more challenges than most of us will see in a lifetime, find strength once again that I didn't know she had.  Calmly, gently, in the softest of voices she told that baby the truth, pure and unvarnished.

The night before, when we'd picked up the boys I'd noticed that Daddy had a strip of pictures of them on the fridge.  I'd taken it off and brought it with us... something told me she would need it.  As Grampa and I prepared to leave, we couldn't help as much as we would have loved to, Momma had it, and she was all the angel needed, I brought it in.

I had planned to leave it on the table, for momma to give her when she felt it was right.  I felt intrusive.  My girls and the youngest of the boys were cuddled together supporting each other as only they could do. Momma asked me to bring it over and when she handed it to the angel she clutched it to her chest, sobbing and but lovingly.

My heart is literally shredded.  Thinking of the pain my girls and the boys are going through is unbelievable.  I know there are thousands of parents and children dealing with these things daily.  My heart goes out to them, but they are not my kids, this has never entered into our world.  This is not something I even know how to understand...

It's true a child should expect to outlive their parents, as every parent wants to be the case, but it's so cruel and horrible for a child to not have their parent as they grow...

In time it will heal, the scar will remain, but it will heal...