January 12, 2014
|On the tram before her flight.|
Once we got to the gate it went fast –a blur. I hugged her and kissed her face one last time before she walked down the jet way onto the plane. Disappearing all too quickly without even looking back. Then it hit me. I wondered when I would hug her again. When I would get to have another meal with her. I wondered what she was thinking. Right then I wanted to hug her again so bad it hurt inside my chest. I thought my heart was going to explode. My body was frozen and emotionless. Completely numb. I found a seat next to the window and stared at that plane for 40 l-o-n-g minutes until it was wheels up. And then cried. Quietly in that little corner of the giant Houston airport my heart was breaking.
Today I sit here and write this and I still weep. I just want Lilly here with us. There are days like today my heart aches and aches and aches because one of my babies is absent. Because everywhere I look I see her face or I remember how she played with Sabrina and kayaked with me on the weekends. I really miss watching her learn and study. And yes, I even miss the older girls arguing. I think of her each time I feed the animals, which was her job. Her cat, Alley, misses her too. Alley follows me everywhere now and insists on sleeping in my room. She has left a void in our lives that we are all working to fill.
Our new normal is also fostering an interesting metamorphosis of Miss Emma. The energy she previously used arguing and competing with Lilly is now being channelled into herself as well as connecting with the rest of the family. The new normal involves FaceTime video chats where Sabrina shows Lilly EVERYTHING in her room –one by one. It involves instant messaging to talk about our days instead of doing it over dinner. The new normal is sending her packages and flowers (yes, more than once in four weeks) to make sure she knows without a doubt she is loved and thought about here in Belize EVERY DAY.
And Lilly’s new normal? I can’t be certain. I do know she is happy and adjusting well. Although she has yet to begin school because they have had huge amounts of snow, she has been for a tour and is excited to pick out her classes this Monday. She is enjoying a room all to herself. She has sent pictures of snowmen and talked about how much fun it is to sled in the snow. My little bird seems to be thriving in her new nest.
We are all a work in progress – working towards accepting our new normal daily routines.
Some of my favorite lyrics for my loved ones…
All the ones who love you and the place you left
I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
That you’d find God’s grace in every mistake
And always give more than you take
But more than anything my wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold”
-Rascal Flatts – My Wish Lyrics