Wednesday, July 2, 2008
(This was the last photo taken of Lucy. It was taken the night before her accident. Sometimes I look into her eyes and try to hear what she is telling me.)
It's been an extremely difficult week. The reality of Lucy's absence is becoming painfully acute. I feel myself losing perspective and creeping out of the spiritual cocoon that surrounded me for so long.
I found myself in the produce section of the grocery store the other night. It was the exact spot where I purchased the apple that Lucy choked on. I was bowled over by the power that spot held for me. I had to remove myself immediately the pain was too intense, the memories too much to bear. I remember so clearly picking that apple out. It's shape and color and size. It was a perfect apple. The color was so vibrant and almost cartoonish. I remember cutting it that morning into perfect little slices for her. I had no idea what all these actions were leading to. But maybe it's true, she really is a princess. She took a bite of the apple and went to sleep. Only the Prince of Peace can wake her in the resurrection.
Another painful predicament I face, is simply stepping out of the shower each day. Lucy loved showering and bathing with me. Those last few weeks of her life she insisted on being a "baby" and snuggling in a towel while I held her in my arms. The interesting thing is that we had to be in front of the mirror. She held me captive in there.And I had to hold her for at least a good ten minutes. Cuddly moments like this with Lucy were rare, since she was always on the move, so I would hold her and look in the mirror at our reflections for as long as she would let me. Perhaps she was trying to impress the image of mother and daughter into her mind as strongly as she could because she knew she would be leaving soon. Stepping out of the shower now and seeing only one reflection hurts deeply.
Nothing in Lucy's room has changed. Her little shoes and dresses are neatly arranged in her closet, her favorite Elmo doll is sitting in her rocking chair, and there are still diapers in her basket on the dresser. Yesterday I couldn't help myself... I entered her room and breathed in deeply, trying desperately to find her smell. I went through all of her little dresses, telling her out loud which ones were my favorites and how beautiful she looked in each of them. I talked to her about her "cute shoes" and held each pair one by one. The Peter Pan doll she carried with her everywhere was tucked in a basket nearby and I proceeded to fly it around the room and say, "Mommy fly." Finally, I ended at the rocking chair and read one of her favorite books aloud. "The Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald, and the Hokey Pokey." This was not a pretty sight, with the tears and snot flowing freely, but it was what my heart wanted to do. I don't want to ever forget her. I don't want her to ever feel like a dream.
I hurt. I ache. But I feel the refining process taking place. I feel my relationship with the Savior as real and as vividly as I felt Lucy. But it's still hard.
I received a powerful email a few days ago from a dear friend. With her permission, I share the following excerpt:
"Molly, you have the opportunity to become an extraordinary person through this most difficult experience. It is your choice what you will do with Lucy's loss. Heavenly Father lost his Son for our sins and he has given you the opportunity to experience the same pain and loss that he felt so that you can become more like Him. You have an amazing opportunity to develop empathy, love, perspective, and faith because you've lost Lucy and you have the gospel. Not many people have this opportunity and I believe that, if you make wise choices and have faith in God, you will become a woman of the greatest strength and character. I believe that is what Heavenly Father has planned for you."
I want to be the kind of woman that she describes. I want to turn this tragedy into a beautiful blessing. Until then, I am just working on breathing and living and loving. And I thank you all for keeping me afloat.
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