Over the past several months Macy has been crying in the evening (and come to find out during the day as well) all because she misses people. She says she misses her Lolli and Pop, her Gigi and Poppy, her friend Aniston from school that moved away, and Charlie; just to name a few.
I guess I am writing down my thoughts about all of this now mainly because it has finally taken its toll on John and I. We have dealt with it the best way we know how (without getting too terribly frustrated) and now it seems each evening it is getting more and more difficult.
I think the straw that broke the camel's back was the evening she cried for nearly forty five minutes over Charlie. She broke down and begged me to bring Charlie back so she could hold him. The minute I calmed her down she turned right around with another question or frustration about where he is right now or why he can't come home. I explained he was in heaven and when people die they cannot come back to us here on earth. She didn't like that response so she continued crying and just repeated over and over that she missed Charlie. I laid with her that particular evening until she fell asleep and as I laid there praying over her I started worrying her sadness may be something more than just escaping the inevitable bedtime or avoiding something that didn't go her way. It really made me sad. I started to wonder if her worry and stress over the people that leave may have something to do with a fear they may not come back, similar to her brother, Charlie.
I can tell you from experience having a hurting child is one of the most painful things in the world. If you have never seen your child physically hurt you should know it is nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. I held Charlie as he breathed his last breath and struggled for air as he passed from this world into eternity. And now as I walk through different stages of life with the twins I am realizing so many things can hurt your momma heart. Physical hurt, emotional hurt, mental hurt, or all of the above. It is miserable to see your child hurt.
So I started talking (or actually word vomiting) my confusing and scared thoughts to my sister and my friends about Macy's recent sadness. I came to a kind of knot in your throat, hard to swallow truth about our life. Macy, along with all of us, have had to learn a really difficult lesson. As a four year old this isn't a typical lesson you walk through quite yet. It was forced on her like it was forced on our entire family when Charlie died nearly three years ago. People leave sometimes and never come back.
So with all of this in mind, we decided to try a few things. While I do not want to squash her sweet or sensitive spirit I do want to give her some things to help her cope with missing people and also teach her that not everyone leaves forever each time they move or go on vacation. We purchased a small mailbox from Target (perfect time of year by the way) and many notecards. When I picked her up from dance later that evening we talked about the new mailbox and what it was for. I explained that anytime she was sad she could simply write the person she missed a quick note or draw them a picture. She would then seal the envelope and I would help her write their address on the outside so that we could mail the letters at the end of each week. She loved the idea and loved that she was going to have her very own mailbox.
All was well for about an hour. As we started getting ready for bed she said something about wanting to write Charlie a letter. I told her that was fine and she could write him a letter with a picture and put it in her new mailbox. When it was time to address it she said, "Mommy, I'm ready for you to put the mail name (which is what Macy calls addresses) on it." I told her that Charlie did not have an address because he lived in heaven. I had obviously not thought that completely through when I told her I would mail her letters. This moment was too much. I had to leave kind of abruptly. I laid her in bed with her dad and brother to watch a television show and left to walk around Target for a few minutes to gather my thoughts. It was more like walk through Target and cry because in my mind I couldn't get it together. I wasn't helping her. All I could think was, "What if I am too broken to help her understand this extremely difficult fact of life?"
I have since come to grips with a better reality. We are going to keep going. I am her momma. I am the best there is for her. John and I are going to encourage her to feel sad when she feels sad. We are going to help her know that it is ok to miss people. We are going to speak truth and pray over her sweet heart as we tread these waters with our heavenly Father.
Parenting is hard.