It's been awhile since I've cried over all that happened this spring. In fact, I feel normal slowly settling in. It is a new normal, different than the old normal, but nevertheless, it is a normal.
But then there are things that can make me cry.
I was cleaning out my second son's room last week to prepare for our guest. My second son, like all my sons, is bit of a hoarder. Now what he collects is very different than the others, but he collects things. He loves anything with nature and any written word - must be the Chinese in him.... they had a reverence for written words. (No, he is not really Chinese! But we are connected distantly to China.... see the Laws of Connectedness!) My other son collects any electronic item or piece of item. The other - well, he is just messy!
While I was cleaning out his drawers and sorting through what written things could be discarded and what should be saved, I came across four carefully cut out hearts. They were cut out and then very thin layers of hearts were mostly, but not completely cut out in strips so that it could spread out in a 3-D shape. Very delicate and having taken a lot of effort to do.
I pulled them out and looked at them to see who had made such detailed things and why. Then I saw my son's neatest writing on the top of each heart and my heart caught in my throat. You see, I had encouraged my kids to occupy themselves when my husband was "over there" and we knew he was missing by writing or making something special for daddy.... in case he came home or in case we were able to send something.... or in case... I hoped it would keep them busy and help them express their feelings. These delicate hearts had been made then.
I read the first one and it said, "I love you Daddy." The second one said, "Please come home soon." The third said, "I hope you are safe." But it was at the fourth one that the tears came. It said simply, "We will all miss you, Daddy."
Even though we are daily thankful to be together as a family again, there are these little reminders of what we went through - what we all went through. I realize again and again that my children were touched by this, that they still deal with it, that I need to remain sensitive to their needs. We left my daughter with people for the first time this week and went away. She was excessively clingy to the point we almost rethought our plan. She was never that way before, but now the thought of her mommy and daddy leaving reduced her to worried sobs. I assured her that we would be only a few hours away and could talk to her, that she was safe and so were we. She only sobbed on my shoulder and said, "I KNOW all that, but I am afraid anyway." In the end, we did leave her, but only after she decided she would stay. I phoned her, and she was all giggles and having fun. But I haven't asked how she is doing at night. I pray she is coping. I pray God will comfort her heart and take away her unnamed fear. I'm thankful she will express it to me, even expressing that she understands there is no reason for it, but is aware it is there.
Each of my kids has responded differently presenting me with different challenges as a mother. I can not treat them all the same, but have to be sensitive to their own individual needs in recovery. But, all in all, they are doing well, and I am proud of them.