One thing that has been different about this anniversary of Gideon and Grace’s birthday is that I’ve felt a strong burden to share more of their story with Libby and Clara. We have shared briefly on a couple of occasions but I don’t think any of it “stuck” with them. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you asked either girl about Gideon or Grace, you would be met with a blank stare.
So last night over a dinner of Puerto Rican* style Chinese takeout, we explained a little more about what the day meant and why it was special. After a fairly detailed discussion about a brother…a sister…sickness…death…Heaven…and dogs (because anytime the subject of death and Heaven come up, so do our dead dogs) the girls sat quietly, simply taking it all in. After a few more seconds, we asked,
“Girls, do you have any other questions?”
To which Clara responds,
“Mom – can I have more ketchup?”
And so it seemed that with that, our deep discussion was complete and the ketchup was passed.
Until later that night.
A little before bedtime, Clara climbed in my lap, wrapped her arms around me, put her head on my chest and said, “Mama, I miss my brother and sister. I wish I could play with them.” I held back the tears as I held her tight. “Me too, sweetie. Me too.”
*Puerto Rican style Chinese – in addition to the usual (non-authentic) Chinese food, you also get papas fritas (french fries) and tostones (fried plantains) with your order. Hence the requirement of ketchup in case you were wondering.