Yesterday Marc asked me “Where is God in all you’ve been through?” He answered his own question saying it was in Bernadette’s smile. This morning as I was sitting in my rocking chair feeding Zoe I was thinking about his question and answer and I started to cry. “But God, you took Bernadette away, where are You now?!!!???!” Just then Zoe stopped nursing, looked up at me, and gave me the biggest grin. Oh the tears flowed all the harder.
Unfortunately they didn’t subside much today for some reason. Some days just seem easier than others and some are harder. Today was another hard one. After a few hours of on and off tears I decided that if I was going to be like this I might as well do something I know will bring on the tears anyway, so I went down and cleaned out Bernadette’s desk. Sure enough, I needed a box of Kleenex and a garbage can beside me. As I went through all her treasurers I felt I got to know her a little more. She had endless comic books or story books and fashion books that she wrote/drew all made out of scrap paper and stapled together. On them were her early attempts at learning to spell. I had no idea! There were more drawings everywhere. I found a stash of birthday cards and notes from her pen pal Anna O’Hagan. She even had her favorite art work of Catherine’s. Catherine found a computer Bernadette tried to build with cardboard and foam stickers and she told me the whole story of how they tried to get it to work and how much fun it was. It all went into a special storage tub that now sits in my office. As I find more treasurers around the house I suspect the tub will need to be replaced with a bigger one.
To make the task of organizing, sorting, and storing Bernadette’s belongings easier, I did a full purge of Catherine’s as well. I pretended it was one of our regular monthly cleaning days. Catherine’s cupboards and clothes were sorted too and the box to go to the thrift store only contained clothes that the girls didn’t like. I don’t have the heart yet to part with Bernadette’s favorite clothes. I didn’t even try after this morning when I was looking at her runners and there was no way I could pass them on so I had to throw them out. All day I cried about it and was tempted to retrieve them and hold them close again. I had to continually tell myself that they would have gone in the garbage anyways as they were too small and worn right out. It didn’t help. Tonight when it came to her underwear I didn’t even try. I just remind myself that there is no rush and I will do it when I’m ready. The only reason I removed clothes from her room already was for Catherine, didn’t seem fair to her not to.
I suspect it will be months before I stop running across things that use to belong to Bernadette. I just pray that when I do they will bring happy memories and not tears. I keep telling myself that if she could talk to me she’d say, “But Mom, I don’t need any of that any more and neither do you. Let it go. Be happy.”
Today was another first. It was Marc’s birthday. Wasn’t very festive though as nobody really had the heart, not even Marc. Yesterday he put his back out lifting Zoe the wrong way. Even though he said it felt better today he said he felt like he’d been run over by a truck. So he changed his plans from going to a coffee house in Sunnybrae to watching a hockey game with his dad. Johanna made him a really yummy carrot cake and we gave him a break on making dinner or doing any dishes. 🙂
Again, Marc and I would like to thank you all for all your prayers and kind words of love and support. We’ve felt this website has been such a blessing to help us stay in touch with you all and to have more and more people praying for Bernadette and us. But we now feel the time has come to retreat back into our family and focus on helping each other grieve and grow and move on. I apologize to everyone who wishes that I would continue to post but I can’t right now. I feel the need to go deeper and I don’t believe I have the courage and strength to share that with you at this time. I do intent to continue to journal though (in private) and we’ve discussed the possibility of continuing on a blog elsewhere in a little while. Some people have suggested the blog be turned into a book some day. As we ease into a ‘new normal’ I will continue to pray about it and see where the Lord is leading us regarding Bernadette’s story. We’ve even thought of a blog in her honor where people can post their stories after asking her to pray for them. Maybe there would be a few miracles to report. For all you who sincerely wish to be kept updated as to what we decide to do, you’re welcome to send me an email and I’ll start a mailing list. That way when if we do start a new blog or website, we’ll send you an email inviting you to join us there. Sound like a plan? In the meantime feel free to drop us a line now and again to check up on us. I’ll do my best to reply. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Depending on how long this blog stays up, we might be able to post an announcement on here as well so more people can join us. We will continue to pray for guidance as to what to do next.
We continue to hold you all close to our hearts and thank God for you every day. May you all be richly blessedll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love from Anne and Debbie Egan
We will continue to pray for you and the family as this is still a difficult time as you have expressed in your last two blogs. We will continue to be here for you whenever you need us.
Like you mentioned (as if Bernadette was talking to you)…”Be Happy”. Even in those sad times some joy can be found…
Love and Lots of Hugs, Dianne