I ask myself the same question countless times a day that everyone else is asking me..."How are you doing?" The response I give to most people is "pretty good." In a general sense, that is absolutely true. If you were to assign a value to the emotional highs and lows of the day, the average of those emotions would look, well, pretty good. The difficult times are best described as an emotional free fall. The fall may be initiated by a glimpse of an object, a song on the radio, a quick memory, or just the emptiness in the house late at night. The fall is actually accompanied by a sinking feeling in the stomach that can be as subtle as what you might feel in a slow dropping elevator or as distinct as what you might feel when you hit unexpected turbulence in an airplane. I am able to quickly recover from that emotional free fall with a bungee cord of faith. That is - faith in God, faith in knowing that Jen is in a wonderful place, faith in my abilities as a father, faith in my own personal experiences having strengthened me, and faith in the great people that surround me. My rope is short and strong, making the fall brief. The emotional highs are harder to put into words but are often initiated by Emma and Peighton.
Speaking of my daughters, they are also doing well. Peighton is a blossoming toddler, too young to comprehend. She speaks of mommy at times but is not yet able to elaborate on any wonder she may have of where mommy has gone. Emma, on the other hand, asks questions. We did our best to explain to her Jen's death in terms she could understand. Cancer was the key word, not sickness. Mommy is in heaven, but was very sad to leave us. Emma has mentioned seeing Jen several times and her description each time could be considered "angelic." Maybe there is something to be said about children having a sixth sense. The hardest time of the day for Emma is bedtime. Several nights this week she has told me that she misses mommy. I continue to tell her that mommy is an angel and will always be with her - no matter where she is. The night before our most recent snow, I reiterated these things to Emma before bed. When she came downstairs the next morning and saw the snow she immediately got excited and ran back up to her bedroom. I asked her where she was going and her response was "I'm going to go tell mommy it snowed...remember last night when you told me she was in bed with me?" It was a very cute moment.