A little over a month has gone by since we lost Jen. It still feels awkward referring to her as if she's gone. I'm not always sure how to say it...she died, she passed away, she left us, etc. I could just speak about it as simply as Emma does...she's in heaven. For some reason that may have sounded funny if when I spoke to the car insurance guy today I said "you need to amend my auto and home policy because my wife relocated to heaven." I guess that would have made the conversation a lot more comfortable, but instead he used a professional term multiple times: deceased. That word sucks. No matter how it is articulated, I can still look beyond her journey there and find comfort in the final destination. I do my best to imagine heaven with Jen in it, but it's another one of those things I just can't wrap my mind around.
The girls continue to do well. There are only a handful of times in the past month that either of them has shown any sort of sadness knowing that Jen is no longer here. It's not that they don't miss her or don't often talk about her, but I think that we are all doing a good job of saying the proper things and comforting them in Jen's absence. I know that there's spiritual involvement that also brings them comfort. Emma often, out of the blue, will point somewhere and say she sees mommy. The other day my brother was leaving our house and ran into our neighbor in the front yard. Emma suddenly felt compelled to open the front door and tell him "Uncle Dustin...I forgot to tell you that my mommy really likes it in heaven...she is having a lot of fun." It just so happened that the neighbor had just asked Dustin how the girls were doing.
As for me, I am also doing well. I still have my moments, but I prefer to have those moments alone. I go about 90 miles an hour every day for what seems like all day, but when the nighttime comes and the girls are in bed, I finally slow down. That's when things can be difficult. I said "can be." Most often I enjoy the peace of the evening and reflect on good things. For some reason, my strangest moments are in the middle of the night. I often wake up suddenly from what seems like a deep sleep. The first thing I do is check the clock and then analyze what little bit of light I can see in the darkness. I don't even know what it is I'm looking for. Sometimes I'll go as far as getting out of bed to walk around the house and check things out. It's weird. Maybe subconsciously I'm hoping to see Jen faintly in the darkness just dropping in to say hello...who knows?
Belle (our new kitten) is also doing well. She has grown very accustomed to our house and being around the girls. She is very playful. Peighton has a habit of picking her up and carrying her around like a doll. Emma and I have to quickly tell her to put Belle down before the razor sharp claws catch her in the arm. Thankfully, the only person that has had any major claw injuries is me. That is mostly because she clings to me late at night as I sit at the table on the computer doing some late night work or blog writing. A swift little smack on the behind sends her to the living room to play with her toys. I'll agree with what most people have said - cats are much easier than dogs!
Let me remind everyone of some dates to put on the calendar:
** March 18th - Trouser Mouse event from 4:00 - 8:00 PM...I'll post the details again in a day or two.
** May 10th - "Wind that Shakes the Barley" premiere...details to come.
** May 12th - Kansas City Crawl for Cancer...read the last post for details!
Lastly, don't forget all of the wonderful people with compelling stories in our Cancer Blog Network. Check in on them when you have time. Drop them a word or two of encouragement on occasion. I know first hand that it is as good as any medicine from the pharmacy.