If you’ve been following PNA for very long, you know that for the most part, I try to keep things lighthearted and a little on the humorous side around here.
It’s good for me–and the toddlers–not to take myself too seriously, which I too often do.
Since our adventure was borne out of tragedy, there is, unfortunately, a dark side to it. And every once in a while the darkness creeps into our lives, or mine, at least.
So before you read on, I want to warn you this post is not going to be one of those lighthearted ones that will make you smile. It deals with some deep emotions and what I have to say may even cause you to feel sorry for us.
But please don’t feel sorry for us or me. That’s not what I’m trying to accomplish with this post or others like it. I want you to share in our laughter when we laugh and share in our tears when we cry.
That’s all, my friend. No more is required!
So, I seem to be at this stage in my personal grief that I’m wanting the toddlers to remember Nanna.
For some reason, it’s important to me that they remember Nanna.
And, I find myself testing the toddlers in little ways to see if they remember.
One night I was lying down with Sissy for a few minutes like I always do at bedtime. I was patting her to help her go to sleep and she wanted me, instead, to scratch her back.
I told her that when she was a baby I always patted her while I rocked her to help her go to sleep. Then I told her that I would lay her down in her baby bed that was located where her full-size bed is now.
And I asked her if she remembered laying down in her baby bed.
And then I asked her if she remembered Nanna rocking her and laying her down in her baby bed.
I don’t remember exactly what words Kenzie used to respond to my query.
But her toddler intuition seemed to perceive, somehow, the response I was hoping for was “Yes, I remember my Nanna.”
But I could tell that she didn’t really remember.
Of course, I was disappointed!
She is just three-and-a-half, so I know she doesn’t have a fully-developed long-term memory. So if she doesn’t remember, it’s not because she doesn’t want to.
She’s just too young to remember!
But, lately, I just seem to have this desire, this need, for her and Kaleb to remember Nanna.
On another occasion I asked Kaleb to fetch me something out of the closet in my bedroom that Nanna used. I referred to it as “Nanna’s closet” to see how he would react.
He didn’t seem to know what I meant at first, but then he went to the correct closet to complete his errand, but made no comment about Nanna or her closet.
Again, I was disappointed, hoping that I could evoke some memory of her in his mind by the closet reference.
Nanna played such a significant role in them coming to live with us and in their infant upbringing that I want them to know about her, to know her, or at least to know that they had known her.
I want her, or her memory, to have impacted their little lives! I want them to know they made her happy!
But I think I must come to grips with the fact that her, or even some small memory of her, is not going to be a part of their lives. Her short time with them at such an early stage in their lives is not going to be something they will ever remember.
Sure, it makes me sad that they aren’t ever going to know her.
The best I can do is to tell them about her.
So, I’m going to tell them about the good times they had with her.
I’m certainly going to tell them how much she loved them.
And, I’m going to keep reminding myself that my grief is my grief, it’s not their grief.
I can’t impose it on the toddlers, because it’s my problem, not theirs.
And I won’t make it theirs because I want them to grow up having had a happy childhood as we live out this new adventure together!