Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shared Tears

Last night, while we were having pancakes for supper (Sofie's idea), we started talking about Grandma's dog Cooper, who is quite old and this weekend will be taken to the vet for his last visit. I tried to explain to Sofie how loved Cooper is and why Grandma knows it is time for him to die. And how even though this makes Grandma sad, she knows it is time. That sometimes animals and people die, even if we love them so much.

It seemed to lead naturally to opening up a discussion about death in general. At first, Sofie looked sad and when I asked her, she said she didn't want to talk about it. But I gently pushed a bit, and reassured her that she could talk to me about anything. There was a tear escaping from her eye as she looked down at her plate.

"Are you worried that Mommy might die?". Tears start to fall, just at the corner of her eye. She nods her head yes. "Like the girl at camp who's Dad died?" Uh huh. I took her into my arms. There really aren't planned words for this kind of talk, they just come.

I told her I didn't want to die either, but that sometimes cancer makes a person die, even if they don't want to. I told her I am still fighting and still here for her. And that I would always be. And that, for always, I would be like an angel for her, always there if she needed me.

Sofie just let the tears flow and I did too, she is obviously carrying around so much more pain that I even thought. We talked about how good it is that Mama Jamie is feeling better and that her cancer isn't needing treatment anymore. But that I still do.

My little girl is so protective of me, but I want her to be able to let it go like this, with me, and let us share tears sometimes....I haven't really cried with her. I guess I have been protecting her too, but perhaps it is time.

Last night, we snuggled up in bed to read her book and I could tell she didn't want to leave. So I just invited her to sleep in my bed last night and she relaxed, curled up next to me and dropped off in a few minutes. Sometimes that is all it takes, I guess.

And truth be told, I wanted her next to me, too. I feel like I am hoarding all those tender moments, stroking her hair long after she falls asleep at night, so I can remember them always.

I hate that I have to have these talks with her, that she is going to lose me too early. It isn't fair, I waited my whole life to be her mother. I am determined to make the time we have together time that will be remembered with love. And tears too, I imagine. But I am so not ready yet. I want more time.

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