It is that time of year again when back to school clothes and supplies are out there to remind you that school is right around the corner.
My daughter, Ellie, will be starting third grade and my son, Eric, will be starting kindergarten. It is very hard for me to let go of them as I watch them spread their wings and wander into the great big world. I have treasured every minute I have had with them. They are getting bigger and time seems to slip through your fingers when you least expect it.
I cannot help but wish that two other little children where here in our house experiencing their own milestones that life brings.
My angel, Valerie, would be seven years old and would be starting second grade. I can imagine her playing with her two other siblings and goofing off right along with them. I know Valerie and Ellie would be as close as two sisters could be. It is such a hard thing to bear when Ellie cries because she misses her sister and brother. I have no words for her when she says she has never even seen what they look like.
It has blown my mind how quickly Eric went from a baby into a big, Star Wars loving, boy about to start kindergarten. I tried to keep him close and savored all of those little moments I have had with him. He has been his mama’s boy from day one. He still loves to give me hugs and kisses at unexpected moments and they help to salve my scarred heart.
My angel, Daniel, would be just be fifteen months now. He would still be a baby but showing signs of becoming a toddler.
He would be running after Ellie and Eric and trying to keep up on his little legs. Ellie and Eric would be so protective of him. I can see it in my mind how Eric and Daniel would fight over their toys. Eric does not understand that Valerie and Daniel are no longer with us here. We go to the cemetery but all he sees are a cement headstone and flowers.
My heart aches at these imaginings of my angels because they will never happen.
They will only be in my mind, visions of what might have been. In a few short weeks as I watch my two kids go on their way and battle life’s obstacles and become more independent, tears will spill down my cheeks because I know two others will be missing.
I want to scream at the wrongness that this is the outcome I have been handed.
Things could certainly be much worse. I could be sending no children to school. It is a bittersweet pill to swallow. In a way, missing my angels makes me wish that Ellie and Eric could always stay little. It is not realistic to have them chained to my side. Instead, I have to let them go and be free. I will love them until my dying breath and realize that the two angels that look down on them will be there in spirit every step of the way.