Tears in the Rearview

Every drive of the car brings a snapshot in the rearview mirror. We talk and joke and sing through the rearview. We make faces, blow kisses, and occasionally pout through the rearview.

One recent drive has us departing from the airport after leaving daddy behind and my glance to the rear reveals eyes as big as saucers with pools gathering. The bluest of blues, bluer than the sky, those eyes.  One tear escapes and comes rolling down her cheek and with a swallowed gasp I realize she is holding back a cry with every ounce of strength she thinks she needs. And that kind of cry is more painful to all hearts than the loudest cry there is.

What’s wrong? I ask, as I hold this sweet, sweet face in my hands.  And the cascade of tears finally fall from the blue, blue pools in her eyes.

Heart broken, she is a princess who has lost her prince.

Sometimes a cry just needs to be. So I take her in my arms without a word and just hold her.

In the back of the car. Face to face. Heart to heart.

No rearview.

Not Your Normal Day Off

We’ve been down this road before with family. My little heart of hearts is a battle warrior when it comes to dealing with loss. We have never hidden her from it and have always encouraged her to express her feelings in her own time and most importantly, have been inspired by how each subsequent loss we’ve experienced has grown the love in her heart where we feared it would foster darkness. Her insight about her own feelings and care she shows for others is far beyond.

So, I was taken aback by her fleeting sad face and then immediate request to play tic tac toe, when I sat her down to tell her about this loss. This loss that is a part of our world, but more a part of her own little world, that only dabbles in ours. Even more taken aback that she never brought it up again throughout the day.

I should not have been surprised though. My battle warrior simply had her armor on. She needed time to work through her own thoughts and navigate her feelings. And did she ever. Our day off, normally spent playing and watching tv, was spent opening our hearts to the sadness. Allowing sadness to open to sunshine.

“We need sunshine, momma. Ms. Joyce made her room sunshine, remember?” So sunshiny flowers were sought, for school and for home, a vase decorated, a sign made.

“Do you think there is sunshine in heaven?” So we talked about how beautiful heaven must be.

“Do you think she’s playing with Opa?” So we shared stories of silly Opa and silly Joyce and how they simply must be playing.

“How will she know I love her momma?” So we got out the paper and made cards for her to see when she’s looking down on us.

The head to toe pink ensemble is all laid out to honor, complete with socks emblazoned with LOVE. Because my little girl, while in the midst of a loss, has a heart filled with love.

In the words of Maddie:
I love you and I miss you and I miss miss miss miss you cuz I love you. I love you cuz you are the best techr.