Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When you can't help but laugh

I'm typing this as Tinkerbell and Rina (that's Ballerina) flutter and prance around the house. My back is to them, but I hear their giggles, and occasionally silence, which is a little nerve-wracking, especially when it's followed by fits of laughter. But we had a nice, quiet PB&J lunch together, so I'm hoping they use up all their energy before it's naptime. What? You don't believe that I was honored enough to dine with such distinguished guests today? The proof is on their faces:

These two silly girls totally wear me out (WHERE do they get their energy?!), but I'm so thankful for them. I think getting through the last four months might've been a trillion times harder if they weren't around to cheer me up and lighten the mood. There are a hundred examples I could give, but one keeps recurring every week. And if you laugh at it, it's okay. I laugh too.

At least twice during the week we drive to the church for MOPS or Bible Study or something, and the cemetery where Joshua is buried is right across the street. Sometimes, I'll drive through the cemetery to get to the church, and take a route that takes us right near his resting place. For the longest time the girls were oblivious to it (thankfully), and it was just kind of "my thing." But one day, it occurred to Emma what this place was. Granted, I never stopped or said anything, but she's a smart girl. I don't know what triggered it for her, but one day she said, "This is where baby Joshua died."

I had to explain to her, in the simplest of terms, that no, he didn't die there. I explained that he died in my tummy, but we buried his body there, and God came and took him to heaven. (How do you explain that to a 4 year old?) She seemed to understand, and the ensuing conversation centered around that we would die someday and go to heaven and see Joshua and Jesus.

Since then, we can't drive through or even pass the cemetery without a conversation about dying, heaven, Jesus, baby Joshua, balloons (we floated balloons up to Joshua the day we buried him), my tummy, seeing friends in heaven, getting old, playing with Joshua... the topics are endless, and it surprises me what she comes up with. There are days I wish there were another way to the church, but going by the cemetery is inevitable. At least twice a week. *sigh*

It used to be hard for me when she'd ask questions, but I've learned to brace myself and take it with a grain of salt. I always wait for her (or Addie) to lead the conversation, but more often than not lately, our talks are a source of joy rather than sorrow.

The funniest part is always after Emma states, "Baby Joshua is in the grass/under the ground/dead in the dirt (!)" (it's okay if you're stunned - I was too, but then I had to laugh at how her little mind puts things together), and then Addie follows up with, "Baby Jesus died." Oh, how I laugh! I know it's not funny! But you have to hear the sad voice and see the pouty lip that goes with it! This new contribution to our conversations began around Christmas time, and I think with all of our Christmas story talk, Addie got a little confused. She ALWAYS chimes in with the fact that "Baby Jesus died." So then I explain in the simplest of terms... it's the same every time.

The other day we were driving through when Emma started talking about the pictures of baby Joshua. I was a little taken back because we've never shown her any of the pictures we took, or even told her that we took any. I asked what she meant, and she explained that the doctor (who we had just been to the week before) took pictures of Joshua in my tummy. "Oh, no, honey!" I exclaimed. I suddenly realized that she didn't understand. I sort of panicked without Gary there, but tried to tell her that after Joshua died in my tummy, we went to the hospital and the doctor took him out, and that we even got to hold him. And that now, God put a new baby in my tummy and the doctor took pictures of the new baby. I think she understood, but that was tricky. We often wonder when it will be right to show her pictures of the baby brother she never knew.

This new clarification got her thinking though, and driving past the cemetery this week she asked if the new baby was going to die too. I told her we would just have to ask God to let us keep this one forever.

Yesterday we drove through the cemetery because I wanted to see if Joshua's marker was in yet. IT WASN'T. We're getting a little (a lot) frustrated, since it was promised to be in before Christmas. It's almost like one more hurdle we're waiting to get past. I hopped out of the car quickly to see if it was in, and of course had to explain to the girls what I had just done because they were full of questions after my 10-second journey. I explained that we're waiting for the people to put in a sign that will have Joshua's name on it so we can remember him, and Emma asked, "Oh, like a sticker?" I laughed. Yes, Emma, like a REALLY EXPENSIVE sticker!

Our usual conversation about dying and heaven and Joshua was interrupted when Emma spotted a large pink casket that for some reason, was sitting all alone, waiting to be lowered into the ground. "Ooooo, mama! Look at that pink thing! It's pretty, what is it?!" Not wanting to have that conversation, I plead the fifth and kept driving.

She quickly forgot about it and told me that maybe Jesus just wanted Joshua more than we did. I'm not sure about that... but maybe... I started thinking about it, when Addie piped up with, "Baby Jesus died. Sad."

And I was back to laughing again.


  1. "A cheerful heart is good medicine." Sounds like your girls are quite the spiritual pharmacists these days. And cute to boot.

  2. Kids can help us to heal and I think yours are doing a wonderful job of helping their mommy! I hope the expensive sticker comes soon, what a source of frustration! Have a great day!

  3. I am praying for you today that you will be embracing this new little life. I am so thankful for your little ballerina & tinkerbell in your life - keep laughing!

  4. Angie,
    I just wanted to say I am thinking about you. And that Emma cracks me up even when I shouldn't laugh.

    Love you!

  5. (((((Angie))))) What a patient and wonderful mom you are! Those moments when the Lord gives us grace greater than we could ever have imagined... they are so precious!

    Praying for you...


  6. Oh Ang! You've had a lot of explaining to do this year, huh?
    Hey, I'm coming out there in March!!! I'm sad to think you might not be there since it's over spring break (are you going on any trips??!), but I won't get too sad till I talk to you. :-)

  7. HILLARIOUS!! This had Justin and I in tears! Oh how we LOVE those two little angels! Laughter is the best medicine and they sure know how to bring it on.

    On another note...major bummer the marker isn't in yet. What the heck is taking so long!?! I'm frustrated for you!

    Love you lots!!! SWAK!!

  8. How sweet.

    My Grace spoke the same way about my aunt. I had described to her how Grandma's sister died before she (Grace) was born. It was all she could talk about at Grandma's house for a while. And she has no, um, tact(?) She would simply tell grandma, "You're sister died." or "Aunt Lisa's dead." Wonderful.

  9. Tinkerbell and Rina are too cute!! I am so happy to know that there is another Emmaline out there. I'm glad you found me and I look forward to getting to know you better!

  10. Oh yes, I'd laugh too. I couldn't hold it in if I tried. Thank God for both of them!

  11. Oh my goodness...the joy and happiness that is your beautiful daughters faces is absolutely priceless. What a gift they are!

    As I read through your post my heart started to break but not in a bad way, but in a way that says there is HOPE and peace in every situation. Your daughters are getting a daily lesson about God's grace and even though there are day's when it may be touch and go plow right through because you are all being healed through it.

    Many prayers and blessings,

  12. Oh girl, I am RIGHT here with you. If it weren't for my two little ladies that keep me in stitches (and yes, one of them, after receiving a lecture about not saying "butt", just looked at me and said, "Shake your booty!" just last week...) I would have never made it this far. The innocence of children! Oh, to be like them. And congratulations on the new little one! I am praying for y'all and looking forward to "meeting" him or her, too. Thanks for the laugh... and for sharing my new twisted sense of humor, too. ;)

  13. My sister's little boy, Adam, died at 24 hours old. Part of his brain was missing. I remember her having similar talks with her two girls for years after that.
    They are now grown and married with their own children. Those times are precious building block times.

    I loved the pictures of your little girls at the table all dressed up. It reminded me of my little girls who are now 17 & 20 when they used to play dress up. I even had one blonde and one brunette, just like you. Your pictures brought back memories.
    My oldest just left for a 5 month's missions trip overseas. You can read about it on my blog, if you like. She used to play like she was Wendy from Peter Pan. I had to be Tinkerbell. Her dad was Peter Pan!

    Oh the memories.
    Have a blessed day,

  14. I stumbled upon your blog today from WIWW at The Pleated Poppy. I saw in your about me that you had lost a child. I was intrigued to find out more. My sister had a still born baby this summer in week 39. I've really enjoyed reading your past blog entries and reading about how she might be feeling as she goes through the grieving process. This entry brought tears and laughter. I love how little ones process things. I've had lots of conversations with my 6 year old in the past 5 months about heaven and dieing. I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing your life.


Thanks for visiting! And thanks a bunch for commenting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...