Friday, December 06, 2013

Missing her.

My husband told me something I needed to hear. I didn't need to try to hold on so hard. I'm trying so hard to not forget. He told me to not worry that I would never be able to forget someone so important and altering to my life. My life without her. I don't have to try so hard.

My cousin Sharon (Left) Me (center) Libby (right)
There is a part of me that clings and desperately won't let go of my sister. Her memory. I'm afraid of losing her. I'm afraid of forgetting.

Mike told me that I'm not responsible for maintaining her existence. My memory isn't what keeps her alive. Her life is with Christ. The Lord sustains her being. She continues on. Not dead. But alive with Christ. In His perfect presence. Free of all sin, sadness, pain, sickness, hatred, and all the devastating affects of sin.

I don't need to be afraid of people forgetting or not remembering.

Tomorrow would have been my sister, Libby Anne's, 31st birthday. I can't believe it. The last birthday I celebrated with her was her 21st. I had bought her a special jewelry box. She was pregnant and glowing. Radiant. Happy. Her dark hair was shiny and silky. Her eyes blue. Observant yet full of mirth. Her skin pale, almost alabaster white. She always got really white in the winter. But her cheeks were flushed and she was so very much engaged with life. Vibrant. Alive.

I miss her. so. much.

I miss her smile. I miss the way her hands held her guitar and she would strum and open her mouth in song. I miss the fact that I always had to catch her by surprise to hear her sing. I would stand outside her bedroom to hear her play. She didn't like to play "in public" AKA in front of anyone.

It's funny as we got out of our teen years and became young adults she was the one who was encouraging ME to relax. To be less fearful. Less anxious. She would tell me to stop worrying so much. She used to be the one who was full of fear. Afraid even to say the word cancer. She would call it "can" she couldn't even say the whole word out loud. She was afraid of dying. Afraid of getting older. That changed only months before she died. She wasn't afraid anymore. She looked forward to Heaven.

So many times I've wished I could just tell her about Samuel's cancer. And what the experience had been like. So many times I wanted to call her in the middle of the night when the tears wouldn't stop coming and I didn't feel like I could go on breathing anymore. I wanted to tell her about the anxiety that was squeezing me in a vice and suffocating me like I was being smothered by a pillow.

I've wondered how many kids she would have had. And when she would have gotten wrinkles and stretch marks. I wondered how she would look aging. Getting older. I wonder how she would have treated my kids and the kind of Aunt she would have been to them.

I found the birthday card I made her for her 10th birthday. I was congratulating on her for entering her double digits. I drew all these funny pictures. (Keep in mind, I was just 12 myself, at the time).

It's strange. December 7th. Never the same for me. Our family tradition was we used to get our Christmas tree on that day and decorate it. Libby didn't care for cake as much as she did ice-cream.

I had bought boxes of Lucky Charms in her honor for tomorrow but my kids already plowed through them earlier this week.

I wanted to go by her grave site but had Peter in the car today. And I don't think I could have handled him running around happy when my heart was so sad.

December 7th
I listened to her sing, The Harbor, a private recording that I had of her, a gift from a friend. Her voice so so pure and sweet.

I wish she was here to celebrate with in person. Instead, I want to fill my day with happy memories of her. I'm so grateful that I was allowed to have a sister like her. Thankful for the beautiful example she was of a woman who loved and feared God. Who was compassionate and kind. Funny and smart. Gullible and faithful and trustworthy. Someone who was quick to comfort me in my sadness and quicker to make me laugh at myself. I'm a better woman because of her.

Thank you Libby. And Happy Birthday. I know you're enjoying some chocolate and ice-cream right there in Heaven. Mwah!


5 comments:

Cheryl said...

This was a lovely tribute, Jenn. Libby would have loved it, honey. <3

Caterncat said...

Jenn, we will never forget. Our lives go on but we NEVER forget. Just because it's not spoken, doesn't mean others don't think about Libby, or have reminders of her in their own lives. I know there are several times I see or hear things that remind me of her. Some make me smile, others bring the tears. Thanks for sharing. I wish I had the writing talent you have! Love you bunches! XOXO

Caterncat said...

Jenn, we will never forget. Our lives go on but we NEVER forget. Just because it's not spoken, doesn't mean others don't think about Libby, or have reminders of her in their own lives. I know there are several times I see or hear things that remind me of her. Some make me smile, others bring the tears. Thanks for sharing. I wish I had the writing talent you have! Love you bunches! XOXO

Brian Wasko said...

We Waskos miss her too. Happy Birthday, Libby!

Lizzy said...

Jennifer, this is just beautiful. Libby will NEVER be forgotten. I still have vivid dreams of her and think of her often. praying for you...