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Monday, August 27, 2012

The Cemetery

There is a main road about 10-15 min from our house that we don't use frequently, but use often enough.

There is a cemetery on this road. Kayla can see it quite clearly from her side of the van. We've passed by this cemetery numerous times in the 2 years since we've moved here. But the first time we drove past this cemetery, a week after returning from FL, Kayla really saw it. And identified with it.

In an animated, almost excited voice, Kayla said, "Oooh Mommy! This! Right here! We're going to see Pepere?"

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

I held back tears as I told her that no, we weren't going to see Pepere, he wasn't buried at that cemetery.

Then Lucas said, "Kayla, remember Pepere lives in FL?" I had to hold back more tears at the present tense of "lives" ... although I guess he'll always be in FL now.

Almost every time we've driven that road since then, Kayla still notices that cemetery. And without fail she'll say something about Pepere. She'll talk about his leg hurt and he couldn't walk (the blood clots). She'll mention his lungs were sick (the reason I told them that it was hard for him to breathe). She'll talk about the flowers (that we each put on his casket). Sometimes she'll say mommy's sad and cry. Other times she'll say Pepere doesn't hurt anymore, he's all better.

The first time we passed that cemetery and Kayla made the connection to my dad's funeral it hurt. It still does hurt.

But I now find myself almost looking forward to her noticing it when we drive by there. I find myself waiting for that moment she sees it come in to view and will say something. It almost feels like it has become a tradition of some sorts.

And I know that when we drive by there, and she says something, it puts my dad at the forefront of our thoughts. And she's remembering him. Not that I want that to be her most prominent and often-thought about memory, but for now it is. It's her association with him. She's processing his death and what happened and what she was a part of at the funeral. And I've started to smile when we approach that cemetery, so I can smile when she's talking about him, and smile as we remember him together.

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6 comments:

Zoey's mom, Heather said...

Keep smiling my friend, just keep smiling.Just as our parents would want us to.

I have a ring of my moms that I have been wearing since a few days before her service. Zoey noticed it immediately on the first day I put it on. And she pointed to it and I said Grandma's ring. Now she doesn't understand things the same way Kayla does, most likely never will bit without fail, when she notices that ring, she points to it and says her version of "grandma".

And I smile.

Sending love from a far.

Anonymous said...

Your dad is letting you know he is with you!! thru a childs eyes, we see the world. I ,also, had tears in my eyes. But now you can smile a little when you pass the cemetry. love mom

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

HUGS to you and your entire family. This post brought tears to my eyes.

Angel said...

What a sweet and smart little girl. ((((hugs))))

Cindy said...

This was so sweet. Losing a loved one is so hard on the emotions.

My mom passed away in 2005 and when we go to a local mall that she used to work at, Beth will always comment and remind us that "Grandma used to work here." It always leads to stories and happy memories.

krlr said...

What a sweet, sweet way to keep your dad close. What a beautifully intuitive child you have there.