I’m not sure why I thought today would be like any other Friday. When I kissed Piper’s forehead on my way out the door, a small lump rose in my throat, but I squashed it. I told her to have fun at preschool, like I have done every Friday, and continued on to work. It was only at noon, when I had a moment to breathe, that the significance of the day set in like the morning fog on a lake. The haze lifted, and reality begin to set in. In fifteen minutes, life as she knew it would change forever. Selfishly, so would mine. You see, when she left her preschool today, it was for the very last time. And even though wonderful things are in store for her, things which will enrich her life in many ways, this wasn’t the plan. The lump in my throat from earlier this morning was returning, and it didn’t want to be squashed.
I sent a quick text to my husband and my mother in law to see how her morning had gone, and to see if either of them had snapped a photo of her on her last morning at the school she’d attended since she was a baby. What I got back both warmed and broke my heart simultaneously:
In this moment, I was overcome with a flood of emotion that I just did not expect. Although I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that has been afforded to Piper, all I could think of in that moment is all that we will never get to experience together there at that wonderful preschool. The things I got to do with her brother and sister. Never again will she meet me at the door of her classroom with a little flower and lead me to my place at the table full of homemade gifts (each one I truly cherish) for Mothers’ Day Tea. Never again will I pack into the church sanctuary to see her perform in the spring program, or the Christmas program. She will not get to graduate preschool from Aunt Genie’s class next year like Kaydie and Cam did. Like Carter will. I know she will blossom, and I know her future is bright. I know this is just one chapter ending, and that Monday, another beautiful one will begin. But today, I am sad. Because this wasn’t the plan.
I didn’t think I’d hurt today. Perhaps my mistake was that I got so caught up in moving forward over the past several weeks that I failed to consider today at all.
7 thoughts on “I didn’t think I’d hurt today”
You are right. To a degree, it is sad. However, find comfort in her wonderful support system; tis a magic carpet woven from loving parents, brother and sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins & friends. Hang on! We are all in for an exciting ride!
Blindsided, like, after losing someone, you’re having a “good” day and suddenly something reminds you of them while you’re looking for something in a drawer.
How grief blindsides us!
Didn’t mean to leave the message twice, couldn’t find it. Had to refresh, like duh.
It breaks my heart to read your story of heartache concerning the “plan” and the expectations you had for your family and yourself as Piper grew from one step to another: “Never again will I pack into the church sanctuary to see her perform in the spring program, or the Christmas program. She will not get to graduate preschool from Aunt Genie’s class next year like Kaydie and Cam did. Like Carter will.”
Thank you for sharing this part of your story.
Throughout my career as a professor and a minister, I emphasized the importance of “transitional” events and the ceremonies and celebrations or mourning that accompany them.
Your loss of the transitional events you anticipated for Piper brings the importance of celebrating these events to life at the level of deep, raw feeling.
If I were still teaching academically I’d use this blog post as Treasured Example 1 of ways that ceremonies minister to our feelings in these times of transition.
My hope for you and your family, for Piper, and for others in your community of parents of children like Piper is that you’ll find ways to create ceremonies appropriate for the Pipers of your world.
I see that you’re not just lamenting Piper’s situation in this part of your story, but the raw feelings are so powerful, so hard to take in, that I don’t want to rush past them. Or I do want to rush past them, but I’m catching myself in the act and pausing before them. Thank you again.
No, thank you for your beautiful words.