Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Trio

My two girls are so crazy about each other. This morning, I realized just how much. Katie slept later than Charlotte so they were off schedule... when Katie was napping, Charlotte was awake. And Charlotte whined and fussed the entire time Katie was asleep, she didn't want to play, didn't want a bottle, breakfast, me - nothing. When Katie woke up from her nap I put them in their high chairs, side by side, and Charlotte stared at her, smiling, laughing. They reached out and grabbed each other's hand and giggled. It was a glimpse of my future, the two of them closer with each other than even with me, and that's okay. It made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Because, there should be three high chairs, and three babies holding hands and loving each other more than anything in the world. I kept thinking, do you miss Jack, babies? Do you look for him too? Do you wonder where he is, when he is coming home...... do you remember him, remember when you were all together? I hope you do, in some small way, remember that time you were all together.

Yesterday it was 5 months since Jack died, and we had an appointment with Katie's cardiologist, two things that kept me up all the night before, tossing and turning, worrying and remembering. While I was getting dressed before Katie's appointment, I felt someone touch me on the back - I thought it was PJ but when I turned around no one was there. Maybe it was Jack saying, I'm coming with you. I'm always with Katie and Charlotte, always.

Katie's appointment went fine, nothing new really - everything looks the same. Problems are still there but her heart isn't looking stressed. The surgeon is supposed to call me Friday so we can talk about when to schedule her surgery this summer. The longer we go, the more I dread it. My sweet Katie - it is so easy to forget there is something wrong with her, my chubby happy girl.

Every month, I find a different way I miss Jack. Lately, it is for the girls. I can't stop thinking of what they've lost. I feel the hole that's left for them. I think of how different the dynamics of our family would be, how different it would be if they had a brother with them to turn to, take sides, be a boy in between two crazy girls.

The hotel we stayed at in Philly when Jack was at CHoP had a big college bookstore attached to it. One night right around Christmas, PJ and I walked over and bought some books to read to Jack. One of them is called "Just Like Heaven", and it is the sweetest book. I don't know how I even found it, I'd never heard of it before (though I always liked Mutts), but there it was.... I read it to Jack only a few times, as it was very hard to get through.

Now I try to read it to the girls almost every day, though honestly I've yet to get through it with them without bursting into tears. Tucked into the back of the book I have some pictures of Jack. After we read it, I show the pictures to them and say, this is Jack, your brother. He's in heaven, just like in the book. I hope Mr. McDonnell doesn't mind me putting the book here... I will take it down in a few days. But for today, it means so much to me, I have to share it.

Just Like Heaven by Patrick McDonnell

One day, Mooch sat under his favorite tree
and took a nap (as cats often do).
While he slept, a deep fog slowly crept in
and covered everything.

Mooch awoke.
He looked left and saw nothing.
He looked right and saw nothing.
Up, down, all around.... nothing.
Mooch wondered where he was.

Heaven....? he thought.
I must be in heaven!

Mooch wasn't sure what to do.
So he just sat still.
But after a while, he became curious
and set out to explore.

He felt cool dew on his little cat feet.
He smelled a sweet perfume
and heard music in the air.

Wow, thought Mooch. What a great place.

He walked past the playground filled with children's laughter.
He walked past the town filled with friendly neighbors.
He paused at his own house filled with the people he loved.

So this is heaven, thought Mooch.

Then Mooch came upon a big dog chained in a yard.
The big dog growled (as unloved dogs often do)
and let out a BIG BARK.
In the past Mooch would have gone all fuzzy with fear and run away.
But here and now, Mooch wondered,
What would you do in heaven?
So he opened his arms and said....

"HUG TIME!"

And they did.

Wow, thought Mooch. What a great place.

Mooch continued exploring
until he ended back at his favorite tree
and took another nap (as cats often do).

Slowly the fog lifted
and the sun shone through.
Mooch awoke
to find his best friend Earl sleeping under their favorite tree.

Wow, thought Mooch. What a great place.

Just like heaven.


26 comments:

Hyperfertile Infertile said...

My girls are the same way, especially Alice. And god help us if Charlotte isn't ready for a nap or bed quite when Alice is... she needs her sister to sleep or there is no sleep to be had!

That book is just beautiful. I'm sure that, on some level, your girls remember Jack. And he'll always be in their memory through your stories and pictures. I had cousins who passed away before I was born, but I always felt like I knew them from all of the family stories... your girls will feel the same, plus that triplet bond.

My sob book is Love You Forever. I can't get through it, or even be in the room while it is read to the girls, without crying like a fool!

Rebecca Nixie said...

I've never heard of that book before. I, like hyperfertile infertile, love Love You Forever. I'm sure they, like you and PJ, will always miss their brother, but they will remember him through the stories and pictures you share.

Millicent said...

Heaven must be wonderful of sweet Jack is there...

They remember I am sure of it.

Anonymous said...

Sweet story. I also have the book "Love you Forever" and makes me tear up every time I read it. What you said about feeling a touch on your shoulder, I know that is Jack, reminding you he is always there.

the schirano triplets said...

somewhere, maybe deep in their subconscious, they remember because it is just a part of who they are. and i know that you will help add to those memories so that over time they will grow. that book is beautiful and perfect. {{hugs}}

Liz said...

I hope you leave the text of Just Like Heaven on your blog Megan, what a beautiful book to share with all of us.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful book and heaven is JUST as beautiful with Jack there. ((((hugs)))

Jessica
Dibsgirl

Collegegirl said...

Jack will always be there to pat you on the back when times are hard. I am sure of it! He is looking down on you right now and is so proud of all the strength you have!
Keep it up!
~Elyse~

Anonymous said...

It is so sweet to actually be able to see the bond that the girls have when they interact with each other. I can imagine how that brings out the mixed feelings in you (which your express so well) about wishing Jack were there to share in it all. But it is so wonderful that you tell them all about their brother and show them his pictures. As they grow older, their memories of him will only be more vivid as a result.
A sibling bond is just amazing (with triplets it must be triple so!). I get such a kick out of watching my 1 year old and my 10 year old go ga-ga over each other. I don't have any sibs so it is all new to me. :)
PS> I don't always post often, but I always read your blog. Just wanted to let you know, we're here.
Love, Jen and Evan

Amanda said...

What a sweet story. I wonder , too, if the girls remember Jack. I think when they get older, they will wonder about him, how he would look, what it would be like to have him playing with them. You are amazing--just thinking about Jack (who I never met) makes me cry. I honestly do not know how you do it. You are an inspiration

Molly said...

What a lovely book you found to read to your Jack. I'm glad you shared it.

Mara said...

I, too, find you an absolute inspiration. When days with my two kids are getting me frustrated, there's your blog to remind me of just how lucky I truly am. And so are you, honestly. Your girls are simply PRECIOUS. They'll grow up loving Jack as deeply as you and PJ do. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. Hugs to you!

Nicole said...

I don't doubt that Charlotte and Katie remember Jack. Maybe you could have a bracelet or a necklace with Jack's photo made for the girls to have when they are older.

Anonymous said...

Megan,
Another touching blog entry! Like many other posts, my tearjerker book is "Love You Forever." The book shows a mother's love for her son from his birth to adulthood...complete with her using a ladder to check on him at night when he has his first apartment. SOOO sweet and sentimental!

The book you shared is beautiful. What a neat depcition of Heaven. I appreciate the way the author described Heaven in a way that children can understand.

I agree with the prior posts---your girls will continue to know and remember Jack through the memories you, PJ, and others share with them.

Loved what you said about feeling like someone was touching your back. What a special comfort from your sweet little boy.
--A Mom in Jacksonville, FL

Jamie said...

What a beautiful book, and a beautiful thing you're doing for your girls.

My twins are much the same way, they don't like to be apart, and often we'll find them in bed with each other in the morning, from when one of them woke in the middle of the night!!! It truely is a bond like no other.

Lotta said...

Any mother would dread any surgery. But you have so much weighting on you surrounding this one. Anything you can do to breath - do it. Take a nighttime Tylenol and get some rest.

Anonymous said...

He Only Takes The Best



God watched you as you suffered, and knew you had your share.
He gently closed your weary eyes and took you in his care.
Your memory is our keepsake, with that we will never part.
God has you in his keeping, we have you in our hearts.

Nothing could be more beautiful than the memories we have of you.
To us you were someone special. God must have thought so too.

All our lives we shall miss you, as the years come and go,
but in our hearts you will live forever. Because we love you so.

God saw you were getting tired, and a cure was not to be.
So he put his arms around you and whispered "Come with me"

With tearful eyes we watched you suffer and fade away.
Although we loved you dearly, you were not meant to stay.

A golden heart stopped beating, hard- working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best!

Charlotte's Mama said...

I had to post because my missing girl is Charlotte, and it is always this strange, blissful intrigue to see another Charlotte: one with breath, with life; especially one whose mama knows how amazingly lucky she is to have her.
Your heart must ache for your girls, knowing who they are missing, and it always will. It has surprised me how wonderfully present my charlotte is to my two living children, both born after she passed, somehow they just feel that she is part of our family.
good luck to yours. jack will never leave you.

4under3 said...

I'm so sorry for your pain. I can start to feel it just by reading your posts. It just doesn't seem fair. But it sounds like you are such a fabulous mama...reading Jack's story to the girls, showing them his picture, missing him and loving him so much, and making sure you keep him in their lives.

Thank you for sharing your story today. Your family is blessed to have you.

tbonegrl said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Jessica B said...

Those girls will be the luckiest sisters ever, they will grow up to know how loved they are and how special their brother was to thousands of people. Honestly, Megan..if you sit down and think about all of the 100s of nesties, bloggers, people who come across your story all over the WORLD...the people you inspire, the number of people who randomly might think of a baby boy named Jack as they stop at a red light, or if they pull up next to a car and hear that Alicia Keyes song..it boggles my mind how one precious boy can touch so many.
I say it with confidence that your daughters will be bonded forever because of their love for one another and for their brother, Jack.
Hugs!!!!!!!

Carly said...

Hi Megan. It's Mrs.Carlybella... I was on the nest (go figure) and came across this quote that made me think of you

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never.
Being a mother is something absolutely new to her...
And,with each child, she is born anew."
~ Rajneesh

I just wanted you to know that it made me think of you and your Jack. Jack was born, he touched many peoples lives in his too short time, and his mother was born in you- who have also deeply touched us all, so many of us come here to read your words. This may seem out of the blue, but it really did make me think of you. PS- those girls of yours are just getting cuter and cuter!

Anonymous said...

Hi - Hope all is well at your household. We miss hearing of your daily adventures with the girls. We just had a little baby baptized at our church and his name was Jack and the first thing to pop into my head was your little man. He will never be forgotten by many many people. That little soul has touched so many of us and we know he is continously watching over his Mom, his Dad and especially his sisters.
Stay cool and hope to hear from you soon. Love from the other side of New Jersey

Nate & Alex said...

What a beautiful book. I am sure your girls don't miss Jack because every night as your girls fall into a deep sleep Jack comes and plays with them in their dreams. I think that's why babies smile in their sleep, because our loved ones who have passed visit them in their dreams and love them and play with them

Jessica said...

That book sounds awesome..I think I will have to buy it for my boys. Their Great Grandfather passed away this week, and my husband and I were trying to explain heaven to our 3 1/2 year old.

I can somewhat relate to the mentality of thinking there should be three of everything, and your brother should be here running around with you. I was pregnant with three, and one survived (My Evan)..Anniversaries of my two boys death, and birthdays are sooo hard. Just knowing that God does have a plan in all of this helps me. Your girls are absolutely beautiful, and will appreciate knowing about their brother when they get older. Hang in there!!

jill Stern said...

I enjoy reading your posts, especially about Jack. You are so honest about your emotions over your loss. Did you read the Memory Keepers Daughter?