Saturday, September 27, 2008

Deep conversations

Julien had the opportunity to go to Alabama Adventure today. After lunch, we dropped Julien off with the group who was taking him to Alabama Adventure and decided to stop by the cemetery where my Dad and Grandmother are buried.

This is the very first time that Monkey has gotten out of the car at the cemetery. I decided that she needed to go and that she would love to "walk" down to "see" my Dad in her new pair of squeaky shoes.
I realize that I am taking a risk of having everyone think that I really am certifiably crazy, but I do believe in angels and think that children have a special ability to see things and know things that we don't. No, people, I didn't see Casper sitting on a is just the atmosphere and the way Monkey lit up when we got to the graves, that I knew that she knew exactly what I was saying to her.
Believe it or not, take it as you will.
I walked squeaky Monkey over to my Grandmother's grave - my Grandmother, the namesake for Monkey. I took Monkey's hand and pointed to the name engraved in granite and I told Monkey to "Look, there is your name, do you see? That is your name, isn't it beautiful?". Monkey laughs the sweetest, most knowing laugh.
She understands.

We turn to my Dad's grave and are looking at the flowers, Monkey doesn't seem to care about the flowers, she is too busy looking around. I tell Monkey that it is time to go and as we are passing by the tombstone, Monkey tries to turn back. Monkey sees the statue by the tombstone and her eyes light up! The statue is tattered, but she needs to touch it. If she doesn't touch the statue, then we can't leave. Monkey gets more excited when I ask her if she wants to touch, Monkey touches the statue and stares and stands in silence for a moment.
Then Monkey is done and ready to go.

Monkey's innocence allowed her to see and hear what I couldn't. Monkey is an angel from God.

For whatever reason, Chris and I didn't immediately make our way out of the cemetery. We drove around...looking. Looking at the tombstones. Talking about the people who are there and about the future. We try not to go too far into the future, because then our worries seem to overwhelm us.

We talk about our friends and we talk about our families.
We talk about how we have lost friends and gained friends after Monkey's birth.
We talk about how our lives have changed and how we have seen the true nature of people.
We talk about how our friends that were once friends, don't seem to have too much in common with us anymore.
We talk about our new friends and how they understand.
We talk about our families and how some of them don't understand. They don't understand our schedules, our worries or why we act the way we do.
We talk about our neighbors. Our neighbors who are wonderful people, but some still keep us at arms reach.
We talk about how people just don't know what to say or do...
We talk about those same people. We wonder if they would have been any different to us had our second child not been born with a diagnosis.
We talk about how much we are blessed to know this life in so many ways that others don't.
We talk about football and how we can't all go to a big game together - for now anyway.
We talk about how we always make it work and how we would do it all over again - knowing then what we know now.
We talk about how people are missing out on knowing the gift that we have been given.

I know that there are so many people out there that couldn't fathom the life we live. I couldn't fathom not living this life. It is amazing and I am so thankful that it is mine. Every choice in my life took me to this point.

I am thankful.


Aunt Cissy said...

Jennifer, everyday I read the blog and read every single word that you have ever written. This one has truly taken my breath away. I may not be there every day to see the world that you have to live but I am thankful to be in that world. I do not know what I would do without Chunky Monkey, Mr. Julien, you and Chris. I love you all very much. People that choose not to know our little Monkey that is their loss. The world is an awesome place with the four of you in it. Love always,

Polly & Steve said...

Amen, Aunt Cissy!!!!!! Add us to the list that counts you guys as a wonderful blessing from God!

Heather said...

I don't try to say that i know what you and Chris go through, but I do understand being thankful for things that other people do not understand. We have lost friends over the last 3 months, but we have gained ones that have helped me get through the bad days. God has put people in my path to lift me up on days that all I feel like doing is cry. Addie is truly amazing and special!! She is so blessed to have you guys!! I can't wait to see her next week. I am going to stop by her class and take a peek.