This past weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to go out to New Mexico, where his family lives, to attend his grandmother's funeral. It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad I was able to see everyone.
The trip to New Mexico is a 16 hour drive. Justin and I left late afternoon so the majority of our driving was at night. Justin did most of the driving, but for a few hours I drove while he slept. So with my Feel Good play list (a compilation of songs by artists like Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Il Divo, Enya and The Canadian Tenors) playing in the car, I had a lot of time to think.
A lot of time to think usually means I end up thinking about Emily. The main focus of my thoughts this time was wondering what she would be like. I am so interested to know what kind of personality she would have had. I have a beautiful niece who is 3 and she is a firecracker. While I was pregnant with Emily I often wondered if she would take after her cousin or if she would have been more shy, like her mommy. Whenever I thought about having a girl I automatically imagined her being sweet, shy, quiet and obedient, of course :) She probably would have been completely different from what I imagined. I was so excited to get to know my daughter. And not just as my daughter, but as a person, who is a unique individual. What would her favorite color be? What would she be when she grew up? What kind of boys would she date? Would she play a musical instrument? Would she sing? Would she like to read books like me? Go hunting with her dad? Would she play softball like her dad had hoped she would?
I thought of Emily often this weekend as I watched my many nieces and nephews play together and with Justin. My arms felt empty and my hands felt idle as I watched my sister-in-laws take care of their children, help them with their meals, get them ready for bed, and take care of their owies. (Please don't feel bad sisters, I still love you :)) I am grateful, though, for the time I was able to spend with my sweet nieces and nephews and their sweet spirits.
The hardest part of the weekend was the funeral but not for reasons you would think. Justin's grandmother, Delsa, was an incredible woman, who lived a long, full life and I admire her greatly. However, I only had the opportunity to meet her a handful of times and did not have the opportunity to make many memories with her. During the funeral I learned that she had lost her first baby, which was a girl. Justin told me he had told me that before, but I must have forgotten because it was a bit of a shock when I heard it during the service. They referred to this lost daughter several times throughout the service and every time they did, I naturally thought of Emily. At one point, a grandson, Kevin, read a poem that Delsa had kept for years, that was very dear to her. It was a poem basically about the loss of her baby. It was read twice and by the end of the second time I was in tears.
The thing that really did me in was a comment that was made about the reunion of Delsa and her baby girl. Something along the lines of the "sweet reunion" between her and her daughter she lost so long ago. I pictured in my mind Delsa in tears of happiness as she embraced her daughter that she waited 70 some odd years to see again. How long she had waited to see her again and how often she thought of her throughout her life. I found myself envious. I so wanted to be Delsa, being reunited with my daughter. It's only been 6 months and I am so ready to see Emily again. How long will I have to wait? 70 years like Delsa?
I mentioned this to Justin at 2 o'clock in the morning as we made the drive home and he said something like, "Not to be insensitive, but we will have other children who will occupy our time, focus and energy throughout our lives" And he is right. I'm sure Delsa didn't sit around and yearn for her daughter day in and day out. She lived her life. She had more children and was a wonderful mother. She was happy.
While I will always miss Emily and will think about her from time to time, I know I will have more children and will do so much more with my life. I hope I can someday get to the point where I am not constantly waiting for that reunion with my daughter. I need to live my life and be in the present or I will miss everything. I have so much ahead of me and so much to live for, I can't let my missing my daughter consume my life. I know this is what needs to happen, it's just a matter of getting there... and it's something I am still working on. Thanks for reading.