So... fresh in the wake of what was this morning an uplifting, honest, and rejoicing post... I thought I'd make sure everyone here knows that these wonderful days of "abiding" are not without their-- shall I recall another favorite word-- "bittersweet" moments...
Tonight when I came home from work, Miss Liz and TJ were carving our pumpkins. TJ's was almost done-- a cute littler guy with a cross-eyed, one-tooth grin. Liz was just putting the finishing touches on it. Apparently, TJ had announced that he wanted the "Daddy jack-a-lantrun" to be an "angry" one. (Boy, a shrink would have a field day with THAT one, eh?) He's picking up from seasonal decorations he observes out and about-- that some Halloween things are "silly" and others are "angry". Anyway, after I got home, Liz set to rinsing and boiling the seeds from the gutted pumpkins for roasting before leaving for the evening, while I went to work on the Angry Daddy pumpkin... with my cordless drill. (A little trick I learned from my dad... after all, what's pumpkin carving without power tools?)
The seeds turned out deliciously-- seasoned with just a pinch of my baby-back-rib barbecue rub/ seasoning. And just before bath time we had a pumpkin lighting ceremony. The two "jacks-o-lantern" look so handsome there on the front porch, with the candle-light pouring through them. TJ was so proud. Just giddy. But I couldn't help but think there seemed to be one missing. There's something lonely looking about just 2 jack-o-lanterns sitting on the front porch. TJ seemed to be tracking with me, because when we came back in and headed up to bath-time, I could see his little mind start to kick into overdrive.
"We're back at OUR HOUSE!" He said, as if we'd just returned from some long voyage to some strange land. (We were 15 feet from our front door, for a grand total of about 2.5 minutes.)
"Yes, we are!" I humored him.
"Your house and MY house!" He clarified, in case I was wondering just whose house he was speaking of.
"Yup! Daddy's and TJ's," I echoed.
"And Mommy's in Heaven!" He said, out of no-where, seemingly to me... But I know he thought he was just finishing my thought for me. After all, it's not JUST Daddy's and TJ's house we're living in... it's supposed to be Mommy's too. (This was especially ironic for me tonight, because I'd just had a meeting with my mortgage guy to refinance the house, removing her name from the mortgage.) After some pause, he continued...
"I'm a little bit lonesome for Mommy." He said.
"Yes, Buddy..." I gave an adoring half-chuckle, to keep from crying. "I'm thinking of her quite a bit, too."
"Yeah. I wanted her to stay longer, but she didn't," he mused, as if she had some choice in the matter.
"Yes, TJ. I wish she could have stayed longer, too."
The whole conversation carried a rather matter-of-fact, light-hearted tone, really... as if we were talking about our pumpkins, still. And afterward, we took a shower, played band and baseball, brushed our teeth, and now he's asleep. We prayed as we normally do, thanking God for Mommy-- saying how much we love her and are happy that she is all better and with Jesus now, laughing and dancing and singing. He gave me his dimpled paci-smile as he always does when I pray that. And now he's asleep.
But his little words are still ringing in my ears. He's doing so well these days, that it's almost easy to overlook the scars on his little psyche... Hard to remember he's dealing with a broken heart-- trying to "fill the void"-- just like the rest of us. Shame on me for overlooking this. I'm thankful for that bittersweet little reminder tonight, and will make sure I give him plenty of opportunity to talk and share his thoughts about Mommy as the days continue to turn to weeks, and the weeks to months... and so-on...