Today (Thursday, March 24) my second oldest granddaughter, Aryiana, should have been 9 months old. She should be eating babyfood, or more likely skipping the babyfood like her sister did and going straight for the good stuff whether she has any teeth or not. She should be pulling up to my coffee table, crawling after the new puppy her Aunt Bekah brought home to "find a good home for" and getting her fingers smacked for touching the cigarettes, lighter, ashtray, etc. etc. etc. She should be jumping in the jumper, chattering like a magpie, walking with her sister and her uncle Karl holding her chubby hands to keep her balanced, and blowing raspberries and spit bubbles.
Instead she is singing with the angels. She is making our departed family laugh with her silly antics and her beautiful smiles. She sits at the feet of Jesus and listens to His stories of the world and why it is the way it is. She hears and knows and understands why she was given to us for such a short time and then taken away with no warning and no explanation. She sends on whispered memories and laughing dreams tiny bits of peace and strength so those of us left behind know we can and must go on without her. She sends smiles to her Mommy, sloppy baby kisses to her Daddy, waves to her Sissy, and hugs for the rest of us who love and miss her more than we can deal with most days.
10 days ago marked the six month anniversary of Ary's death. I don't give tribute to that day by calling attention to it because I would rather remember the 11 weeks of joy that her life brought to me than the endless loss that came with her death. My daughter-in-law said today that acceptance sometimes takes a lifetime. She is, as always, wise beyond her years and I am unbelievably proud of the way she and my son have taken tiny steps toward recovering from something no parent should ever have to survive. I have no doubt that they will both reach the stage of acceptance, probably long before I do. I still spend a few moments most nights stomping my feet and demanding answers that I know I can't have; pleading for things I know can never be. I still revel in the occasional thought that I just haven't seen her in a while because I'm busy and work too much, but then I feel that tiny head against my shoulder, the whispered breath on my face. It's her way of letting me know she's with me now and always, that she won't leave again and that it's okay to remember and admit that she isn't physically here anymore... admit, not accept... I'm not that far yet.
This blog post was written in loving memory of Aryiana Leigh Engle 6/24/10 - 9/14/10...
Mamaw loves her Turtle