Why do things never seem to go the way I plan them? I had such plans for today. As I said yesterday, my youngest is really having a hard time with my grandmother’s death, so there are a few different things we are doing to help her work through her grief. Today we visited Maw‘s grave, My daughter had written a letter to Maw and she wanted to “send it to heaven” via helium balloons. So we attached her letter to 4 red balloons and went to the cemetery. She laid her flowers on the grave and said “Okay Mommy – I’m ready for my letter” I told her we needed to step into the clearing away from the trees and she said “Okay –but I want to hold the balloons” I handed the balloons over telling her to be careful as we watched them slip through her fingers and fly up, up, up. I watched the balloons weave in and out of the branches – praying that it would make it all the way through – they did not. On one of the top branches of the old oak the string from the balloon became entangled on some moss. My daughter immediately burst into tears – she was inconsolable – her letter was not going to make it to heaven. Not knowing what else to do I told her it would be all right and begin to scale the large oak wishing I’d worn sneakers instead of flats. As I climbed higher I began to pray that I would not fall and give my child an even worse trauma. I could not reach the balloons. So here I was – high up in a tree, dangling over tombstones, watching my daughter be heart broken and knowing I couldn’t do anything about it. So I climbed down – totally ruining my shoes in the process – but I wasn’t finished – she was still crying. I went to the van to find something heavy enough to throw; the only thing I could find was a plastic bottle of OJ. So there we were my daughter and me – throwing a bottle up into the sky and missing every time – I just kept thinking “Why did I not pay closer attention in gym class – maybe I’d know how to throw a ball. I did this until my shoulder ached and my little girl finally said “its okay Mommy” She cried all the way home “My letter will not get to Maw” I tried consoling her “You know honey, mommy is very weak and not perfect – but I know someone who has all the power. Remember how Jesus calmed the storm when Peter was on the water – He controls the wind baby – I’m sure He’ll make a big gust and take that balloon right up to heaven. That seemed to help a little – but I had to promise that we would go back to the cemetery after our trip to see her brother and see if the balloons were gone..
We did talk about the prayer journal today and she is really excited to be keeping her own journal like Mommy and Maw.
We have been in the car now for 6 hours – only 10 more to go until we see her brother. She has suffered so much loss this year and all I want to do is ease the pain, but I’m finding that in this too I must rely on God. I seem to be powerless in all areas of my life – but this I will do, I will teach her how to dance – no matter the storm.
Today I dance – clumsily – but none the less I dance – and I have the cutest little partner.