It seems I have down days following up days. I had already begun to recognize the pattern, but hold out hope my days will be up and up and up. Alas, today was not an up day in the least.
Work is still wonderful, and I still love my colleagues and students. There are of course, one or two little stinkers in the students, but that's always the case. I'll take one or two over the eight I have had in the past any day of the week. My co-workers are all so very supportive and if I ever need hugs they're there. Everyone says hi and asks how I'm doing, and I don't feel this is something out of the ordinary. This bunch is truly caring and compassionate and they really do care about my well-being.
In spite of all this, I had many many sad moments today. It began with the fire drill we had this morning. As I was walking out, I spied a little girl with a short bob sporting a hair bow on the right side of her head, holding her hair out of her face. My heart caught in my throat and for a moment I couldn't breathe. I knew it wasn't Hannah, but it was such a forceful reminder of her it caught me off guard.
Then, as I was sitting with my students at lunch today (I visited with the girls), the kindergartners came in to dine. My heart simply ached as I watched the little ones eating and chatting and visiting with each other. I had to leave the room and went to my room to cry. Today was the first day I cried at work. I didn't cry for long, but my heart is so empty and shattered it was quite powerful. I find that if I have to keep it together for the kids, I do. It's as simple as that.
Every afternoon our students dismiss by what our school refers to as "car line". What this means is the children line either side of the hallway. They have been assigned a car line number and they wait for their number to be called. There is no talking so that everyone can hear their number. As this is a private school, there are no buses, only cars for drop-off and pick-up. I mention car line because it is yet another reminder of the Monk. You see, two years ago now, Hannah attended pre-school with her best friend Kathryn. They too were assigned a carpool number and had to have silent dismissal as they awaited Melanie's arrival to pick them up. As I patrol the lines, I think of Hannah waiting patiently (who am I kidding, impatiently) and excitedly for Melanie to arrive to pick her up.
I also have an opportunity to see the very young kiddos during car line. Most of my day is spent with the upper elementary and middle schoolers so I rarely see the little ones. I watch the babies and imagine their excitement in going home, ready to tell their moms and dads all about the wonder of their day. I look at them and imagine how tall Han was compared to them and remember how she would throw herself against me, wrapping her arms around me as she squeezed and looked up at me through her veil of hair and eyelashes. She would sort of scrunch up her nose as she looked up and told me, "I love you, Mommy!"
Boy, Hannah was the most demonstrative kid. She LOVED to cuddle, snuggle, hug, and kiss. Hannah was very sensory and adored touching things. If we were shopping, she would tuck her hands into her pockets, or put them behind her back because the soft looking fabrics would call to her and she would just have to touch them. The softer something was, the more Hannah loved it. I know we had overindulged Hannah to some degree, but she took such pleasure in such simple things, I wanted to FLOOD her with them. Hannah fell in love with one of our soft, fuzzy, polar fleece blankets and desperately wanted one of her own. Brien and I try very hard to avoid giving the girls toys for occasions other than birthdays or holidays, but I couldn't resist picking up a soft, fuzzy pink blanket for Hannah. You should have seen the look of sheer joy and delight on her face when she saw the blanket and realized it was for her! :o) Hannah ADORED the blanket and it went with her wherever she went to snuggle and cuddle. She would put on her pj's and drag her blanket downstairs to snuggle under. Or, she would bring it with her to our room in the mornings, ready to cuddle down with us. She felt the same about her blue "squishy" pillow and she and Lissie would get into mock skirmishes over ownership of the pillow. :o)
I miss so many things. I miss running my fingers through Han's hair as she rested her head in my lap. I miss the silly songs Hannah would sing and make up. I miss the terrible knock-knock jokes she would tell. I miss the made up languages the Monk would speak in the car, asking me to repeat the nonsense she was prattling. I miss our verbal "battles" of "I love you more. No, I love you more!". I miss the sound of her voice and her deep belly laugh. I miss my Monkey so very very desperately this evening.
I have found solace in the comments that continue to be left. Comments from people telling me how Hannah has changed their lives for the better. Brien and I know God had a purpose for Hannah because there is no way He would take a child otherwise. Hannah had an important role to play and this comforts me. B and I aren't sure yet what her purpose is, but we're getting glimpses of the changes Hannah has helped make in so many people's lives and it helps ease our hearts.
I'm worried we may wind up spoiling Lily terribly. Brien and I now realize how precious and fragile and fleeting life is, and I sometimes find it hard to deny Lily when she asks for something. I wonder how I would feel if something were to happen to Lily on the morrow. Would I be pleased I had denied her? So often while walking through Target or Office Depot I see items I know the Monk would have not only loved, but appreciated. She was so happy with such simple things. I clearly remember the day she and I went out and purchased items for her to "decorate" with me. "Decorating" was what she called scrapbooking or cropping. She loved to work at the table across from me and had just recently begun her own album using her own tape runner and everything.
Anyhow, knowing how much Han loved these things, why did I tell her no? Logically, I know it was because I didn't want her to always get everything she wanted, that she had to learn these life lessons, and we simply didn't have the money to purchase them. Additionally, it wasn't her birthday or a holiday and she didn't need these items. I guess I wish I had given them to her to give her more joy in her life. Hannah in raptures of joy was a sight to behold. :o)
1. Our evening trip to PetSmart. Hannah adored the "Kitty Store" so much I can't help but smile when we enter the building and head straight for the reptiles. :o)
2. Two planning periods today instead of one!
3. The beautiful little girls in our building who wear ribbons and bows in their hair.
4. The crepe myrtle continues to be simply breathtaking as summer winds down.
5. Lissie is going to be in the 'burg this weekend as well!!!!!! :o) :o) :o)
6. Still another new outfit to wear today.
7. The kitty snuggling with me in bed at night.
8. Lily and her little imp of a self helping to carry bags to the car this evening. She is so anxious to be a big girl and helpful!
1. The beautiful girls with their hair bows. I'll only be surprised by them once. Now, I know they're there.
2. My first cry at work. Not a fun one, that's for sure.
I notice my milestones seem to becoming fewer and fewer. I know we are in for a bunch come the first day of public school and Han's birthday ("Septembager" 21st for those who don't remember) and the holidays.
The other day I wrote about how I worry that my time with Hannah will soon be surpassed by my time without Hannah, but I recently had an epiphany of sorts. I may be moving further and further from my time with Han, but each day I'm moving one day closer to when I can be with her again. See, I told you I'm a Pollyanna. :oP I'll always try to find the silver lining...
This post took much longer than I had anticipated and now I've got to do some school work. I need to check homework, create Ruby Payne comprehension strategy cards and much much more. I'm tired just thinking about it...
Good night everyone! Sweet dreams and uninterrupted sleep to you all! :o)