As I mentioned in a previous post, I just finished Mary Beth Chapmans book Choosing to SEE. While I was reading the part of the book where she told of her younger two daughters going to counseling, my mommy guilt started to shout. The what ifs began to whirl around in my head. Are the boys really doing as well as I perceive? Should I have taken them to a counselor? Could I find a counselor now? Do they have guilt about the death of their sister?
Rather than worry and fret over the voices in my head, I prayed. I needed to know if these questions were guilt (lies from the enemy) or conviction from the Holy Spirit. God very clearly calmed my fears. He reassured me that I was doing just fine, and he reminded me of the Lamentations exercise that I purposed to do with the boys. So, a few days ago we started our alphabetical list of things they miss about Sissy.
It has been frustrating, sad and reassuring all at the same time. The boys don’t remember! Can you believe it? They have so few memories of Hannah! I knew Levi would struggle to keep those precious memories alive in his young mind, but I thought Jacob and Noah would certainly recall fun times with their sister. But they don’t.
After MUCH probing and prodding and picture looking, we have completed the list! Here it is. I tried to keep it as true to their language as possible, with my thoughts in parenthesis.
A – Hannah was always happy. (They remember her being happy, which is a great blessing to my heart.)
B – Wanting to buy her everything at Target. (I specifically remember a time that I took all 4 kids to Target. I was in the market for footie pajamas for the boys, and they found these size 12 big girl footie pajamas. I think they were pink with huge white snowflakes. They insisted that 6-week old Hannah needed these ‘when she got bigger.’ They loved spoiling Hannah almost as much as her daddy did!)
C – her Cuteness
D – The times she crawled into the dishwasher to find a straw to play with.
E – “Ewwww! Hannah ewed!” (The boys love the story of Levi trying to change Hannah’s diaper and finding a poop! As soon as he saw it, he yelled, “Ewww! Hannah ewed!” and refused to continue with the diaper change. Fortunately, Hannah didn’t move until I was able to come to the rescue!)
F – Levi feeding Hannah the entire box of Rice Crispies. (He has always been so very helpful…)
G – Seeing Genesis and Hannah play together.
H – Levi says, “I liked when she was happy about me!” (I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s beautiful!)
I – Hannah was into everything! (And she loved getting into everything because her brothers thought it was cute and funny…and they’d laugh at her and tell her how cute it was…I’m pretty certain that she would be one rotten little girl!)
J – Jacob playing with Hannah (All Jacob could say at first was “I just miss Hannah!” He couldn’t think of anything specific. He just misses his sister. Totally understandable!)
K – Kissing Hannah and getting kisses from Hannah
L – Levi and Hannah playing together. (Levi and Hannah were ALWAYS together! I miss watching them play.)
M – Hannah’s monkey hairbows. (the boys liked to wear them too!)
N – Noah and Hannah time
O – when she turned one (Noah wasn’t thrilled about sharing his 7th birthday with his sister, especially because her portion was princess themed. Now, however, he loves that he got to have a party with her!)
P – Playtime
Q – Quiet time with Hannah
R – Noah remembers rolling Hannah onto her tummy just so that she would roll onto her back again. It was a fun game!
S – “Stop laughing!” (I wish I could upload the video of this. Noah is yelling at Hannah to “Stop laughing!” Hannah is cracking up. It’s quite funny.)
T – Levi and Hannah sucking their thumbs together. Tea party times!
U – Hannah’s unexpected screams. (I’m not sure if was related to the tumor or not, but Hannah would randomly scream. It was funny at times, but embarrassing at other times. I’m not surprised that the boys remembered this one without help!)
V – Hannah was Jacob’s van buddy. (They sat in the middle row together. Levi and Noah were in the back. Each big boy had a baby to take care of.)
W – Hannah wearing dresses.
X – They miss opening xmas presents with Hannah, and Noah misses hiding behind the tree with her.
Y – Yelling with Hannah. (I guess they liked joining her scream-fests sometimes!)
Z – Her soft purple and white zebra outfit. (I couldn’t find a picture of this…I’m sure I have one, but I couldn’t find it. It was really cute and soft.)
Well, there you have it. I don’t think I’ll force them to do this exercise again. While Aaron and I found it extremely helpful to write out our alphabetical lamentations, the boys thought it was torture. I guess God clearly answered my prayers! I have no need for mommy guilt…at least not in this department. My boys are doing just fine!
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for a wonderful two week ‘vacation’ in Greece! While the majority of our time was spent in class, we enjoyed sightseeing and lots of ice cream whenever possible.
2. Praise God for His missionary community. Please pray for us as a group, that we would be united for HIS glory and honor.
3. Praise God for His heart for orphans. Please join me in praying that every orphan in the world would hear about Jesus’ power to save!
4. Please pray for us as we travel back to Tenwek. Our flight arrives in the middle of the night, so please pray for cooperative children as we gather our luggage and load the van. Please pray for our protection while we’re in Nairobi (just for the morning for a quick shopping trip and lunch with friends) and during our long drive to Tenwek.