Today - another 4th … 3561 days … 356,100 years if I count in God-time. I miss my girl.
If you add the numbers together, 3+5+6+1, you get 15. That’s a smile 😊 as so many Krisanna friends know that 15 is forever a Krisanna number.
Today, another 4th … 9 years, 9 months, 1 day. Only that long? Really - that long? I miss my girl.
If you add the numbers together, 9+9+1, you get 19. That’s a smile 😊 because Krisanna’s birthdate is 9.19.
I often wonder what Krisanna would look like today. Would she have grown any taller? Would she have regained her “golden hair”? What kind of friends would she have? I can’t project her beyond 15. Even when I chat with her best friends, she doesn’t morph into their stage. She truly is forever 15.
Today, though, on this 356,100 year-long day, I received the gift of a vision. As I meandered through the grocery store, I continually crossed paths with another couple. Such a pretty lady in her late twenties and a gentleman 10ish years older! Each time we passed, She was patiently standing at their cart answering questions He quietly tossed out from a few feet away – yellow apples or red? Which brand of bacon? Family-size hamburger package or just a pound? I’m surprised I even remember any of the questions – ours was typical grocery store dancing between strangers. I lost them when I got to double back for a forgotten item on the grocery list that I’d left on the kitchen counter and (happily) remembered in the nick of time.
Three check-out lines were equally long, and I eased into the closest. Surprise! There, in front of me, They unloaded their cart and chatted with the clerk. She removed items with one hand – the other was in a brace like the one I wore when I sprained my hand. In a fleeting moment, Krisanna flashed by, and I smiled. She unloaded, the clerk scanned, He bagged … it moved so smoothly. Then, as She pushed the cart forward, I noticed that She lifted one leg with her hip. It was such a familiar move. It was as if I were seeing Krisanna grown up! She and the clerk chatted and laughed about her mom - they knew each other somehow. All three smiled and nodded and assured that it was so good to see each other again. It was a normal grocery store conversation with just the right sprinkling of warmth that vague familiarity affords. Yet – yet – as She and He moved out of the store, I saw my girl. She was grown, and happy, and normal - despite the physical challenge. I don’t know if She survived a brain tumor or suffered a stroke or entered this world with limited mobility. What I do know is She was attractively dressed with pretty long hair, gentle and kind in her exchanges, confident and poised as she chatted and reached in her purse (with one hand) to retrieve payment, and every bit the typical self-assured woman Krisanna knew she would grow to be. And there, in that moment, was a great gift: the assurance that if Mr. God had wanted Krisanna to stay here, she would have thrived.
June 11 marked 10 years since Dr. Gajjar told us that Krisanna’s tumor found its way to the base of her spine. June 11 marked 10 years since I the moment I knew we were beginning the greatest fight of her life. June 11 marked 10 years since the day I, once again, let go and let God - and His answer was not what I hoped it would be.
The difference between the first thousand-year-long day and the 3561st thousand-year-long day cannot be marked by a calendar count or a kitchen measurement or any tangible dimension. It is - different. The hole in my heart is still miles wide and fathoms deep, yet, ten years out, instead of tentatively testing each step, I can walk it more confidently. I no longer expect her to come around the corner, but when I close my eyes, I still feel her tight one-armed squeezy hug around my neck. I no longer think, “I can’t wait to see Krisanna’s face when I tell her …”, but now I just say it to her aloud, “I know you would have liked …”. Now, I only have 4-5 days a month that I don’t want to get out of bed, and I can teach a full 80-minute class without thinking about her. But I still wear the plastic jewelry from the dollar aisle at Target that she proudly purchased with her own money to surprise me … the orange rolls she insisted on baking for her dad every holiday still light the oven 5-6 times a year … and her American Girl dolls and books, UNO cards, games, and tea sets still fill the shelves in the playroom even though her cousins have outgrown them.
More importantly … she says hi all the time … in flowers along the road, in bright yellow clothing on strangers, in ties/shirts/sweaters friends don and say they thought of her when they put them on, in yellow cars passing by, in posts and notes from people who knew her, in comments from those who didn’t know her but have come to know her through her legacy, in pictures of butterflies and daffodils, in yellow bead bracelets and yellow bags and sunflower totes or wreaths. These signs empower me to walk this journey when I wonder, “What exactly I am supposed to be doing if I am no longer a mom?”
Krisanna’s favorite time was anytime the three of us were together. In July, when Mark and I visited Santa Fe, she was everywhere! A lady wearing a bright yellow dress walked right in front of our first stop - the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The admissions clerk directed us to the starting point – a video in the room with the yellow stripe. I searched for a postcard of my favorite painting in the gift shop, and visitor in a brilliant yellow top across the shop stood beside it. Yellow flowers decorated the basilica entrance, and yellow banners flew in the park. We had a marvelous weekend together.
Today, another 4th … 3561 days … 356,100 years if I count in God-time. I miss my girl. Yet, as I reflect, I am keenly aware of my blessings and I am truly thankful. I got to be Krisanna’s mom. I got to be Krisanna’s mom. I still don’t know why He picked me, but I am forever grateful … especially for today’s gift of seeing who she might have been. She would have been something!