William Shakespeare said it but I'm loathe to find the "sweet" in it. After spending nine months with Michael, Cari, Bella and Caleb--and almost 5 months with Lilani-- parting is far from sweet. I think words like soul-wrenching, tearing apart, yank, rip and wrest are more appropriate. It just plain hurts. Someone tried to console me by saying that wouldn't I prefer they were far away, but happy with life than living close to me and unhappy? Yes, of course, but that doesn't stop the bleeding.
Walking past their now silent, empty rooms brings tears to my eyes, a wish that I could lift the curtain of time and bring them back. When I open my kitchen cupboards and see Caleb's batman glass and Bella's princess glass still sitting quietly in their spots, it feels like they are still close--maybe gone for the day, but surely returning and I can pretend they haven't gone at all.
Any vestige of their presence brings comfort: a lost hair bow, a Dora the Explorer card from a memory game, a baby crib, a mismatched sock, a size 3 camouflage T-shirt, a lonely baby wipe left in the little blue elephant container, toothbrushes and Crest whitening toothpaste from the States, a Canadian coin, an abandoned pair of torn bermuda jeans size 34. And those are just the tangibles. There are also the intangibles: memories of two blonde heads bobbing up the stairs in the morning for breakfast, of Cari on the computer, Michael coming home from work with a cold bottle of coke (!), willing helpers whenever Grandma made tocolate cookies, Caleb's "Tama, tama", Bella's art work, Lilani's smiles, Cari's encouraging words, hearing Michael say, "Want to watch a movie with us?" giggles and hugs, snuggling in Grandma and Grandpa's bed, enjoying Cari's "eye for a good picture", proud of Michael's musical ability....and so much more.
God has blessed each of us with a memory bank--a place to come back to where we can pick up each memory one by one, hold it close for a moment, then return it to its place. The best part is that He has also given us a special person, the Holy Spirit, who understands us perfectly, who consoles and comforts us until the wounds are healed.