Every Sunday we will post writings from a family member's perspective. Here you will hear from my husband, sister, mother, grandmother, brother-in law, and hopefully more extended family along the way. I need to understand their grief, to know that my child touched their lives, and they need a place to let the world know that this is true.
Avoiding Grief or a Heartwarming Experience?
February and March have always been a busy time for me, and it rang true again this year. I had many activities, committee meetings, schoolwork, class related activities, and extra-curricular competitions that I was preparing my students for. It was just coincidental that these two busy months came just after Nora’s death. Lindsey told me early on in the month, when I was asked to substitute judge in a competition, that I was taking on these activities to avoid grief. Maybe in some respects she is right, but mostly I do it to help my students succeed in their high school goals.
On that night, when I was a judge, I had a heart-warming emotional experience. I was a judge for a competitive event called ‘Culinary Creations’. I was to judge sixth through twelfth graders on how well and creatively they decorated cupcakes and layer cakes. The students worked for an hour decorating their respective cakes, while I and another judge walked around and scrutinized their work. Afterwards, we sat down with each competitor individually and discussed their creation, and looked through their portfolio of other cakes they had done.
As I sat across from the third competitor, a young girl in 8th grade, it dawned on me how much she was a wonderful mixture of both Lindsey and Nick. She had long medium brown hair with flecks of red that were highlighted by the lights in the classroom whenever her head moved, pulled back by a covered rubberband. Her eyes were hazel in color and she wore glasses—just like my Lindsey did at her age. She was wearing a white shirt with a white apron over it. I could imagine that her eyes would subtly change color depending on whether she wore a green or blue outfit. She had Lindsey’s oval face, but still had baby fat in her cheeks and under her chin. She was very articulate and self-assured, which I would expect of Lindsey and Nick’s daughter. I smiled as I thought that this is what little Nora could look like in her early teens if she had lived.
That moment made me smile. I looked in awe at this young girl, mentally seeing a picture of myself baking with Nora. My heart felt warmth and a faint ray of happiness, something I hadn’t felt in a long while. While it was fleeting, it was there, so there is hope for tomorrow, that I will see a glimpse of Nora in another little girl or young lady, and be reminded of my dreams for my granddaughter, and remember her with a smile.